The emerging area of Geographic Data Science

Our research interests and applications

Human activities are increasingly associated with the generation of large volumes of data that are captured through a variety of mechanisms including: transactional records collated by retailers, administrative data assembled to enable the efficient running of public services, data shadows formed as a result of social media use, or the increased prevalence of smart-card linked transport networks. In addition, a multitude of ambient data are collected by a wide range of sensors, recording various attributes about our cities such as traffic volume, pedestrian flow or air quality.


Many grand human challenges concern problems of a geographical nature; be this how we can mitigate the human impact of climate change; ensure global food and water security; design energy systems that are resilient within the context of future population dynamics; or, how spatial inequities in health and wellbeing might be eradicated?

The growing volume of data about the form, function and dynamics of human activities and their contexts are providing new opportunities to advance these debates. However, the process of turning these new forms of data into information is challenging.

Our aim is to create a centre of excellence for research and teaching within this emerging area, drawing expertise from the intersection of Geographic Information Science, Spatial Analysis and Applied Geocomputation.