Category Archives: News


I just learned about OA2020:

VISION: OA2020 is a global alliance committed to accelerating the transition to open access.

MISSION: We collaborate to transform the current publishing system, replacing the subscription business model with new models that ensure outputs are open and re-usable and that the costs behind their dissemination are transparent and economically sustainable.

If your library has not signed the expression of interest yet, please make them do.

AI for Earth Grant from Microsoft

I have been awarded a grant from Microsoft as part of its AI for Earth program. The grant will be used to develop high-resolution spatialized population projections, which will take population projections from the shared socioeconomic pathways and use a geosimulation approach to distribute the projected populations on a map. The resulting maps can then be used to assess the number of people who will be directly affected by climate change.

AI for Earth is a Microsoft program aimed at empowering people and organizations to solve global environmental challenges by increasing access to AI tools and educational opportunities, while accelerating innovation. Via the Azure for Research AI for Earth award program, Microsoft provides selected researchers and organizations access to its cloud and AI computing resources to accelerate, improve and expand work on climate change, agriculture, biodiversity and/or water challenges.

I am among the first grant recipients of AI for Earth, first launched in July 2017. The grant process was a competitive and selective process and was awarded in recognition of the potential of the work and power of AI to accelerate progress. To date, Microsoft has distributed more than 35 grants to qualifying researchers and organizations around the world. Microsoft just announced their intent to put $50 million over 5 years into the program, enabling grant-making and educational trainings possible at a much larger scale.

Workshop on Reproducible Computational Geosciences @ AGILE 2017

Interesting new workshop to take place at AGILE 2017. I like how they break from the usual submission workflow: In order to submit, you should fork their GitHub repo, add your submission file to the fork, and then send a pull request. If that’s too much hassle, you can also email your submission to Daniel Nüst, who is chairing the workshop.

Papers should be < 1000 words, the deadline is on March 19.

New toys, no time to play

I came across some really neat new tools this week. Since I don’t have any time  to test them out right now (or in the foreseeable future…), I’ll at least post them here so I don’t forget to check them out later:

  • Chris Whong has made a Docker container running Carto. This should make running your own Carto instance a hell of a lot easier.
  • Riccardo Scalco came up with Textures.js, a  JavaScript library for SVG patterns that builds on D3.
  • And my favorite comes from Geoff Boeing, who wrote OSMnx, a python module for extracting street networks from OpenStreetMap and then do all kinds of smart stuff with them.

COSIT goes Open Access

The first call for papers for COSIT 2017 was circulated last week. The conference will be held in L’Aquila, Italy, from September 4-8 2017. I was happy to see that the COSIT steering committee has decided to move the outlet for the full paper proceedings from Lecture Notes in Computer Science to Schloss Dagstuhl’s Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, which is Open Access under CC-BY.

The submission deadlines are:

  • March 1, 2017, for full papers
  • May 15, 2017, for posters

Linked Science 2016— Supporting Collaboration and Learning in e-Research Infrastructures (LISC2016)

Our proposal for the next (6th!) Linked Science workshop at ISWC has been accepted. Our theme this year is “Supporting collaboration and learning in e-research infrastructures” to help diminish the knowledge gap between technologists and those less tech-savvy. Here’s the gist of it, head over to for the full announcement:

When: October 17 or 18, 2016
Where: Kobe, Japan
Collocated with the 15th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2016).

Submission deadline for full and short papers will be July 7th 2016, 23:59 Hawaii time.

Substitute GIS Assistant Professor Position Open at Hunter College

The Department of Geography at the Hunter College of the City University of New York, located in the heart of New York City’s Upper East Side, invites applications for a one year appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor in Geographic Information Science, beginning August, 2016.

The successful candidate must have a strong commitment to both undergraduate and graduate teaching and be prepared to teach graduate level Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Introduction to Geographic Information Science; combined graduate and undergraduate level Advanced GeoInformatics and a special topics course in the candidate’s area of focus (for a total of 3 courses per semester). It is expected that the successful candidate will also mentor a small group of undergraduate and graduate students over the course of the academic year. Candidates must have a PhD in Geography or a related discipline. The Department of Geography has a suite of geospatial software and dedicated lab facilities, and approximately 150 undergraduate majors and 50 MA/GIS Certificate students.

Applicants should submit via email a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching interests, copies of or links to up to three publications, contact information for three references, and any questions to Review of applications will begin March 18, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

CUNY encourages people with disabilities, minorities, veterans and women to apply. At CUNY, Italian Americans are also included among our protected groups. Applicants and employees will not be discriminated against on the basis of any legally protected category, including sexual orientation or gender identity. EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.

Open Source GIS Training Course at Hunter College, January 2016 Edition

I’ll be offering the one-week professional training course on Open Source GIS again through Hunter College Continuing Education. It will be running from January 25–29, 2016. We have changed the content of the course a bit, so that each day is a self-contained unit, and participants can book individual days if they are only interested in specific topics – or book the full week to get the full FOSS GIS treatment. This is the schedule:

  • Monday: QGIS. Hands-on introduction to the most popular FOSS desktop GIS, covering setup, data management, spatial analysis, map design, digitizing, the plugin ecosystem, and integration with other FOSS GIS software.
  • Tuesday: PostGIS. Introduction to the spatial extension to the popular PostgreSQL database. Participants will learn how to set up and use PostGIS as the central data storage in their GIS software stack, how to connect it to other software, and how to query the database using SQL.
  • Wednesday: Geospatial Python. General introduction to the Python programming language with a specific focus on its capabilities for processing and analyzing geographic information, including automating GIS workflows, raster and vector data processing, and geocoding.
  • Thursday: Web Mapping. Introduction to the development of interactive web maps using online services such as·CartoDB·and·MapBox, as well as JavaScript libraries such as Leaflet and OpenLayers.
  • Friday: Web Services. Introduction to Geospatial web services including OGC services such as the Web Map Service and the Web Feature Service, as well as tile services that deliver base maps for interactive web maps. Participants will learn how these different kinds of web services work and practice how to set up and configure different kinds of web services.

Head over to the Hunter Continuing Education website for information on prerequisites, pricing, and signup.