Category Archives: News

1-week professional training course on Open Source GIS at Hunter College, NYC

After our first course in August, we received lots of positive feedback and inquiries about future iterations of the course, so here we go:

January 19–23, 2015, 9 AM to 5 PM

The Department of Geography at Hunter College of the City University of New York and Hunter Continuing Education are offering a five day professional course in Open Source GIS. This five day course will span the entire range of GIS data capture, management, analysis, and visualization of geographic information using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). These different elements of the GIS workflow will be discussed over the first four days and will then be applied in a final project completed on Friday. The course will combine lectures with hands-on sessions where participants will work with different free and open source GIS packages. Since we expect participants from many different organizations in the tri-state area, this training course also presents an excellent networking opportunity.

The course is designed for experienced GIS users who want to broaden their skill set with expertise in the ever-growing world of free and open source GIS. Participants are expected to have a technical background and an interest in developing comprehensive workflows using multiple software components. While we do not require any programming experience, we will be working on the command line and developing some small scripts. Participants should be eager to master these valuable skills.

Carson Farmer and Carsten Kessler are Associate Directors of the Center for Advanced Research of Spatial Information (CARSI Lab) and Assistant Professors for Geographic Information Science in the Department of Geography at Hunter College ‐ CUNY.

Carson has been working with open source GIS projects, including as core developer for QGIS, since 2007. His research interests revolve around movements and flows of individuals, information, and commodities within urban environments, and the development and implementation of novel spatial analysis methods and software aimed at characterizing these flows.

Carsten has extensive experience in projects around open data and the exchange of geographic information, both in international research projects and as a consultant. His research interests are in the areas of information integration, volunteered geographic information, emergency management, and collaborative and participatoryGIS.

Both instructors will be present for the duration of the course to support the participants in the hands-on exercises.

Location, registration and fees
The course will be held at the Department of Geography’s computer lab in the Hunter North building at Lexington and 68th Street, Manhattan. Registration fee for this course is $1800 and includes access to computers and server space to run the exercises.

For more detailed information or to register, visit or contact the Hunter Continuing Education office at 212-650-3850 or .

GeoPrivacy’14 Proceedings

The proceedings of our 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Privacy in Geographic Information Collection and Analysis have been published online:

We had a great workshop last week, with interesting discussions that showed how pressing the issue of privacy in geographic information is, and that there is still a lot to do. We are already planning some follow-up activities, so stay posted.

CAGIS 2014 Keynote

I’ll be giving a keynote at the First International Workshop on Context-Awareness in Geographic Information Services (CAGIS 2014) at GIScience in Vienna next month (on September 23rd, to be more specific). The title of the talk will be Research in the Age of the Context Machine; here’s the abstract:

One of the major challenges in the development of context-aware applications has always been the initial step of collecting enough information about a user’s context. With the increasing prevalence of smartphones equipped with a plethora of sensors, more and more users have a context machine on them that constantly collects, uses, and transmits different kinds of passively collected contextual information. Additionally, many users actively provide contextual information by participating in online social networks. This talk will shed some light on the implications of these developments for research on context awareness. Starting with a brief review of the history of research in context awareness, it will discuss the role of research conducted in industry in this field, upcoming research challenges, and implications for user privacy.

Looking forward to see everyone in Vienna in a few weeks!

AGILE 2014: Best paper award and some slides

Our paper on Encoding and querying historic map content won the best paper award at AGILE 2014 in Castellon, Spain. Thanks to Simon, Jim and Alber for the great work!

These are the slides for the talks presenting our three papers.

Encoding and querying historic map content (thanks Simon Scheider!)

Making the Web of Data Available via Web Feature Services (thanks Jim Jones!)

Geo-Information Visualizations of Linked Data (thanks Rob Lemmens!)

GeoPrivacy Workshop at ACM SIGSPATIAL

I will be jointly organizing a workshop on GeoPrivacy at ACM SIGSPATIAL in Dallas this fall, together with Grant McKenzie (UC Santa Barbara) and Lars Kulik (University of Melbourne).


GeoPrivacy: 1st Workshop on Privacy in Geographic Information Collection and Analysis

In conjunction with ACM SIGSPATIAL 2014

November 4, 2014, Dallas, Texas, USA


Workshop scope

Developments in mobile and surveying technologies over the past decade have enabled the collection of Individual-level geographic information at unprecedented scale. While this large pool of information is extremely valuable to answer scientific questions about human behavior and interaction, privacy intrusion is an imminent risk when detailed individual travel patterns are used for commercial purposes such as customer profiling, or even for political persecution. The GeoPrivacy workshop will hence focus on discussing methods to protect individual’s privacy in geographic information collection and analysis.

Topics of interest for the workshop include, but are not limited to:

  • Awareness
  • Perception of privacy
  • Obfuscation
  • Methods of privacy­preserving anonymization
  • Geo­credibility, trust and expertise
  • The role of geoprivacy in policy decisions
  • Location Based Services
  • Online Geosocial Networks
  • Geofencing
  • Privacy implications of Big Data
  • Sample, training and test datasets
  • Privacy in near­field communication
  • Abstraction of geo data for privacy preservation
  • Analysis of anonymized datasets
  • Privacy implications of public displays and signage
  • Gamification and geogames

Workshop format

The workshop will be kicked off with an invited keynote (to be announced), followed by presentations of full papers (30 minutes) and extended abstracts (20 minutes). Each session will include plenty of time for questions and discussions to enable an interactive workshop. The afternoon will be dedicated to small breakout groups to work on focused topics that emerge from the presentations in the morning sessions. Such a highly interactive workshop format has great potential to spark a significant number of new ideas for research and future collaborations in the realm of GeoPrivacy.


We call for full papers (up to 8 pages) and short papers presenting work in progress and raising discussion points for the workshop (up to 4 pages). Submissions must be original and must not be under review elsewhere. Papers must be formatted using the ACM camera-ready templates available at All papers must be submitted in PDF format via the online system (the submission link will be added to the website soon).

Acceptance will be based on relevance to the workshop, technical quality, originality, and potential impact, as well as clarity of presentation. All submitted papers will be reviewed by at least 3 referees.

The proceedings of the workshop will appear in the ACM Digital Library. One author per accepted paper is required to register for the workshop and the conference, as well as present the accepted submission to ensure inclusion in the workshop proceedings.

Important dates

  • Paper submission deadline: August 29, 2014
  • Author notification: September 19, 2014
  • Camera­ready papers due: October 10, 2014
  • Workshop date: November 4, 2014


Program committee

  • Benjamin Adams, Center for eResearch, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Sen Xu Alex, Twitter, San Francisco, USA
  • Matt Duckham, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Carson Farmer, Hunter College, City University of New York
  • Gabriel Ghinita, University of Massachusetts at Boston, USA
  • Tanzima Hashem, BUET University, Bangladesh
  • Peter Kiefer, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Marc­ Olivier Killijian, LAAS, Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France
  • Edzer Pebesma, Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster, Germany
  • Albert Remke, 52°North, Germany
  • Colin Robertson, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada
  • Erik Wilde, UC Berkeley, USA
  • John Wilson, University of Southern California, USA