Thursday, 14 February 2013

Maps and Blogs - Living Streets KX local group at TSGIS 15 Feb

Maps and Blogs 15 Feb for London Trainees and Students of GIS

Using the Web to enable Community activism

I spoke about the simple geographical information systems the local group uses, like maps and blogs. Invited via Adam Edwards, UCL and Neighbourhood Forum King's Cross

Participatory Design - Hanzl 2007:300 (Fig 4) Net participation – classification. after (Hudson-Smith et al., 2002) from "Information technology as a tool for public participation in urban planning: a review of experiments and potentials" in the Journal, "Design Studies" Volume 28, Issue 3, May 2007, Pages 289–307 

Link to this blog 

Our Kings Cross based local volunteer group uses simple online geographical information systems like maps and blogs. I am an architect and urbanist and interested in how GIS is used for participation in the community by non-experts.

Livings Streets Kings Cross used a google map to discuss alternative routes to the towpath for walking and cycling in King's Cross. Urban 'permeability' for commuting pedestrians and cyclists is relevant to the local transport planners working on regeneration and the gyratory removal. The Neighbourhood Forum in the area is closely interested (how I met Adam) and the community debates this, and permeability of the area in light of the new Google HQ, through the hyperlocal news site Kings Cross Environment and facebook.

Link to Living Street KX local group google map of towpath
working with Canal Trust developing alternative cycle routes and bridge (#googlebridgeKX)

Link to Fix my Transport Kings Cross          
(see also Fix My Street                               

Spacehive KX                                             

King's Cross Environment                           


February 15th 2013 5:15pm K4U.12 King's College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS

This session will focus on technology and applications of GIS in an urban context and "big data" and will be comprised of five speakers giving 15 minute presentations.  This will be followed by a 15 minute panel Q+A session.  

Background to the session


Matt Leach, Community Insight Democratising Data and Mapping in the Housing sector
Matt will be speaking about and demonstrating and its recently launched sister product, and outlining ambitious plans to develop the platform further during 2013.

Roger Beecham, City University
Using visual analytics to explore gendered cycling behaviours within a large urban bike share scheme
Analysing over 10 million journeys made by 135,000 customers, Roger’s talk will explore differences between men’s and women’s usage of London’s Cycle Hire Scheme. He will demonstrate how, through depicting customers’ journeys spatially and at various temporal resolutions, relatively sophisticated insights into gender and cycle behaviour can be inferred.

Sue Grimmond, King's College London
Analysis of Surface Characteristics to Understand Urban Climate
This talk will showcase the use of vegetation characteristics in GIS data for London. Using LIDAR (NERC/ARSF and others) flights over London vegetation characteristics have been determined.  These data are then used with other derived surface characteristics to model processes at three spatial scales in London – city wide, local scale (around Strand Campus) and micro-scale. Global and London models of anthropogenic heat flux will also be briefly shown.
KCL contributors to this work include former Post-doc Dr Fredrik Lindberg (now Goteborg Univ. Sweden), Dr Thomas Loridan (now RMS), Simone Kotthaus (PhD student, KCL), and Lucy Allen (MSc EMMM, now RGS/IBG).

Jonathan Reades, King's College London
Pulse of the City: what large behavioural data sets can tell us about cities
Jon will be providing a brief overview of his work with telecommunications and transport providers, and highlighting some of the ways in which this can be applied to the study of transport and city planning.

Greg Cowan, Living Streets
Using the Web to enable Community activism
Greg will be speaking about the simple geographical information systems the local group uses, like maps and blogs.


Dear Adam, 

It was me you met on Saturday at the Neighbourhood Forum Launch, and I/we would be delighted to talk with your GIS Student and Trainee Group about how we use (fairly non-technical) geographical information systems to help develop our approach to living streets. (eg. see footer)

Besides walking, talking and a bit of guerilla gardening, we work mostly through simple public online mapping, geotagging and blogging and social networking tools, as we are not GIS 'experts'.

regards, Greg Cowan
King 's Cross Living Streets group chair

I met one of your chaps at my local Neighbourhood Forum (Kings Cross) and would be interested to know if you would be able to send a speaker to talk about your work to our GIS Student and Trainee group? We would be interested in particular in the way you use GIS to help develop your approach to living streets as well as raise awareness of their use and function in London.

Our group is a network of students and graduates from nine London universities, as well as allied groups in land survey and geomatics. Our website is and we are also on Facebook.

We have approached several other organisations such as Groundwork, and we recently hosted the Canals and Rivers Trust. Perhaps it would be interesting to combine the talks and create a bit of a panel discussion?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Adam Edwards

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