20 years of quantitative geographical thinking


In 1996, Denise Pumain set up the online journal Cybergeo . When she first proposed this the web was in its infancy and I remember thinking that this was a very high-risk proposal in a world where the notion that we might communicate our ideas across wide-area networks was still a novelty. In 1986, email was virtually unheard of apart from a few geeks like ourselves who used computers in universities that were beginning to be networked to each other as well as connecting to the rest of the world through arcane but perfectly workable yet slow email systems such as BitNet ……. Fast forward 20 years and on 26 May 2016 (see http://cybergeo2016.sciencesconf.org/), I found myself in Paris with Helen Couclelis at the 20th anniversary of Cybergeo with both of us delivering celebratory speeches on the fact that not only had the journal survived for two decades but it had flourished as well. Only in hindsight can we say that it was a model for many other journals and in one very positive sense, it was in the vanguard of traditional hard copy journals which have fast moved during this time to the Cybergeo model …..

The world of publishing is changing dramatically – read my editorial in Environment and Planning B which covers the full impact of the online world and how we might communicate our ideas in the future.


Modelling World 2016: Complexity in Land Use Transport Models


Giving a paper on Thursday 2nd June in London at Modelling World. Talking about Complexity in Land Use Transport Interaction (LUTI) Modelling, outlining very briefly our QUANT model for the Future Cities Catapult. This model is designed to simulate employment population and the interactions between and the constraints imposed on development for all of England and Wales at the scale of middle layer super output areas. There are 7201 such areas in E&W so to the scale is pretty typical of LUTI models. The model is web-based meaning that you can run it from anywhere and it is designed for anyone in E&W to explore the impact of changes in employment and population, networks time and costs and also land use constraints. Why only E&W? Well we are working in getting Scotland into it but the data is a little different when it comes to the journey to work and related census geographies.

It is early days as yet and we are still very much in the experimental stage of building this – it is in fact a proof of concept – to show we can build tools that are applicable to everywhere – and so far there are very few models like this one. We are stretching the state of the art in that the model, the data and the user(s) all interact with each other across servers and clients. The data and storage and speed implications of all this are pretty immense. More on this once we develop it further. I will post the talk after I have written it but before the session on June 2nd at 16-30pm at the Oval. Drill down for the content of the meeting etc. And here for my PDF of the talk which is hard to see in the meeting

Cities as Flows in a Circular Economy


Podcast: Cities as flows in a circular economy

Wrote a chapter in the new book from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation which I blogged about earlier – click here for details. But each of the chapters is accompanied by a podcast where Colin Webster asks the authors about their contributions. Here is mine – click on image above or here to listen.