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Geo-Social Lab

Connecting Nodes to Knowledge



Geo-Social Lab is home to research projects aimed at analyzing and understanding massive and complex geo-social networks and geospatial processes that drive our economy, society, and the environment.

We develop innovative computational algorithms and geovisualization techniques to help address real-world problems in diverse areas and topics such as human mobility and migration, demography, kinship networks, public discourse and information diffusion, hazards and disasters, city planning, transportation, global trade and commodity flows, etc.

News

September, 2022

Super excited to announce NSF funding ($477,734) of our project on population-scale kinship networks and migration!

Public abstract


August, 2022

Welcome to Fall 2022 and our new Ph.D. Student, Maryam Torkashvand!


July, 2022

Adelina Chau and Jonathan Fan, our high school interns, joined our lab this summer to participate in the Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP) at the University of Iowa.

Click for Adelina's research poster!

Click for Jonathan's research poster!


June, 2022

Our paper "Recreating Human Mobility Patterns Through the Lens of Social Media: Using Twitter to Model the Social Ecology of Crime" has been published in Crime & Delinquency.Preprint available


May, 2022

Very excited to collaborate with Jacob Oleson (Biostatistics) on National Cancer Institute (NCI) funded project ($1,188,804), "Development of Small Area Interactive Risk Maps for Cancer Control Efforts".

Public abstract


April, 2022

Hoeyun Kwon won the prestigious Doctoral Scholarship Award of 2022 by the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS)! Congrats Hoeyun!


March, 2022

Hoeyun Kwon won the second place in GIS Specialty Group Student Honors Paper Competition at AAG 2022! Congrats Hoeyun!


February, 2022

Our paper "Measuring and mapping long-term changes in migration flows using population-scale family tree data" have been featured on the cover of Cartography and Geographic Information Science!


January, 2022

Our papers "Measuring and mapping long-term changes in migration flows using population-scale family tree data" and "FlowMapper.org: A web-based framework for designing origin-destination flow maps" have been published in Cartography and Geographic Information Science and Journal of Maps!


December, 2021

Congrats for Hoeyun Kwon for successfully defending her dissertation proposal and becoming a Ph.D. candidate!


November, 2021

Our paper "Measuring and mapping long-term changes in migration flows using population-scale family tree data" has been accepted for publication in Cartography and Geographic Information Science!Preprint available


October, 2021

Our paper "FlowMapper.org: A web-based framework for designing origin-destination flow maps" has been accepted for publication in Journal of Maps! Check Flowmapper! Check out the preprint!


September, 2021

Hoeyun Kwon presented our research on the relationship between human mobility and COVID-19 prevalence at GIScience 2021 workshop on Advancing Movement Data Science (AMD’21). Click for Hoeyun's blog post!

Geng Tian updates us on how he is doing in China, working on a very cool project - unmanned vehicles delivering food! Click for Geng's blog post!


August, 2021

Kaitlyn Hom and Mark Rifkin, both senior high school students, joined our lab this summer to participate in the Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP) at the University of Iowa.

Click for Kaitlyn's blog post!

Click for Mark's blog post!


Angelina Evans worked as an intern in the US Department of Energy's prestigious Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program in the Geospatial Science and Human Security Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Click for Angelina's blog post!

Team

Dr. Caglar Koylu

Assistant Professor

Geographical and Sustainability Sciences

University of Iowa

Caglar Koylu

Director

Hoeyun Kwon

Ph.D. in Geography / GIScience

Hoeyun Kwon

Ph.D. Candidate

Maryam Torkashvand

Ph.D. in Geography / GIScience

Maryam Torkashvand

Ph.D. Student

Angelina Evans

B.S. in Geography / Minor in Computer Science

Angelina Evans

B.S. Student

Alice Kasakoff, Ph.D.

Collaborator

Alice Kasakoff, Ph.D.

Collaborator

Beichen Tian

Collaborator

Beichen Tian

Collaborator

Geng Tian

M.A. in Geography / GIScience

Geng Tian

Alumni

Bin Zhang

B.S. in Geography / Geographic Information Science

Bin Zhang

Alumni

Ryan Larson

B.S. in Informatics

Ryan Larson

Alumni

Adelina Chau

High School Student

Adelina Chau

SSTP Student

Jonathan Fan

High School Student

Jonathan Fan

SSTP Student

Kaitlyn Hom

High School Student

Kaitlyn Hom

SSTP Student

Mark Rifkin

High School Student

Mark Rifkin

SSTP Student

Research


FlowMapper.org: A web‐based framework for designing origin‐destination flow maps
Flow density estimation for multi-scale flow mapping and generalization
Flow density estimation for multi-scale flow mapping and generalization
Understanding how people perceive and use flow maps
Network measures to calculate vulnerability in spatial networks
Smoothing spatial networks to identify locational characteristics
Geo-social network modeling for understanding interpersonal online communication patterns
Reciprocal mention network on Twitter
Comparing population pyramids: Rootsweb family trees vs 1880 Census
Representativeness of Rootsweb family trees for population demographics
Measuring and visualizing connectedness from family trees
Extracting family migration from population-scale family trees
CarSenToGram: Geovisual analytics for understanding the evolution of public discourse and sentiment
CarSenToGram: Geovisual analytics for understanding the evolution of public discourse and sentiment
Geovisual analytics to track evolution of topics on Twitter
Flow visual analytics for evaluating the efficiency of health care systems
Geovisual analytics for environmental decision-making
Deep learning for disaster management
Deep learning for disaster management
Big social media data analytics for disaster management
Image object detection and kernel density estimation for detecting human activity patterns
Image object detection and kernel density estimation for detecting human activity patterns


Spatial interactions are the movements of tangible and intangible phenomena such as people, goods, vehicles and information between locations. Spatial interactions form location-to-location networks. Analysis of spatial interaction networks is critical for diverse domains such as migration, epidemics, health care, transportation, and economy. Flow maps are commonly used to visualize spatial interactions and facilitate the understanding of patterns of spatial flows and the corresponding spatial context.

Understand the spatial, temporal and relational (network) aspects of dynamic and geographically-embedded social networks. A dynamic geo-social network evolves (changes) over space and time as the actors of the network move (migrate), new actors are added or removed, and relationships between the actors develop and change over time.

Support a human-centered process for pattern searching and knowledge construction through geovisual analytics and usability evaluation.

Provide a data-driven understanding of the complex system of human society and the physical environment through geographic knowledge discovery enabled by the state of the art machine learning and deep learning methods and their applications in spatial data science

Big data analytics for social media and networking applications, e.g., geospatial semantics, natural language processing, topic modeling, sentiment analysis, machine learning and deep learning methods.

Applications and Funding

We offer a diverse set of degrees and research experiences for graduate, undergraduate and high school students through the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Informatics (IGPI), and the Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP) at the University of Iowa.

  1. Geography graduate degrees are classified as STEM with the CIP code 45.0702 (Cartography and Geographic Information Systems).APPLY TO GEOGRAPHY
  2. For students from Computer Science and other related disciplinary background, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics (IGPI)is a great fit.APPLY TO INFORMATICS
  3. For undergraduate students we offer a 5-year U2G Programwith a B.S. Geography/GIScience and M.S. degree in Informatics.
  4. For high school students we offera multi-week residential summer research program.

Graduate teaching and research fellowships, and assistantships are available for competitive students. Before applying, please contact Caglar Koyluwith your brief research interests and CV attached. Competitive students will be invited for a Skype interview. The interview starts with a 6 minute, 40 second, a Pecha Kucha style presentation. Your presentation should focus on your current work, future research goals and interests, and how those intersect with the Lab's research agenda.


We are always looking for MS / PhD or PhD students with a variety of research interests such as:


  • Human mobility and migration
  • Population-scale family trees and other spatial-social networks
  • Spatial interaction analysis and visualization (e.g., network measures, spatial community detection, spatial interaction modeling and diffusion models, flow mapping and clustering
  • Spatial data mining (e.g., clustering, association rule mining, machine learning and deep learning)
  • Geovisual analytics and human computer interaction (e.g., interactive cartography, flow mapping, coordinated views, and utility and usability evaluation)
  • Big data analytics for social media and networking applications (e.g., geospatial semantics, natural language processing, topic modeling and sentiment analysis)
  • Other application areas such as social media analytics, patient mobility, human communication, movement and pass networks in sports (e.g., soccer, basketball), and social sensing for disaster response, recovery and resilience

In addition to the above research interests, students should have, or be interested in developing, ability in:

  • Geospatial programming in Java and/or Python
  • Web-based GIS and Geovisualization: JavaScript, D3, React, etc.
  • Statistical computing in R
  • Interactive computing using Jupyter andObservableNotebooks
  • GIS Software such as ArcGIS or QGIS
  • Database management systems such as PostgreSQL/PostGIS
  • High performance computing, Spark, Hadoop and big data storage and management systems (MongoDB)

Check outFlowMapper