Wen Ye received the 2022 University HILLDALE FELLOWSHIP

Please join us congratulating our junior student Wen (Wendy) Ye, who is currently an undergraduate triple-majoring in computer science, data science, and statistics as well as a research assistant in the GeoDS Lab under Prof. Song Gao’s mentorship, just got the UW-Madison “Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship” and will be awarded  in the 2022 Chancellor’s Undergraduate Awards Ceremony! 

The awarded research project is: Understanding spatial inequality to health care access in Wisconsin through deep learning-based network analysis.

In 2019, our GeoDS Lab’s alumnus Timothy Prestby (who is currently a PhD student at PSU Geography) also got this university fellowship under Prof. Gao’s mentorship.

Other Previous Hilldale Fellows at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

https://awards.advising.wisc.edu/campus-wide-award-recipients/test-hilldale-fellows/

Prof. Gao joins the Editorial Board of Transactions in GIS

Recently, Prof. Song Gao is invited to join the Editorial Board of Transactions in GIS, which is a key international journal for publishing geographic information systems/science related research.

Aims and Scope

Transactions in GIS is an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research articles, review articles, and short technical notes on the latest advances and best practices in the spatial sciences. The spatial sciences include all of the different ways in which geography may be used to organize, represent, store, analyze, model and visualize information. The submission of manuscripts that focus on one or more of the following topics among others – is strongly encouraged:

  • GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing and related geospatial technologies;
  • geospatial data acquisition and sensing; maps and spatial reasoning;
  • spatial data infrastructures; standardization and interoperability;
  • spatial data structures and databases; geocomputation;
  • spatiotemporal analysis, integration and modeling;
  • spatial data quality and uncertainty;
  • GIS education and certification; GIS and society;
  • location privacy;
  • and desktop, mobile and Web-based spatially-enabled applications and services.

Keywords

Geographic Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining; Geographic Information Retrieval; Geosensor Networks; Geosimulation; Geospatial Data Integration; Geospatial Semantic Web; Geovisualization; Geographic Information Science; Geographic Information Systems; GIS Architectures and Middleware; GIS and Society; GIS Standardization and Interoperability; GIS&T Education; Global Positioning Systems; Local, Enterprise, Mobile and Web Applications; Location-Based Services; Location Privacy, Data Sharing and Security Maps and Map Services; Ontologies and taxonomies; Public Participation; GIS Remote Sensing; Spatial Analysis; Spatial Cognition and Reasoning; Spatial Data Infrastructures; Spatial Data Quality and Uncertainty; Spatial Databases, Data Structures and Algorithms; Spatial Decision Support Systems; Spatial Dynamics; Spatial Modeling; Spatial Networks; Spatial Thinking; Spatiotemporal Analysis and Modeling; The Spatial Sciences

GeoDS members in 2022 AAG Annual Meeting

Here are a set of sessions in which the GeoDS members will make presentations during the American Association of Geographers (AAG) 2022 Annual Meeting. The time is in the US East Time Zone.

Why geoprivacy matters:An international perspective

Day: 2/26/2022
Start Time: 5:20 PM
End Time: 6:40 PM

Panelist : Song Gao https://aag-annualmeeting.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/19/sessiongallery/3154

Teaching and Research with ArcGIS: Best Practices, Challenges and Opportunities

Day: 2/27/2022
Start Time: 11:20 AM
End Time: 12:40 PM

PanelistSong Gao https://aag-annualmeeting.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/19/sessiongallery/5101

Is Artificial Intelligence good for Geography?

Day: 2/27/2022
Start Time: 2:00 PM
End Time: 3:20 PM

PanelistSong Gao https://aag-annualmeeting.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/19/sessiongallery/3749

Geospatial Health Symposium #10: Access and Utilization of Health Care Services 2

Day: 2/27/2022
Start Time: 3:40 PM
End Time: 5:00 PM

Yunlei LiangSpatially-Constrained Community Detection for Health Professional Shortage Area Delineation with Human Mobility Data 

AAG 2022 Symposium on Data-Intensive Geospatial Understanding in the Era of AI and CyberGIS: CyberGIS-enabled spatial epidemiology

Day: 2/27/2022
Start Time: 3:40 PM
End Time: 5:00 PM

Panelist: Song Gao https://aag-annualmeeting.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/19/sessiongallery/3391

Role of GIS in planning smart and resilient cities III

Day: 3/1/2022
Start Time: 11:20 AM
End Time: 12:40 PM

Yuhan JiA Data-driven Method for Identifying Potential Zones for Airport Shuttle Bus Services 

AAG 2022 Symposium on Data-Intensive Geospatial Understanding in the Era of AI and CyberGIS: UCGIS GeoAI & CyberGIS Research Initiative- GeoAI and CyberGIS for Advancing Spatial Decision Making

Day: 3/1/2022
Start Time: 11:20 AM
End Time: 12:40 PM

Song Gao: University of WisconsinReflections on the Development of Spatially Explicit Methods for GeoAI 

AAG 2022 Symposium on Data-Intensive Geospatial Understanding in the Era of AI and CyberGIS: Urban Visual Intelligence

Day: 3/1/2022
Start Time: 2:00 PM
End Time: 3:20 PM

Jacob KrusePlaces for play: Understanding human perception of playability in cities using street view images and deep learning 

Yuhao Kang: University of Wisconsin-MadisonHuman settlement value assessment from a place perspective: Considering human dynamics and perceptions in house price modeling 

AAG 2022 Symposium on Data-Intensive Geospatial Understanding in the Era of AI and CyberGIS: GeoAI for Social Sensing

Day: 3/1/2022
Start Time: 3:40 PM
End Time: 5:00 PM

Jinmeng Rao: University of Wisconsin – MadisonCATS: Conditional Adversarial Trajectory Simulation for Privacy-Preserved Data Publication 

A review of location encoding for GeoAI published on IJGIS

Gengchen Mai, Krzysztof Janowicz, Yingjie Hu, Song Gao, Bo Yan, Rui Zhu, Ling Cai & Ni Lao (2022): A review of location encoding for GeoAI: methods and applications. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2021.2004602

Abstract: A common need for artificial intelligence models in the broader geoscience is to encode various types of spatial data, such as points, polylines, polygons, graphs, or rasters, in a hidden embedding space so that they can be readily incorporated into deep learning models. One fundamental step is to encode a single point location into an embedding space, such that this embedding is learning-friendly for downstream machine learning models. We call this process location encoding. However, there lacks a systematic review on location encoding, its potential applications, and key challenges that need to be addressed. This paper aims to fill this gap. We first provide a formal definition of location encoding, and discuss the necessity of it for GeoAI research. Next, we provide a comprehensive survey about the current landscape of location encoding research. We classify location encoding models into different categories based on their inputs and encoding methods, and compare them based on whether they are parametric, multi-scale, distance preserving, and direction aware. We demonstrate that existing location encoders can be unified under one formulation framework. We also discuss the application of location encoding. Finally, we point out several challenges that need to be solved in the future.

Spatial Data Science Symposium 2021

The Center for Spatial Studies (spatial@ucsb) at the University of California, Santa Barbara hosts the 2nd Spatial Data Science Symposium virtually this year with a focus on “Spatial and Temporal Thinking in Data-Driven Methods.”

The symposium aims to bring together researchers from both academia and industry to discuss experiences, insights, methodologies, and applications, taking spatial and temporal knowledge into account while addressing their domain-specific problems.

Professor Song Gao joins as one of the speakers for the following panel discussion sessions:

Spatial Data Scientist Career Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion: From Analysis to Action: Engaging through Spatial Data Science Storytelling

AAG Webinar on Ethical Issues of Using Geospatial Data in Health Research

Webinar: Ethical Issues of Using Geospatial Data in Health Research or Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
Date and Time: Thursday, December 2, 2021 9:00 am – 11:00 am U.S. Eastern Time

Registration: https://aag-geoethics-series.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/10/sessiongallery/200

This conversation is co-organized by AAG and the Institute of Space and Earth Information Science (ISEIS), at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). During this webinar you will first hear presentations from speakers who are longtime scholars in the field of health geography. Presentations from academic speakers will set the stage for a discussion with panelists who are non-academic stakeholders on this topic in and outside the U.S.

Advances in geospatial technologies and the availability of geospatial big data have enabled researchers to analyze and visualize geospatial data in great detail. Geospatial methods are now widely used to uncover the complex patterns of diverse social phenomena, such as human mobility and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, using or mapping individual-level confidential geospatial data (e.g., the locations of people’s residences and activities) involves certain risk of disclosure and privacy violation. Such risk of geoprivacy violation has recently become a widespread concern as many COVID-19 control measures (e.g., digital contact tracing; self-quarantine methods; and disclosure of location visited by infected persons) used by governments or public health agencies collected individual-level geospatial data. These COVID-19 control measures pose a particularly serious geoprivacy threat because recent advances in geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) and high-performance computing may significantly increase the accuracy of spatial reverse engineering (e.g., by linking high-resolution geospatial data with other data such as census or survey data to discover the identity of specific individuals). On the other hand, false inference, such as false positives from facial recognition for example, can result in big consequences.

This webinar will focus on ethical issues of using geospatial data analytics in health research and practices, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The presentations will cover a wide range of topics, including uncertainties in analyzing relationships between disease spread and geographic environment, geoprivacy concerns for different COVID-19 control measures (e.g., digital contact tracing), addressing people’s concerns for geoprivacy in times of pandemics, IRB issues in health research during COVID-19, legal issues arose and policy implications of using individual-level confidential geospatial for controlling the spread of pandemics. Questions to be explored include: How can researchers protect people’s geoprivacy when using individual-level geospatial data to gain insights into the dynamics and patterns of infectious diseases? What disease control measures have higher risk of geoprivacy violation, which may significantly affect people’s acceptance of these measures and undermine their effectiveness in controlling the spread of COVID-19 or future pandemics? How can public health authorities balance the need for disease control and individual geoprivacy protection? What are the legal and technical issues in data sharing? How to minimize the unintended negative consequences such as the stigmatization of and discrimination against infected persons as a result of geoprivacy breaches or location disclosure?

Prof. Gao presents at the GIScience Research UK International Seminar Series

Beginning in 2021, GISRUK launched a series of international seminars celebrating innovation in Geographical Information Science, Chaired by Dr. Peter Mooney.

Dr. Song Gao was invited to give a seminar titled “GeoAI for Human Mobility Analytics and Location Privacy Protection” on 3rd November 2021.

Geographical Information Science Research UK (GISRUK) is the largest academic conference in Geographic Information Science in the UK. For the last 30 years, GISRUK has attracted international researchers and practitioners in GIS and related fields, including geography, data science, urban planning and computer science, to share and discuss the latest advances in spatial computing and analysis. The event in 2022 will be the 30th annual GISRUK conference. The conference will be held on the 5th – 8th April 2022 and hosted by the Geographic Data Science Lab and Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool. We look forward to welcoming you in person to the conference next year.

Prof. Gao joins the new NSF funded AI Institute: ICICLE

Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the establishment of 11 new NSF National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes. Each institute will receive $20 million for a total $220 million investment by NSF. Building off of seven institutes funded in 2020, the new program is meant to broaden access to AI to solve complex societal problems.

Prof. Song Gao joins the Institute for Intelligent Cyberinfrastructure with Computational Learning in the Environment (ICICLE).

Led by The Ohio State University, ICICLE will build the next generation of Cyberinfrastructure to render Artificial Intelligence (AI) more accessible to everyone and drive its further democratization in the larger society.

ICICLE will build and prove its system around three use-inspired science application domains: smart foodsheds, digital agriculture, and animal ecology. Analogous to watersheds, foodsheds define the geographical and human elements that affect how, when and where food is grown and consumed. Digital agriculture seeks to use technology to improve the yield and efficiency of crops, while animal ecology focuses on the roles of animals in agriculture and the environment.

More information on: https://icicle.ai/

Two COVID-19 research papers published in PNAS

  1. Xiao Hou, Song Gao*, Qin Li*, Yuhao Kang, Nan Chen, Kaiping Chen, Jinmeng Rao, Jordan S. Ellenberg, Jonathan A. Patz (2021) Intracounty modeling of COVID-19 infection with human mobility: Assessing spatial heterogeneity with business traffic, age, and race. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. June 15, 2021, 118 (24) e2020524118; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2020524118

Abstract:

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat presenting health, economic, and social challenges that continue to escalate. Meta-population epidemic modeling studies in the susceptible–exposed–infectious–removed (SEIR) style have played important roles in informing public health policy making to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These models typically rely on a key assumption on the homogeneity of the population. This assumption certainly cannot be expected to hold true in real situations; various geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural environments affect the behaviors that drive the spread of COVID-19 in different communities. What’s more, variation of intracounty environments creates spatial heterogeneity of transmission in different regions (e.g., varying peak infection timing). To address this issue, we develop a human mobility flow-augmented stochastic SEIR-style epidemic modeling framework with the ability to distinguish different regions and their corresponding behaviors. This modeling framework is then combined with data assimilation and machine learning techniques to reconstruct the historical growth trajectories of COVID-19 confirmed cases in two counties in Wisconsin. The associations between the spread of COVID-19 and business foot traffic, race and ethnicity, and age structure are then investigated. The results reveal that, in a college town (Dane County), the most important heterogeneity is age structure, while, in a large city area (Milwaukee County), racial and ethnic heterogeneity becomes more apparent. Scenario studies further indicate a strong response of the spread rate to various reopening policies, which suggests that policy makers may need to take these heterogeneities into account very carefully when designing policies for mitigating the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and reopening.

2. Xiaoyi Han, Yilan Xu, Linlin Fan, Yi Huang, Minhong Xu, Song Gao. (2021) Quantifying COVID-19 importation risk in a dynamic network of domestic cities and international countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. August 3, 2021, 118 (31) e2100201118; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2100201118

Abstract:

Since its outbreak in December 2019, the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has spread to 191 countries and caused millions of deaths. Many countries have experienced multiple epidemic waves and faced containment pressures from both domestic and international transmission. In this study, we conduct a multiscale geographic analysis of the spread of COVID-19 in a policy-influenced dynamic network to quantify COVID-19 importation risk under different policy scenarios using evidence from China. Our spatial dynamic panel data (SDPD) model explicitly distinguishes the effects of travel flows from the effects of transmissibility within cities, across cities, and across national borders. We find that within-city transmission was the dominant transmission mechanism in China at the beginning of the outbreak and that all domestic transmission mechanisms were muted or significantly weakened before importation posed a threat. We identify effective containment policies by matching the change points of domestic and importation transmissibility parameters to the timing of various interventions. Our simulations suggest that importation risk is limited when domestic transmission is under control, but that cumulative cases would have been almost 13 times higher if domestic transmissibility had resurged to its precontainment level after importation and 32 times higher if domestic transmissibility had remained at its precontainment level since the outbreak. Our findings provide practical insights into infectious disease containment and call for collaborative and coordinated global suppression efforts.

Prof. Gao joins the Editorial Board of CaGIS and Scientific Reports

Recently, Prof. Gao was invited to serve on the Editorial Board for the following two journals:

Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CaGIS) is the official publication of the Cartography and Geographic Information Society. The Society supports research, education, and practices that improve the understanding, creation, analysis, and use of maps and geographic information. The CaGIS journal implements the objectives of the Society by publishing authoritative peer-reviewed articles that report on innovative research in cartography and geographic information science.

Scientific ReportsNature is an open access journal publishing original research from across all areas of the natural sciences.