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Finally a Post - An Update on Digital Urban

Firstly apologies, the blog has been sat on the sidelines waiting for a post while i have been in a whirlwind of a three weeks. The good news is the blog is back, in short, we have been in the process recently of securing grants, launching a new Masters of Research course here at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London and presenting current research to the British Science Festival and the associated press conference.

Press Conferences are everything you imagined with the various leading newspapers gathering round and shouting questions. Packing a dress worn by Annie Lennox at Nelson Mandela's Birthday Party, RFID tags and a short presentation based around the Tales of Things work we announced the concept of the Internet of Second Hand Things.

It was a fun event and we had some excellent coverage with the Financial Times, Sunday Times, Russia Channel One, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 amongst the highlights. Mixed into this were two grant bids, one with NESTA and the other for a UCL Enterprise Award. I'm please to say we won them both, opening the doors to work with the Imperial War Museum and Digital Humanities in UCL and continuing the work with the wider TOTeM group to set up TOTeM Labs.

While juggling press requests, conference presentations, grant short listings and interview boards we have welcomed 9 members to our new MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation - a Masters of Research differs from a traditional MSc as its less jumping through hoops to learn and more focused in becoming part of the research world. We purposely constructed the MRes to be the course we would like to take and as such it is an exciting mix of visualisation, coding, mapping, crowd sourcing, modelling and research methods. If you are thinking of taking a Masters, i would strongly suggest a MRes, it offers something different to everyone else with a MSc and of course sets you up for a PhD. 

Our email box is horribly behind, my office is a pile of papers and people keep saying i look knackered but its been great and the last three weeks have been about creating impact and hopefully securing research funds to document and share here on the blog via posts and tutorials. Currently i am on a train returning from a two day kick off meeting in  Southampton with the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) on another new grant 'TALISMAN'. Based around crowd sourcing techniques, Big Data and Xbox/Chrome/PC visualisations, TALISMAN runs for the next three years.

Rounding off, our CityDB (dashboard/database) work also starts this month, following on from the JISC funded GEMMA (Geographic Engine for Mass Mapping Applications) which previews in a few weeks time. It aims to provide new live feeds for Smart Cities, but above and beyond the normal traffic/air pollution data. At the moment i have a Geiger Counter on my desk waiting to be plugged in and a 3D Agent Based Modelling world to complete and port to the iPad. Its been a slightly off topic blog post for once but perhaps a small insight into the life of at least one part of the multi disciplinary research lab that is CASA.

Finally, you can  keep up to date with developments either via @digitalurban on Twitter or with the new Global Lab podcast, currently up to episode 6. If you would like to join us in CASA to do research based around spatial, cultural analysis and urban visualisation you can apply for our MRes or a PhD.

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