I am a GIScientist with a strong methodological emphasis in the areas of spatial data analysis, spatial econometrics, regional modeling and geocomputation. My substantive interests run from regional economic inequality, growth and convergence, to spatial criminology, urban dynamics, segregation and epidemiology. I have long been interested in the development, use, and impact of open source for spatial analysis.
National Science Foundation
Originally developed by geographers in the mid-1960s, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have flourished since that time. In the foreseeable future, GIS software will continue to play essential roles for breaking through scientific challenges in numerous fields and improving decision-making practices with broad societal impacts. However, fulfilling such roles is increasingly dependent on the ability to handle very large spatiotemporal data sets and complex analysis software based on synthesizing computational and spatial thinking enabled by cyberinfrastructure, which conventional GIS-based software approaches do not provide.
This project will establish CyberGIS as a fundamentally new software framework comprising a seamless integration of cyberinfrastructure, GIS, and spatial analysis/modeling capabilities. Specifically, the project will:
- Engage a multidisciplinary community through a participatory approach in evolving CyberGIS software requirements;
- Integrate and sustain a core set of composable, interoperable, manageable, and reusable CyberGIS software elements based on community-driven and open source strategies;
- Empower high-performance and scalable CyberGIS by exploiting spatial characteristics of data and analytical operations for achieving unprecedented capabilities for geospatial knowledge discovery;
- Enhance an online geospatial problem solving environment to allow for the contribution, sharing, and learning of CyberGIS software by numerous users, which fosters the development of education, outreach, and training programs crosscutting multiple disciplines;
- Deploy and test CyberGIS software by linking with national and international cyberinfrastructure to achieve scalability to significant sizes of geospatial problems, cyberinfrastructure resources, and user communities; and
- Evaluate and improve the CyberGIS framework through domain science applications and vibrant partnerships to gain better understanding of the complexity of coupled human-natural systems.
- The CyberGIS software framework will shift the current paradigm of GIS and associated spatial analysis/modeling software to create scalable and sustainable software ecosystems while achieving groundbreaking scientific advances in understanding coupled human-natural systems that would be impossible otherwise. These advances will, for example, dramatically advance the understanding of disaster preparedness and response and impacts of global climate change. This framework will empower high-performance and collaborative geospatial problem solving and serve as a key driver for the interoperability of international cyberinfrastructure based on broad engagement of user communities related to GIS for both research and education purposes.
The project will establish an industrial partnership with the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), collaborations with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Map Project, and international partnerships with several institutions in Australia, China, and the United Kingdom to effectively extend the benefits to the nation and society in significant ways.
National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
This project builds upon the extensive expertise and proven track record of the research team at ASU’s GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation to develop a flexible methodological framework, integrating new techniques for geospatial visual analytics and spatial econometrics with state of the art geocomputation technologies to yield the basis for an enhanced decision support system for criminal justice interventions. In addition to methodological efforts, the research will yield an open source and cross-platform modular software toolbox that will be delivered through a multitude of user interfaces. These include traditional free standing desktop software, toolbox extensions to commercial GIS, web services and integration into the immersive virtual reality environment embedded in ASU’s Decision Theater.
The research consists of a three-phase project over three years (2010-12), with each phase yielding a well-defined set of deliverables, progressing from exploratory analysis to explanatory modeling and culminating with the integration of these models into a simulation environment at the core of a geospatial decision support system. In each phase, progress is made along three dimensions of inquiry: (i) refinement and development of new methods of visual analytics and geospatial data analysis to visualize, interpret and simulate criminal events; ii(ii) incorporation of state of the art methods into user friendly and high performance open source software tools; (iii) application of the methods and tools in carefully designed case studies, in close cooperation with our Police partners. Methodological contributions will be made to the fields of Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), Spatial Econometrics and Spatial Decision Support Systems, and include the extension of space-time exploratory analysis and econometrics and the incorporation of explicit network structures.
The software tools aspect of the project builds upon the distinguished tradition of tools developed by Anselin and Rey, which includes SpaceStat, GeoDa and STARS. The new software is incorporated into the modular, open source and cross platform PySAL library, which allows for delivery of functionality through different user interfaces. To ensure rapid dissemination of new findings and tools to the practice of policing, empirical case studies are carried out in close collaboration with distinguished centers of crime analysis in the Southwest.
National Science Foundation
Sexual assault is a serious problem, with long term social and psychological impacts. Nationally visible cases of sex offenders who recidivated after release into the community have prompted state and federal legislators and local communities to focus on the public safety risk posed by offenders and the most appropriate means of dealing with this unique population. With recidivism rates for convicted offenders around 15% in the U.S., and substantially higher for the more violent and deviant, the risk faced by communities is real. The monitoring and management of convicted sex offenders is therefore a major policy consideration in the United States. Passed in 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act mandated that U.S. states register individuals convicted of sex crimes against children. Additional modifications, including the recent Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (2006), require that agencies monitor the whereabouts of convicted offenders for at least fifteen years, and up to a lifetime. Local jurisdictions have also extended these federally mandated requirements for convicted offenders with increasingly punitive ordinances that ban offenders from living within a specified distance of locations where children congregate, like schools and playgrounds, and imposing dispersion and saturation statutes that limit the number of offenders living within a community or local area.
This research will develop a spatial analytical framework and toolbox for addressing convicted sex offender residency issues, facilitating access to a combination of new and existing exploratory and confirmatory statistical methods as well as new and existing spatial optimization models for analyzing impacts and evaluating/developing public policy associated with the management of convicted sex offenders.