The Spatial Information Design Lab is now the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University. Visit our new site at c4sr.columbia.edu to find out about current projects and upcoming events. This site is an archive of work completed up to 2014.
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Posted on August 4, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

"Big Data" and "social media" are today's biggest buzzwords. But beyond their trendiness as topics, Big Data and social media also allow everyday people to share their voices and stories, to participate in ways to possibly improve their lives. Someone, however, needs to make sense of all of the information floating around--by organizing neatly and efficiently to help communities analyze patterns, discover problems, and act to find solutions.

This is one of the roles of the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), which translates data into beautiful and compelling maps to communicate statistical information.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/decoding-design/columbias-spatial-information-design-lab-helps-map-the-future/

Posted on August 1, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

Interpretive mapmaking in the United States has a spotty history. The low point, urban planners agree, came in the 1930s, when bureaucrats at the federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation produced maps of some 240 US cities showing each neighborhood’s average residential income. The maps were intended to help government officials implement a mortgage-relief program for distressed borrowers, but they turned out to be an ideal tool for those who wished to discriminate. Over the next few decades, private banks used the maps to justify their refusing mortgages to blacks in the poorest areas, on the basis that residents of these neighborhoods could be considered “high-risk.” Redlining, as the practice came to be called, was common in many US cities until the 1970s, when it was finally outlawed.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://magazine.columbia.edu/features/summer-2012/dot-matrix

Posted on July 29, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

TEDx Waterloo 2012 rolled out March 21st under the Dis-connected theme. The idea behind Dis-connected was recognizing the power of connectivity that we see in our daily lives, and yet the feeling of disconnection many of us feel as we neglect the things that matter most to us as individuals and communities. The presenters were asked how we reconnect; if and when we should disconnect; and how balance can be achieved between connection and disconnection.

Two particular speakers stood out to me as they talked about some of the ways we can move toward reconnecting the breach that has happened as a result of modern influences in our lives, effectively disconnecting us from what we need from our communities. Shannon Blake and Sarah Williams shared similar ideas about the vital relationship between individuals and the places they live, work and play.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.designbyhumphreys.com/tedx-waterloo-2012/#sthash.Lt9TfqJC.dpuf

Posted on July 2, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

Columbia University and Thomson Reuters today announced the launch of the Advanced Data Visualization Project (ADVP) based at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). The initiative, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, will facilitate research into data visualization and its implications for academia and industry in a world increasingly awash with data.

Visit the link below to find out more: 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/02/idUS122949+02-Jul-2012+HUG20120702

Posted on June 25, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

We live in a data-rich world. But to drive lasting social change, data must be transformed and communicated to influencers and decision-makers in compelling, new ways. In a daylong conference, Ford Foundation brings together leaders in design, social innovation, art and journalism to think creatively about digital storytelling and cutting-edge tools to visualize, map and create narratives that inspire action.

Posted on April 6, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

Social media are increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, from connecting with friends and sharing images to exploring cities through location-based applications. These new services have given us a different vantage point from which to understand, explore, navigate, and geographically record the places we live.

Sites such as Foursquare and Facebook allow us to spatially mark our explorations in the city, creating rich databases that hold digital imprints of our interactions. To analyze these traces, the Foursquare and Facebook Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) were used to access location-based data to determine where social media users broadcast that they are “Here Now”. Analysis of this geographic data exposed the psycho-geography and economic terrain of New York City’s social media users.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://flowingcity.com/visualization/we-are-here-now/

Posted on March 30, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

Addicted to checking your favorite site, like ArchDaily, for constant updates, or checking in with Facebook or Foursquare? Don’t worry – you’re not alone, and Columbia’s Spatial Information Design Lab can prove it.  In addition to sharing your whereabouts with friends, your geographic mark provides valuable insight in examining the psycho-geography and economic terrain of the city.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.archdaily.com/222024/here-now-spatial-information-design-lab-columbia-university/

Posted on March 30, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

The clean space of Studio X was a neat fit for Tuesday’s panel discussion on the potential of social media in the future of urban research and planning.  New York Times journalist, Noam Cohen, moderated the discussion. He started by voicing popular concerns over governments’ usage of our data; the data generated by all the social media we now incorporate into our daily travails.   Mr. Cohen remarked that social media has the positive effect of making us a “connected crowd in the city.” The seemingly random chaos of modern life has a “warp and woof to it,” he says, and these patterns can be used.

Brett Martin, of Sonar.me, continued on this theme. He presented where we are now with social media, along with current trends in research. Sonar.me is a mobile application that reveals the hidden connections around you. It is getting so easy to communicate, “we share you for you,” Marin says, all you have to do is download the app. There is an explosion of personal data now that can be leveraged, collected and shared. The trick is to utilize the best data for the best fit, “more data in, better data out.”

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://untappedcities.com/2012/03/30/social-media-and-designing-the-city-a-talk-with-foursquare-and-sonar/

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab
Posted on March 3, 2012 by Spatial Information Design Lab

“Un laboratorio de investigación sobre la información espacial con un impacto social”, explica Georgia Bullen (en la foto), la investigadora y profesora que me introduce en elSpatial Information Design Lab. Este departamento de la Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), perteneciente a la Columbia University, mantiene sus investigaciones gracias a patrocinadores como la Rockefeller Foundation. Su primer proyecto, uno de los más reconocidos, es el Million Dollar Blocks. La colaboración con una organización humanitaria consiguió señalar y llevar al debate público el hecho que la mayoría de personas presas provenían de barrios muy concretos de grandes ciudades, incluso llegando a concentrarse en pocas manzanas de casas. Poniendo sobre un mapa de New York lo que costaba al estado mantener estos presos demostraba el gasto que suponía para el estado, mientras no se estaba invirtiendo en educación o otras medidas que podían mejorar esa situación.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.ruador.net/2012/03/conociendo-el-spatial-information-design-lab/