GeoTech Center Webinar for August

SAVE THE DATE!! Wednesday, August 19 at 2:00 PM Eastern

GeoTech Center Webinar:  AUGUST 2015 WEBINAR

Date and Time: August 19, 2015, 2:00 PM Eastern


Presenters: Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou

Affiliation: San Diego State University

Title: How Can Geospatial “Big Data” Help Disaster Response and Track Disease Outbreaks? Transform Innovative Geospatial Technology to Solve Real World Problems

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Abstract: Geospatial Big Data (GBD) provide untapped potential for discovering and analyzing dynamic human problems, including disease outbreaks, traffic jams, urban dynamics, and environmental changes.  Such data offer golden opportunities for GIS scientists and professionals to develop new tools, new methods, and new theories. We can utilize Geospatial Big Data to transform innovative geospatial technology into practical software solutions or computational models for solving real world problems (such as epidemics, disaster response and recovery, health disparities in cancer and obesity, drug abuse, urban crime rates, etc.). We, as GIS professionals, should integrate spatial science (GIS and GPS technologies), mobile technologies (smart phone and mobile apps), and big data (social media, mobile phone records, and web pages) and build a new transformative research agenda for future geospatial education and trainings.

The term ‘big data’ usually refers to large stores of information accessible to secondary analyses. Such data have the potential to translate into big ideas, big impacts, and big value for our society. GIS and spatiotemporal analysis methods are essential tools for processing, filtering, analyzing, and visualizing big data.


This webinar will discuss the impacts of big data and social media from a geospatial technology perspective and introduce a few software solutions and examples for disease outbreak surveillance and disaster response/assistance. Two web applications developed by the Center of Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) ( at San Diego State University will be introduced to demonstrate the value of geospatial big data. The web-based Social Media Analytics and Research Testbed (SMART) dashboard can provide real-time surveillance and trend analysis for various topics. SMART dashboard can be used to track multiple themes with various keywords, including disease outbreaks, drug abuse, regional wildfires in Southern California (URL: The Geo-targeted Event Observation (GEO) Viewer is a Web-based mapping application which enable users to track real-time messages, pictures, and locations from GPS-tagged social media messages (Twitter) for disaster response and assistance efforts (


In addition to the technology development of geospatial big data, we also need to identify the risk and research challenges associated with big data in terms of privacy, data security, and unequal access. The education scope of geospatial big data should include the trainings to educate researchers about these risks in geospatial big data and potential problems during the collection and analysis of big data from social media, electronic health records, or mobile sensor devices.


Length: 40-45 minutes: There will be ample time for questions and answers following the presentation.


Register here:


The National GeoTech Center will be presenting monthly FREE webinars on the

third Wednesday of each month at 2:00 PM Eastern time. SAVE the DATES!


Upcoming GeoTech Center Webinars:

  • September 16: 2:00 PM Eastern: Speaker: Dr. Michael Hauck, Executive Director, ASPRS: “UAVs 101 and Staying out of Jail” Register here.

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