Sunday, January 30, 2011

Money makes the world go 'round...

As graduated student who is not part of a Graduate School and who is in about to finish his PhD in one years time, it is hard to find financial support.Fortunately I do not desperately need the financial support, but attending costly conferences, meeting other supported students or having the opportunities of attending workshops would be highly welcomed. The big and well known supporting agencies are easily found by your preferred search engine. Aside from that, some opportunities are offered by the of the little-known FAZIT-Stiftung and 
Gerda Henkel Stiftung.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Group on visualization doing map stuff at HAfencity University

A friend pointed me to the Christoph Kinkeldey's blog about his work in the Lab for Geoinformatics and Geovisualization that seems to be part of an "interdisciplinary group on visualization at hafencity university in hamburg. The blog allows to imagine what he and his co-workers do in the DigitalCity Research Group at HafenCity Uni (a more reliable source is this article (PDF)). One of his research questions is how the style of a city map affect the cognitive image of the depicted geographic space. This is quite close to my own research that asks a similar question for tactile orientation maps: how do the parameters of the realisation of a tactile map influence its conceptualisation? As me, the researchers at DigitalCity Research Group work on pedestrian navigation in cities, but they try to find new ways to support online navigation with the help of sensor network. My work is on in-advance learning of spatial structures to allow for later self-guided navigation. Anyway I will keep my eyes open what these people do. Christoph will present his work "Framework for Detection and Analysis of Land Cover Changes Using Visual Analytics" at GeoVis 2011 that is organised by HafenCity University.

Friday, January 21, 2011

GeoViz und COSIT Concerences in 2011

GeoVis 2011 is an ICA workshop on integrating computational techniques for analyzing and modeling geospatial information with visual methods for their depiction, interaction and analysis in Hamburg in March 2011. From the workshop's website: "It is geospatial knowledge, in forms of patterns, structures, relationships, and rules, rather than the assembly of spatial information, that can significantly contribute to solving real world problems. [...] There is the need to link computational methods with interactive maps and cartographic techniques to support analysis of complex, voluminous and heterogeneous information involving measurements made in space and time." The preliminary programm (PDF) looks interesting albeit the audience seems to be from geography and cartography demain mostly, spatial cognition is underrepresented. Yet, I will be there, I guess.

COSIT is THE premier conference on cognitive sciences, with a widespread spectrum and some audience with special interest in spatial cognition: "The Conference looks for significant contributions to all major fields of the Computer Science and Information Technology in theoretical and practical aspects. The aim of the conference is to provide a platform to the researchers and practitioners from both academia as well as industry to meet and share cutting-edge development in the field." The 2011 conference will be held in Belfast - not that one in Northern Ireland but the one in Maine, USA. The call for papers has just been sent out, submissions for tutorials and workshops are due by the end of January. I would like to submit a workshop or some form of interaction forum, maybe a planary discussion on questions about supporting disabled people with personalized GIS products and what we can learn from that reason for other audiences. If someone would like to take part, get back to me!

Update: Newer post about COSIT 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Space and Sense" by Susanna Millar

Susanna Millar's book "Understanding and representing space: Theory and evidence from studies with blind and sighted children" was a major step in the science about representation of spatial phenomena in blind people. Now Millar has brought a kind of update in 2008, not groundbreaking (only three libraries have it in the whole Germany!) but re-interpreting the data in the light of the past 15years: Space and Sense (Essays in Cognitive Psychology).

The abstract reads as follows:
How do we perceive the space around us, locate objects within it, and make our way through it? What do the senses contribute? This book focuses on touch in order to examine which aspects of vision and touch overlap in spatial processing. It argues that spatial processing depends crucially on integrating diverse sensory inputs as reference cues for the location, distance or direction response that spatial tasks demand. "Space and Sense" shows how perception by touch, as by vision, can be helped by external reference cues, and that 'visual' illusions that are also found in touch depend on common factors and do not occur by chance. Susanna Millar presents new evidence on the role of spatial cues in touch and movement both with and without vision, and discusses the interaction of both touch and movement with vision in spatial tasks.This book shows how perception by touch, as by vision, can be helped by external reference cues, and that 'visual' illusions that are also found in touch depend on common factors and do not occur by chance. It challenges traditional views of explicit external reference cues, showing that they can improve spatial recall with inputs from touch and movement, contrary to the held belief. "Space and Sense" provides empirical evidence for an important distinction between spatial vision and vision that excludes spatial cues in relation to touch. This important new volume extends previous descriptions of bimodal effects in vision and space.