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Archive for the ‘Newsfeed’ Category

New Project

The Australian Research Council funds a new Discovery Project (DP170100109): Making human place knowledge digestible by computers. This project will run 2017-2019. The chief investigators are Stephan Winter, Tim Baldwin, Jochen Renz (ANU), Martin Tomko, Maria Vasardani, and Werner Kuhn (UCSB). We will report about progresses on this website.

Talking about Place – Video

Here is a video that summarizes some of the work we have been doing toward “smarter” spatial services.

Last annual workshop

Our last “Talking about Place” Annual Workshop will take place on Friday 21 November 2014, at the University of Melbourne. This is an opportunity for academic and industry team members alike to see the products of our research over the last year, and discuss and reflect on the project overall. Please find the event details below. We are looking forward to productive workshop!

Event details
Date: Friday 21, November
Time:  9:30am – 12:30 pm with lunch to follow (12:45pm – 2:00pm).
Location: Jim Potter Room, in the Old Physics building, University of Melbourne.
09:30 – 10:00: Morning coffee/tea
10:00 – 10:30: Welcome and Opening Talk (Stephan Winter)
10:30 – 11:30: Project outcomes presentations (Tim Baldwin, Andre Dittrich, Junchul
                            Kim, Marie Truelove, David Lin, Hao Chen, Yuqi Wang )
11:30 – 12:15: Discussion with Industry partners
12:15 – 12:30:  Plenum
12:45 – 14:00: Lunch at the University House, University of Melbourne.

** CLOSED ** – Call for Papers – Spatial Cognition and Computation – ** CLOSED **

Special Issue on Computational Models of Place 

Guest Editors: 

Simon Scheider (University of Münster, Germany), Maria Vasardani (University of Melbourne, Australia), Chris Jones (Cardiff University, UK), Ross Purves (University of Zurich, Switzerland), and Stephan Winter (University of Melbourne, Australia)

Aim and topic 

Even though places are immensely useful referents for geocoding and interlinking other information, e.g., in terms of gazetteers, place related information from the web, social media, or common language often still needs to be generated, linked and curated in a manual and time consuming fashion. This problem has become increasingly pressing in the age of Big Data, where the generation, provenance, curation and quality of place related data becomes uncontrollable and does not scale with the growth of other data in need of georeferencing.

This special issue aims to present cutting edge research on approaching computational models of place from various related disciplines, according to the spirit and scope of the journal, such as computing, cognition, language, artificial intelligence or geography.

Submitted papers will be reviewed to the usual standards of the journal. Instructions for submitting manuscripts can be found on the journal’s website ( Submissions should not exceed 6000 words.

Important dates: 

Submission due: 28 February 2014

Acceptance Notification: 5 May 2014

Revisions by 1 August 2014

Talking about Place – Annual Progress Workshop (2013)

Our Annual “Talking about Place” Workshop will take place this Friday 29 November, at the University of Melbourne. This is an opportunity for academic and industry team members alike to interact, discuss and brainstorm on issues related to our project. Please find the event details below. We are looking forward to productive workshop!

Event details
Date: Friday 29, November
Time:  9:30am – 12:30 pm with lunch to follow (12:45pm – 2:00pm).
Location: Jim Potter Room, in the Old Physics building, University of Melbourne.
Draft Program
09:30 – 10:00 : Welcome with some coffee/tea
10:00 – 10:15 : Setting the Scene (Stephan Winter)
10:15 – 11:00 : Progress presentations (academics: Tim Baldwin, Lesley Stirling, Matt Duckham, Maria Vasardani, Harry Gaitanis, Marie Truelove, Keith Chan, Junchul Kim, Qawiimah Sardani, Peter Schinner)
11:00 – 11:45 : Industry partners’ input
11:45 – 12:15 : Break out session – Identifying future research questions
12:15 – 12:30 : Plenum
12:45 – 14:00: Lunch at the University House, University of Melbourne.

Workshop on Computational Models of Place 2013

Two members of our academic team, namely Stephan Winter and Maria Vasardani, are co-organizers of the ACM Workshop on Computational Models of Place (CoMP 2013), in conjunction with the 21st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, November 5-8, 2013, Orlando, FL, USA.

The rest of the members of the organizing committee are:

Simon Scheider, University of Muenster, Germany (main organizer)

Benjamin Adams, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, USA

Krzysztof Janowicz, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Detailed information about the workshop, which builds up from past, related workshops such as last year’s Place-related Knowledge Acquisition Research workshop (P-KAR 2012), can be found at:

Our industry partners are cordially invited to participate, if they wish, to the workshop with or without paper submissions.

Academic Visitors Presentations – Wed. 27 February

After a successful seminar with our three academic visitors, on Wed. 27 February, you can find the abstracts and the presentations of their talks here.

Prof Christian Freksa, Cognitive Systems, University of Bremen, Germany

The power of space and time – spatial and temporal structures can replace computational effort

Abstract: Spatial structures determine the ways we perceive our environment and the ways we act in it in important ways. Spatial structures also determine the ways we think about our environment and how we solve spatial problems abstractly. When we use graphics to visualize certain aspects of spatial and non-spatial entities, we exploit the power of spatial structures to better understand important relationships. We also are able to imagine spatial structures and to apply mental operations to them. Similarly, the structure of time determines the course of events in cognitive processing. In my talk I will present knowledge representation research in spatial cognition. I will demonstrate the power of spatial structures in comparison to formal descriptions that are conventionally used for spatial problem solving in computer science. I suggest that spatial and temporal structures can be exploited for the design of powerful ‘spatial computers’. I will show that spatial computers can be particularly suitable and efficient for spatio-temporal problem solving but may also be used for abstract problem solving in non-spatial domains.

Presentation here.


Prof Antonio Krüger, German Center for Artificial Intelligence and Saarland University, Germany

Intelligent User Interfaces for Instrumented (Retail) Environments

Abstract: In the Innovative Retail Laboratory (IRL) we develop and conduct tests in a large number of different fields all connected to intelligent shopping consultants. The IRL is an application-oriented research laboratory of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), which was installed in the head office of the German chain store GLOBUS SB-Warenhaus Holding in St. Wendel. One part of this research is the development of intelligent user interfaces in such an instrumented retail environment. In this talk I would like to highlight a few examples for various types of User Interfaces ranging from mobile AR applications to instrument shopping trolleys. More: The talk concludes with some further examples from recent HCI Research conducted at DFKI.

Presentation here.


Prof Sabine Timpf, Geoinformatics, University of Augsburg, Germany

Modeling spatial behavior for agent-based simulations

Abstract: Humans constantly interact with geo-space. Understanding how this interaction with and in geo-space works is crucial for the development of subtle assistive technology. In my talk I will report on our efforts to model human-environment interaction using affordances, activity theory and agent-based simulation.

Presentation here.

Seminar with three academic visitors – 27 March 2013

We are pleased to have three academic visitors, namely Christian Freksa from the University of Bremen, Germany, Sabine Timpf from the University of Augsburg, Germany, and Antonio Krüger from DFKI, Germany visiting us for a few weeks and collaborating on various projects, including the “Talking about Place”. They are invited to present their relevant research on a special seminar that our project’s academic group is organising on Wednesday, 27 March, 10:00 – 12:00 at Brown Theatre (University of Melbourne, Building 193, (EEE) Ground floor). You are all welcome to attend!

ACMSIGSPATIAL Newsletter covers P-KAR Workshop

The P-KAR Workshop report was included in the ACMSIGSPATIAL Special latest newsletter. It will also appear on the ACM digital library once ACM converts the newsletter.

Annual Progress Workshop (2012) Report

Our Annual Progress Workshop 2012 was held on Friday 26, October 2012, at the University of Melbourne. It was a very interesting and productive meeting, where academic partners had the opportunity to present their work on the project so far, and industry partners showcased their relevant activities, and expressed their ideas and needs for the upcoming year. You can find a compilation of the academic presentations here. The workshop ended with a break-out session, during which three groups with mixed participants were formed and discussed on specific issues, brainstorming on ideas and questions to be answered through the project. You can find the compiled report of the break-out sessions here.