I attended AAG Annual Meeting in Boston from April 4th – April 9th. My session in the first morning of the conference, in which I presented my work on sensing the spatial and temporal distributions of different human activity types in urban areas by applying natural language processing technology on geofenced Tweets. I received several inspiring comments that can help me to improve the activity modeling.

            During the meeting, I also attended many sessions that meet my interest as well as broaden my research scope. In general, I focused on the sessions about the application of cyberinfrastructure in GIS, the applications of machine learning in mining geographical knowledge from spatial Big Data, and the urban growth of China. From the sessions and posters, it can be observed that conventional machine learning technology is still widely used, while new progressives in the computer science field, such as the deep learning, have been introduced into GIScience as the new powerful analysis tools.

            Upon the detailed applications, some sessions I attended also gave me inspiration at a higher level. One of them is the panel discussion on the challenges of human dynamics study on the Smart City that my advisor presented as one of panel members. The panel reviewed recent studies on Smart City and criticized how geographers and other social scientists should be involved in the progress of building a smart city. The other highlighted talk is Prof. David Harvey’s keynote talk on neoliberalism, capitalism and Marxism on economy. Dr. Harvey, as one of the most well-known geographers, criticized the contradictions of the dominating neoliberal economy in the world with may detailed examples. His study is focusing on the mechanism of the economy of the world, but the influence of this mechanism shall trickle down to detailed human behaviors in the cities. Therefore, his speech provides some new insights that I shall consider while reviewing my study cases.       

Cheng Fu