The recent phenomenon of "Big Data", by which an increasing number of human activities are recorded in one way or another in digital form, is producing an unprecedented amount of data of different shape, structure and quality, much of which are georeferenced. At the same time, technology has advanced to a point where we have enough computational power not only to produce large amounts of data, but also to analyze and extract valuable information from them. This pairing of larger datasets and increasing computing power is transforming many aspects of the world, from businesses to government. Science has not been foreign to these developments, and many fields, from genomics to physics to biology, are being substantially redefined as a result of it.
The social sciences in general, and geography in particular, however have only marginally engaged with this new reality. Although some discussions are emerging about the broad implications of this shift, the amount of applied studies that use these kinds of datasets to answer long-standing questions in urban and regional geography and related spatial disciplines is still limited. In order to expand the discussion and engagement with these new sources of data among geographers, we are proposing a series of special sessions revolving around the following general topics:
To contribute to the special sessions, please send an abstract of 250 words or less to Daniel Arribas-Bel (D.Arribas-Bel@bham.ac.uk), David C. Folch (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Emmanouil Tranos (E.Tranos@bham.ac.uk) before October 15, 2014. Contributors will have to first register for the conference and submit their abstract through the AAG website, and then send the registration code (PIN) they receive as well as their title and abstracts to us.