[MSc-OpenSubject] – Geovisualisation interface for collecting localized data

Towards a geovisualisation interface for collecting localized data (in space and time) about life trajectories

The Metropolifeline Project aims at helping urban planners and decision makers to better understand urban and / or peri-urban migrations in order to adjust their decision (in terms of new amenities to offer for instance). The more specific question concerns the residential trajectories of inhabitants, i.e. the succession of their residential choices in time and space an their motivations for such choices. A Ph.D work currently in progress deals with the proposal of a model to represent peoples’ life trajectories (Noël & al, 2017).
The subject we propose here is to address the design of innovative participatory interfaces allowing to collect descriptive and localized data (in time and space) about residential trajectories (as a part of more general life trajectories). Regarding data collection relying on a participatory approach, contributor oversight (mistakes or omissions) is a risk, especially when he/she has to remember past events. The contributor could then be lead to consider a life event at a high scale (for example “in the 80s”) or with a lack of precision (“about 1990”). This refers to the question of the granularity of the information which is a fundamental question in moving object modeling (Hornsby K. & Egenhofer M. J., 2002). In the case of temporal granularity, each piece of information should be given at an ideal granular term, i.e the finest one, that then allows to observe phenomena at higher levels (Silva & al, 2015) and (Silva & al,. 2016). For example, the day is an adequate chronon for some life event (a wedding, a birthdate, etc.) but individuals will surely report some other life event at the scale of the year or even the decade. A similar reasoning is applied to geographic information. One research issue is to provided users with some interface that help to collect information about their life event at the most precise possible granularity.

In this context, the work that is expected covers :
• The appropriation of the topic: the life trajectory pattern and design approach proposed by D. Noël and the granular theory proposed by J. Moura Pires
• A state of the art on spatio-temporal data acquisition interfaces (in a participatory context or not) with a comparative approach of their pros and cons.
• Propositions for the design of innovative spatio-temporal data acquisition (i.e. that help to collect data at the finest granularity)
• Implementation of the propositions (proof of concept prototype)
• Define and conduct a user test protocol
• The production of a Master Thesis


David Noël, Marlène Villanova-Oliver, Jérôme Gensel, Pierre Le Quéau: Design Patterns for Modelling Life Trajectories in the Semantic Web. W2GIS 2017: 51-65
Hornsby, K. & Egenhofer, M.J. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence (2002) 36: 177. doi:10.1023/A:1015812206586
Ricardo Silva, João Moura Pires, Maribel Yasmina Santos, Nuno Datia. Enhancing Exploratory Analysis by Summarizing Spatiotemporal Events across Multiple Levels of Detail, 19th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science – Jun 2016
Ricardo Silva, João Moura Pires, Maribel Yasmina Santos. A Granularity Theory for Modelling Spatio-temporal Phenomena at Multiple Levels of Detail. International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining – May 2015. Editors: David Taniar

Requirements: A student should consider applying to this M.Sc. project if he/she has a strong background on developing GUI applications.

Supervision: The work will be co-supervised by Prof. João Moura Pires, from FCT/UNL, Prof. Nuno Datia, from IPL/ISEL and Prof. Marlène Villanova-Olive, from Université Pierre Mendès-France

Hosting Institution: FCT/UNL