Alan MacEachren

Alan MacEachren
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · Department of Geography

PhD

About

285
Publications
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14,348
Citations

Publications

Publications (285)
Preprint
Full-text available
Sensemaking using automatically extracted information from text is a challenging problem. In this paper, we address a specific type of information extraction, namely extracting information related to descriptions of movement. Aggregating and understanding information related to descriptions of movement and lack of movement specified in text can lea...
Article
Full-text available
Sensemaking using automatically extracted information from text is a challenging problem. In this paper, we address a specific type of information extraction, namely extracting information related to descriptions of movement. Aggregating and understanding information related to descriptions of movement and lack of movement specified in text can lea...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding movement described in text documents is important since text descriptions of movement contain a wealth of geographic and contextual information about the movement of people, wildlife, goods, and much more. Our research makes several contributions to improve our understanding of movement descriptions in text. First, we show how interpr...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding movement described in text documents is important since text descriptions of movement contain a wealth of geographic and contextual information about the movement of people, wildlife, goods, and much more. Our research makes several contributions to improve our understanding of movement descriptions in text. First, we show how interpr...
Article
Geographic Information Retrieval (GIR) is a sub-domain of both Information Retrieval (IR) and GIScience that has emphasized retrieval of documents that mention or are about places along with some focus on geographic feature extraction. GIR advances have created an as yet mostly unrealized potential to leverage text documents as sources for informat...
Article
Individual movement traces recorded by users of activity tracking applications such as Strava provide opportunities that extend beyond delivering personal value or insight to the individual who engages in these “quantified-self” (QS) activities. The large volumes of data generated by these individuals, when aggregated and anonymized, can be used by...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Deep learning can discover intricate patterns hidden in big data, and has much better scalability than traditional machine learning when the volume of data increases dramatically. Thus, deep learning has gained many successes in various domains and applications such as image classification, text classification, and machine translation. In this pape...
Article
Full-text available
The Women’s March of 2017 generated unprecedented levels of participation in the largest, single day, protest in history to date. The marchers protested the election of President Donald Trump and rallied in support of several civil issues such as women’s rights. “Sister marches” evolved in at least 680 locations across the United States. Both posit...
Article
Characterizing event attendees’ travel patterns is key to understanding the dynamics of social events in cities. However, the scientific investigation of event travel patterns has been hindered by the difficulty in gathering travel diaries of participants. Geotagged microblogs provide new opportunities for studying event travel patterns by offering...
Article
Intrinsic tag maps fit a tag cloud inside a geographic boundary to emphasize the association of the tags with a particular administrative region. So far, little is known about their utility and usability. Here, we present the results of an empirical study to help fill this gap. The study uses information retrieval tasks to evaluate intrinsic tag ma...
Article
This paper advances the state-of-the-art in methodology design for empirical evaluation of (geo)visual analytics software. Specifically, we describe the process of design, development and application of a prototypical user study tailored to the evaluation of complex geovisual analytics tools that focus on social media analysis. We fist perform a sy...
Article
Full-text available
This presentation will provide an overview of a Workshop-based effort on ethics in location-based, organized by the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). More specifically, the AAAS organized three workshops during 2017 and 2018 directed to exploring the ethical i...
Article
Full-text available
With the widespread use of tag clouds, multiple map-based variations have been proposed. Like standard tag clouds (also called word clouds), these ‘tag maps’ all share the basic strategy of displaying words within a ‘geographic space’ and scaling the word size to depict frequency (or importance) of those words within some dataset. While some tag ma...
Article
Full-text available
Ground-truth datasets are essential for the training and evaluation of any automated algorithm. As such, gold-standard annotated corpora underlie most advances in natural language processing (NLP). However, only a few relatively small (geo-)annotated datasets are available for geoparsing, i.e., the automatic recognition and geolocation of place ref...
Preprint
Ground-truth datasets are essential for training and evaluation of any automated algorithm. As such, gold-standard annotated corpora underlie most advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP). However, only a few relatively small (geo-)annotated datasets are available for geoparsing, i.e. the automatic recognition and geolocation of place referenc...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we present GeoTxt, a scalable geoparsing system for the recognition and geolocation of place names in unstructured text. GeoTxt offers six named entity recognition (NER) algorithms for place name recognition, and utilizes an enterprise search engine for the indexing, ranking, and retrieval of toponyms, enabling scalable geoparsing f...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the feasibility, from a user perspective, of integrating a heterogeneous information network mining (HINM) technique into SensePlace3 (SP3), a web-based geovisual analytics environment. The core contribution of this paper is a user study that determines whether an analyst with minimal background can comprehend the network da...
Data
Facsimile of the study hand-out. This file contains the facsimile of the study tutorial and analytical task definitions. (DOCX)
Data
Facsimile of the feedback questionnaire. (DOCX)
Data
Complete questionnaire results. This file contains, in a compressed format, the raw data provided by the participants of the study by means of the study questionnaire. (ZIP)
Article
This paper highlights a selection of core ideas articulated by Bertin and leveraged by many researchers over time, with particular attention to how the ideas relate to developments in cartography, big data, and visual analytics. A primary contribution is a bibliometric analysis of the impact of Bertin’s Semiology of Graphics at its 50th anniversary...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Text often includes references to places by name; in prior work, more than 20% of a sample of event-related tweets were found to include place names. Research has addressed the challenge of leveraging the geographic data reflected in text statements, with well-developed methods to recognize location mentions in text and related work on automated to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Visual Analytics (VA) approach has become an important tool for gaining insights on various data sets. Thus, significant research has been conducted to integrate statistical methods in the interactive environment of VA where data visualization provides support to analysts in understanding and exploring the data. However, much of the data explor...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates recent research on active learning for (geo) text and image classification, with an emphasis on methods that combine visual analytics and/or deep learning. Deep learning has attracted substantial attention across many domains of science and practice, because it can find intricate patterns in big data; but successful applicat...
Article
Full-text available
SensePlace3 (SP3) is a geovisual analytics framework and web application that supports overview + detail analysis of social media, focusing on extracting meaningful information from the Twitterverse. SP3 leverages social media related to crisis events. It differs from most existing systems by enabling an analyst to obtain place-relevant information...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we present the GeoCorpora corpus building framework and software tools as well as a geo-annotated Twitter corpus built with these tools to foster research and development in the areas of microblog/Twitter geoparsing and geographic information retrieval. The developed framework employs crowdsourcing and geovisual analytics to suppor...
Chapter
A tension exists in the discipline of Geography between the concepts of space and place. Most research and development in Geographical Information Science (GIScience) has been focused on the former, through methods to formally structure data about the world and to systematically model and analyze aspects of the world as represented through those st...
Article
Full-text available
It is sometimes easy to forget that massive crowdsourced data products such as Wikipedia and OpenStreetMap (OSM) are the sum of individual human efforts stemming from a variety of personal and institutional interests. We present a geovisual analytics tool called Crowd Lens for OpenStreetMap designed to help professional users of OSM make sense of t...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports on the development and application of a visual analytics approach to big data cleaning and integration focused on very large graphs, constructed in support of national-scale hydrological modeling. We explain why large graphs are required for hydrology modeling and describe how we create two graphs using continental United State...
Article
Full-text available
Among the most pressing research and development challenges facing geovisual analytics is the establishment of a science of interaction to inform the design of visual interfaces to computational methods. The most promising work on interaction to date has attempted to identify and articulate the fundamental interaction primitives that define the com...
Article
Full-text available
While many datasets carry geographic and temporal references, our ability to analyze these datasets lags behind our ability to collect them because of the challenges posed by both data complexity and scalability issues. This study develops a visual analytics approach that integrates human knowledge and judgments with visual, computational, and cart...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we address the topic of user-centered design (UCD) for cartography, GIScience, and visual analytics. Interactive maps are ubiquitous in modern society, yet they often fail to “work” as they could or should. UCD describes the process of ensuring interface success—map-based or otherwise—by gathering input and feedback from target users...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce spatial patterns of Tweets visualization (SPoTvis), a web-based geovisual analytics tool for exploring messages on Twitter (or "tweets") collected about political discourse, and illustrate the potential of the approach with a case study focused on a set of linked political events in the United States. In October 2013, the U.S. Congress...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents an approach to place reference corpus building and application of the approach to a Geo-Microblog Corpus that will foster research and development in the areas of microblog/twitter geoparsing and geographic information retrieval. Our corpus currently consists of 6000 tweets with identified and georeferenced place names. 30% of...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial language, such as route directions, can be analyzed to shed light on how humans communicate and conceptualize spatial knowledge. This article details a computational linguistic approach using route directions to study regional variations in spatial language. We developed a web-sourcing approach to collect human-generated route direction doc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Among the most pressing research and development challenges facing geovisual analytics is the establishment of a science of interaction that will inform the design of visual interfaces to computational methods. The most promising work on interaction to date has attempted to identify and articulate the fundamental interaction primitives that define...
Article
Full-text available
For decades, uncertainty visualisation has attracted attention in disciplines such as cartography and geographic visualisation, scientific visualisation and information visualisation. Most of this research deals with the development of new approaches to depict uncertainty visually; only a small part is concerned with empirical evaluation of such te...
Article
Full-text available
The world has become a complex set of geo-social systems interconnected by networks, including transportation networks, telecommunications, and the internet. Understanding the interactions between spatial and social relationships within such geo-social systems is a challenge. This research aims to address this challenge through the framework of geo...
Conference Paper
Associating place name mentions in unstructured text with their actual references in geographic space is vital to enable spatial queries and analysis. In this paper, we introduce GeoTxt, a web API plus human-usable web tool designed and implemented to tackle three components of place-reference processing from text, namely: extraction, disambiguatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In recent years, the amount of publicly available spatial, or spatially-enable, data has grown tremendously, due in large part to the proliferation of GPS-enabled technologies in mobile devices and in-car navigation systems, and from the location information integrated into web applications, especially social networking services. Networks like Twit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Maps are often used to support each phase of emergency management activities, including disaster planning, response activities, and long-term recovery efforts. While there are many symbol standards for emergency management, interoperable map designs remain elusive for this domain. Informal symbol conventions are frequently applied by emergency mana...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial analysis and social network analysis typically consider social processes in their own specific contexts, either geographical or network space. Both approaches demonstrate strong conceptual overlaps. For example, actors close to each other tend to have greater similarity than those far apart; this phenomenon has different labels in geography...
Article
Full-text available
This article compares the current states of science and practice regarding spatiotemporal (space + time) crime analysis within intermediate- to large-size law enforcement agencies in the Northeastern United States. The contributions of the presented research are two-fold. First, a comprehensive literature review was completed spanning the domains o...
Article
Full-text available
Maps are a primary means for supporting information sharing and collaboration in emergency management and crisis situations. While a variety of formalized map symbol standards for emergency contexts exist, they have not been widely adopted by mapmakers. Informal symbol conventions are commonly used within emergency management stakeholder groups, bu...
Article
Digital "softcopy" maps are becoming the norm—replacing static paper maps in applications from wayfinding to scientific research. As a result, the design of interface tools that allow users to manipulate map parameters effectively and efficiently is likely to become as fundamental to cartography as the design of maps themselves. This article presen...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents two linked empirical studies focused on uncertainty visualization. The experiments are framed from two conceptual perspectives. First, a typology of uncertainty is used to delineate kinds of uncertainty matched with space, time, and attribute components of data. Second, concepts from visual semiotics are applied to characterize...
Article
Full-text available
Geographic information is commonly disseminated and consumed via visual representations of features and their environmental context on maps. Map design inherently involves generalizing reality, and one method by which mapmakers do so is through the use of symbols to represent features. Here we focus on the challenges associated with supporting mapm...
Article
Information foraging and sense-making with heterogeneous information are context-dependent activities. Thus visual analytics tools to support these activities must incorporate context. But, context is a difficult concept to define, model, and represent. Creating and representing context in support of visually-enabled reasoning about complex problem...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Ease of access to health care is of great importance in any country but particularly in countries such as Niger where restricted access can put people at risk of mortality from diseases such as measles, meningitis, polio, pneumonia and malaria. This paper analyzes the physical access of populations to health facilities within Niger wit...
Data
Figure S1. Map illustrating district and regional level administration boundaries.
Data
Table S1. Distribution of health facilities and population by district in Niger. The table highlights the total number of hospitals, maternity and integrated health facilities located within each district (see Additional file 2: Figure S1). Average distance (km) between health facilities (+/− SE) is summarized by district. Districts lacking health...
Article
Full-text available
The articles in this special section contain selected papers from the IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST).
Article
Automatic extraction and understanding of human-generated route descriptions have been critical to research aiming at understanding human cognition of geospatial information. Among all research issues involved, road name disambiguation is the most important, because one road name can refer to more than one road. Compared with traditional toponym (p...
Article
Full-text available
Geographic information is commonly disseminated and consumed via visual representations of features and their environmental context on maps. Map design inherently involves generalizing reality, and one method by which mapmakers do so is through the use of symbols to represent features. Here we focus on the challenges associated with supporting mapm...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on integrating computational and visual methods in a system that supports analysts to identify, extract, map, and relate linguistic accounts of movement. We address two objectives: (1) build the conceptual, theoretical, and empirical framework needed to represent and interpret human-generated directions; and (2) design and impl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Automatic and accurate extraction of destinations in human-generated route descriptions facilitates visualizing text route descriptions on digital maps. Such information further supports research aiming at understanding human cognition of geospatial information. However, as reproted in previous work, the recognition of destinations is not satisfact...
Article
Full-text available
There has been considerable interest in applying social network analysis methods to geographically embedded networks such as population migration and international trade. However, research is hampered by a lack of support for exploratory spatial-social network analysis in integrated tools. To bridge the gap, this research introduces a spatial-socia...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Geographically-grounded situational awareness (SA) is critical to crisis management and is essential in many other decision making domains that range from infectious disease monitoring, through regional planning, to political campaigning. Social media are becoming an important information input to support situational assessment (to produce awarenes...
Article
Full-text available
Interactive mapping and spatial analysis tools are under-utilized by health researchers and decision-makers as a result of scarce training materials, few examples demonstrating the successful use of geographic visualization, and poor mechanisms for sharing results generated by geovisualization. Here, we report on the development of the Geovisual EX...
Article
Geographic features have traditionally been visualized with fairly high amount of geometric detail, while relationships among these features in attribute space have been represented at a much coarser resolution. This limits our ability to understand ...
Article
This paper reports on the development and application of strategies and tools for geographic information seeking and knowledge building that leverages unstructured text resources found on the web. Geographic knowledge building from unstructured web sources starts with web document foraging during which the quantity, scope and diversity of web-based...
Article
Editors' overviewExplorationConfirmationSynthesisPresentationSummaryReferencesFurther readingSee also
Article
Full-text available
In this article we describe the potential utility of the card sorting method for structuring and refining large map symbol sets. Simply defined, card sorting requires that participants organize a set of items (i.e., cards) into categories according to some characteristic(s) of the cards (i.e., the sorting criterion). Card sorting has been proposed...
Article
The potential for physical flora collections to support scientific research is being enhanced by rapid development of digital databases that represent characteristics of the physical specimens held in those collections and make this information available remotely. One example is the unified database of California flora observations from the Consort...