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May 7th, 2019 5:30 PM   to   8:00 PM

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Registration and refreshments: 5.30pm

Lecture: 6pm - 7pm

AGI GeoDrinks: 7pm - 8pm

This is a free event but places are limited, so please register here.

Summary: In this short talk, Professor Alasdair Rae will discuss the impacts arising from doing 'open' research through an example of mapping commuting patterns in US megaregions.

While the division into 50 states is how many think of the US, geographers have for the last 50 years also studied networks of closely connected metropolitan areas, known as ‘megaregions’, which often cut across state lines. Previously, megaregions have been typically identified by an interpretative method that links large metropolitan regions through similar environmental and infrastructure systems, economic links and cultural similarities. These approaches are often based on a ‘best guess’ kind of approach, and do not rely on the analysis of large datasets.

Now Dr Alasdair Rae and his co-author, Dr Garrett Nelson, have developed an empirical approach to identify megaregions by using a dataset of more than 4 million ‘commuter flows’ involving the travel to work patterns of 130 million Americans, and by using open source tools to analyse their data. It is hoped that the research will provide a basis for further empirical approaches to studying megaregions and allow policymakers in areas including infrastructure, transit planning and electoral geography to evaluate how they approach the limit areas.

In this talk, Prof. Rae will particularly reflect on the story of open research - that is, doing research which is not hidden behind a paywall and where the underlying data is made freely available for anyone to use - and digital connectivity, which serve as a good example of the new possibilities and outcomes associated with taking a more open approach to scholarship. 

Supported by AGI Cymru.


Committee Rooms 1 & 2
Glamorgan Building, School of Geography and Planning
King Edward VII Avenue
Cardiff, CF10 3WA
United Kingdom

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1 Kensington Gore,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 3116