Mapping Scientific Data

Prof. Katy Boerner

Victor H. Yngve Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Information Science Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University, USA


In the information age, the ability to read and make data visualizations is as important as the ability to read and write. This talk explains and exemplifies the power of data visualizations not only to help locate us in physical space but also to help us understand the extent and structure of our collective scientific knowledge, to identify bursts of activity, pathways of ideas and products, or emerging areas of research and innovation. It introduces a theoretical visualization framework meant to empower anyone to systematically render data into insights together with tools that support temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analyses and visualizations. Materials from the Visual Analytics course (, science maps from the Places & Spaces: Mapping Science exhibit (, and human reference maps from HuBMAP ( will be used to illustrate key concepts and to inspire participants to visualize their very own data.

If GIS provides the answer, what was the question again? Geo-analytical question-answering as a form of knowledge generation

Prof. Simon Scheider

Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands


Geographic question answering (GeoQA) has gained attention recently as a particularly relevant case of question answering. In this talk, I will argue why question answering with a Geographic Information System (GIS), which I call geo-analytical QA, needs to go beyond information retrieval and should be conceived as a form of knowledge generation instead. Based on examples from Human Geography, I will motivate this problem and discuss some principal ideas about knowledge generation understood as conceptual transformation with a GIS. Research on this problem is currently done within the QuAnGIS project at Utrecht University. I will discuss the syntax and semantics of geo-analytical questions, and the relevance of transformations of core concepts and semantic types in workflow synthesis to answer such questions. Furthermore, I will report on first results about answer workflow synthesis, as well as about ongoing developments concerning a geo-analytical grammar and a transformation algebra.