DGL organizes a session at the Annual Meeting of Finnish Geographers 2018!

Digital Geography Lab organizes a session at the Annual Meeting of Finnish Geographers 2018: Cross-Bor­der Dia­lo­gues & Fin­land: Hu­man Mo­bi­li­ties, Social In­te­rac­tions & Trans­na­tio­na­lism.

Send your abstract to our session by September 23 or just come to see interesting presentations!

Session description:

Session chairs: Olle Järv, Kerli Müürisepp & Tuuli Toivonen  (Digital Geography Lab, University of Helsinki)

In the EU “borderless world”, cross-border interactions and integration are regarded as key drivers towards socially and economically more cohesive territorial development and well-functioning societies. Increasing human mobilities and socio-spatial interactions transcending state borders have a role in forming many societal phenomena such as new functional cross-border regions, transnational people and transnationalism, at large. These developments have further implications on societies in relation to integration processes, identity formation, social (in)equalities, governmentality, planning and security, among many others.

Cross-border interactions between Finland and its neighbouring countries follow the overall trend. For instance, while tens of thousands of people have their daily lives already connected to both Finland and Estonia, stakeholders advance the Helsinki-Tallinn twin-city concept by planning and executing new strategic infrastructure projects to better connect the countries. As cross-border mobility flows grow, a more comprehensive understanding about complex socio-spatial practices beyond state borders and its consecutive impacts on societies is needed. In addition to conventional approaches, the application of novel (big) data sources allows to develop new theoretical concepts and methodologies to provide valuable insights for given research.

The session aims to present and discuss theoretical, methodological and empirical research on cross-border mobilities and interactions, transnationalism, and implications on societies it involves. A concentrated discussion is facilitated at the end of the session.

The topics we welcome include, but are not limited to:

  • cross-border human mobility (daily, leisure, migration);
  • social and spatial interactions of people from the neighbouring countries in Finland;
  • transnational people and transnationalism;
  • inequality and segregation;
  • social engagement and integration;
  • applications of novel (big) data sources and new methodologies;
  • functional cross-border regions/transnational spaces;
  • Estonians and Russians in Finland.

All sessions descriptions at the 2018 Meeting can be found here

New paper on dynamic accessibility modelling!

The concept of spatial accessibility – the potential of opportunities for interaction – binds together the key physical components of urban structure: people, transport and social activity locations. Despite the dynamic nature of these components and the changing accessibility landscape in space-time, however, location-based accessibility research has been predominantly static (atemporal) in nature.

With the joint research between Digital Geography Lab in Helsinki and Mobility Lab in Tartu, Estonia, we propose a generic conceptual framework of dynamic location-based accessibility modelling. For that, we used our dasymetric model and integrated mobile phone data to spatial accessibility modelling as a proxy for dynamic population distribution. In case of food accessibility by public transport in Tallinn (Estonia), we empirically demonstrate the impact of temporal aspects in accessibility modelling.

Read more in Applied Geography: Dynamic cities: Location-based accessibility modelling as a function of time

The conceptual framework for a dynamic location-based accessibility modelling (top). Here, all three components of spatial accessibility (people, transport and activities) vary as a function of time. The implementation of the framework (bottom) is an illustration of our case study, exemplifying the variation of accessibility in space and time to grocery stores in Helsinki, taking into account all the three accessibility components within a 24-h timeframe.


Ludovic Chastenet defended successfully his master’s thesis!

Ludovic, a Master student from the Civil Engineering French National School (ENTPE) and University of Lyon joined our Digital Geography Lab for five months as an intern to carry out his final year project in Helsinki.

Ludovic defended successfully his thesis titled “Cycling as a part of sustainable urban transport in Helsinki: Assessing the influence of weather on cycling activity” back in Lyon, France on 14th September 2017. He’s research aimed at assessing how weather influences bicycle use, and thus empirically examined Helsinki as a case sample for a one year study period using both automatic bicycle counter system and bike sharing system (BSS) data sets, in addition to a detailed weather observation data from the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Ludovic showed i) how the influence of weather conditions depends on different time periods, ii) how different weather attributes influence cycling, and iii) to compare strengths and weaknesses of both cycling data sources in studying weather impact on cycling.

Results shows that weather conditions influence bicycle use more on weekends than during working days whereas weather influences cycling the least during peak hours (work-related cycling). The strongest influencing weather attribute is air temperature, yet also other attributes (e.g. wind, precipitation, humidity, snow) affect bicycle use. Statistical analyses showed similar weather influences on cycling for both data source regardless of differences between automatic counter and BSS data sources in case of counting locations (counting places vs BSS stations), bicycle users (own bikes vs part of public transport) and study period (all year vs summer period).

In conclusion, Ludovic’s work clearly indicates that weather conditions matter in using bicycles and is an excellent starting point for considering the influence of weather more in planning and developing urban cycling in Finland. Moreover, it revealed several promising research avenues and ways to develop methodology for obtaining more accurate assessments of weather influence on cycling.

Ludovic’s thesis is available here.

Olle at RC33 Conference 2016 on social science methodology

RC33 Conference 2016 – 9th International Conference on Social Science Methodology was held in 11.-16. September 2016 in Leicester, UK. One of the emerging issues was the impact of new research skills and the big data revolution on teaching and research in social sciences. Olle in collaboration with an Estonian sociologist Dr. Anu Masso from ETH Zurich presented their ongoing research on evaluating big data approach (mobile phone data-based methodology) against conventional questionnaire survey method for investigating individual human mobility in space-time. Case study is about language group differences in individual activity space in Estonia.

RC33 Conference 2016

Hosting researchers from Japan

Thanks to WCTR 2016, Olle had a chance to meet with professor Makoto Tsukai from Hiroshima University. This led to a short-noticed meeting at our department on August 5th. With a special focus on implementing novel (big) data sources in transport research Accessibility Research Group presented past and current work to five Japanese professors from the University of Hiroshima, Tottori and Miyazaki. In turn, guests introduced their current work in this field.

We kindly thank our guests for the presents from Hiroshima and already looking forward to join our research!

Group photo with our Japanese quests

Group photo with our Japanese quests after our exciting meeting.