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Microspatial urban analysis: how to better understand addresses, streets, and neighborhoods

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Virtual Track 8
Organizers: Alina Ristea
Chairs: Alina Ristea


Last Update 04/09/2020

Video recording of presentations and Q&A:
If the link is not working, check this YouTube one:

*** The session changed to SYNCHRONOUS virtual session ***

Please contact me by email if the Teams session does not work:
The session is recorded and will be available for 30 days.

*** This is an ASYNCHRONOUS virtual session ***

The video presentations will be uploaded at least 24h before the scheduled time. We invite interested attendees to check the videos beforehand at the following YouTube channel:

The Q&A session will start at the scheduled time (1:45pm MDT - Denver - time).

The conceptualization of spatial relationships depends on what is measured. Concerns have been raised in previous work about the level of spatial aggregation and its effect on research results. A large body of literature has focused only on one spatial level and thus underestimated the relations between the macro- and micro- scale. This brings into discussion the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP), which has been documented in many studies. The effects on the scale by aggregating to larger or smaller spatial units, and moving the boundaries of selected areas, can have significant differences in precision and evaluation.

The knowledge of urban areas on the micro-scale can be powerful for a more targeted geographical approach. Large amounts of geolocated user-generated data (e.g. social media) are actively produced every day and can be used in the context of cities and urban environment. To study the interactions between these data and other urban elements we need to understand which geographical scale(s) analysis are appropriate and the interactions between levels of organization.
For example, how can we delineate discrete cells when analyzing disaster damage? How are social media and mobile phone data aggregated for data ethics and privacy?

Big data (e.g. user-generated) can be unstructured and biased, thus they require pre-processing to get a usable structure and geographical locations. At the same time, these data are dynamic in comparison with administrative and other more traditional data. Thus, is the neighborhood representative for the study purpose using dynamic and traditional data? Can we understand the impact of micro areas on the whole neighborhood? (e.g. for safety and security)

This paper session aims to gather current research on applications that deal with geographical scale constraints not only from a technical perspective but also for sociological, economic, urban planning and other views. Moreover, the discussion about the concept of place and fuzzy boundaries in contrast to geographies and crisp boundaries would be a nice fit for this session.

Sessions organized at the 2020 AAG aim on exchanging new ideas and presenting innovative research, methods, and applications in the microscale urban analysis. Appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:

Neighborhood analysis
Physical and social characteristics of neighborhoods
Big Data and Urban Informatics
Smart Cities
Urban Mobility
Administrative data and the role for urban analysis
Segregation in urban environments
Measuring resilience
Gentrification at scale
User-generated data applications for cities
Disaster damage and recovery at scale
Administrative border precision versus grid data
Interactions between geography levels
Geography of place


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Alina Ristea*, Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University, Dan O'Brien, Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs & School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, Forrest Hangen, Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University, Typologies of Crime and Disorder at the Property level in Boston, MA 15 1:45 PM
Presenter Elaine Guidero*, USGS National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, Sergio Rodriguez, USGS National Geospatial Program, Josefa Baker, USGS National Geospatial Program, Vanessa Baez, USGS National Geospatial Program, The Integrated Map of North America: creating, generalizing, and harmonizing data across borders 15 2:00 PM
Presenter Erica Ferrer*, Universidade De Brasília, Fernando Luiz Araujo Sobrinho, Universidade de Brasilia, Margarida Queirós, Universidade de Lisboa, A Gender Perspective About Territories of 'Intentional At-Risk'. A Quest for the Right to the City. 15 2:15 PM
Presenter Chandana Mitra*, Auburn University, S M Shihab Nur*, Auburn University, Accessibility to Urban Green and Public Spaces of Dhaka City Dwellers: A Comparison between existing and standard distribution using Special Optimization Modelling 15 2:30 PM

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