GIScience in Google Metrics. What are the temporal trends?

This is, as far as I know, the first publication of temporal trends in Google Metrics.

For the last three years, Google Scholar has been releasing their Google Scholar Metrics. Recently, they released the 2015 batch.

These Metrics provide an insight into the most successful/impactful publication outlets for individual disciplines (and subdisciplines) and also allow one to explore the most cited papers by their h5 index (h5 for a venue/author is the n (number) of papers with at least n citations, in this case for a 5 year period).

There are problems with the way these data are collected (not all venues are monitored, and the coverage may not be 100%, see here). The coverage has been slowly improving over the years. GIScience is, however, still only covered in a patchy way. In particular the conferences (GIScience and COSIT, but also SDH and smaller workshops) are not covered as the Springer Lecture Notes are not monitored by Google and the individual volumes can not be well sorted.

Furthermore, some journals from the field are not covered either: JOSIS is not that new anymore, but together with Spatial Cognition and Computation they have troubles to meet at least 100 publications a year so far (see here again for coverage parameters). I assume this is the case for IJLBS as well.

Anyway, this project has been running for 3 years now and we can start looking at some trends (without any statistical insights, for this the series are too short). It is worth to note some separation of the journals into tears ( purely visually). NOte that this may not say anything about the quality of the venue itself (I consider EPB to be an excellent journal with great content, but maybe the audience is smaller/more niche).

It would be worth to compare this with past work of, say, Kemp, Kuhn and Brox (2013) [here], performing a Delphi study of GIScience journals.

Also note the discussion of the h5 index in here (Vrettas and Sanderson, 2015), suggesting that the size of the venue tends to lead to an over-inflation of its h5index. I would be happy to include additional venues into this, and share data for deeper investigation.

I am looking forward to comments!

GIScience Google Metrics trend


Vrettas, G. and Sanderson, M. (2015), Conferences versus journals in computer science. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi: 10.1002/asi.23349


The R Hadleyverse for rvest, tidyr, stringr, dplyr and ggvis! Great little problem to learn these!


More kudos for AURIN

It is great to observe from distance how AURIN is growing in recognition in Australia. Yesterday, AURIN became the Merit recipient in the Government category of the Victorian 2015 IAWARDS . Congratulations to all that helped getting this project where it is now – from vision to realisation. And in particular, to all the users!

Defensive wayfinding at COSIT 2015

Can you tell that the route directions you are following are wrong? Can you tell which part of these directions is incorrect? In our recently accepted paper on “defensive wayfinding”, Kai-Florian and I are investigating which kinds of uncertainty in route directions can be detected by wayfinders during wayfinding. Not much work has been done on this topic so far, and we are looking forwad to a lively discussion at COSIT. The uncorrected (accepted) version of the paper is available here: Defensive Wayfinding: Incongruent Information in Route Following.

Analyzing Web Behavior in Indoor Retail Spaces (JASIST paper accepted)

My colleagues Yongli, Flora, Kevin, Mark (all RMIT University) and I have been busy researching indoor user behaviour. We have now got a paper (pre-print) covering the analysis of indoor browsing behaviour in large retail spaces accepted for publication in JASIST (the Journal of the American Society for Information Science, No 1 in Library and Information Science according to Google Scholar Metrics).

From the abstract: “We analyze 18 million rows of Wi-Fi access logs collected over a one year period from over 120,000 anonymized users at an inner-city shopping mall. The anonymized dataset gathered from an opt-in system provides users’ approximate physical location, as well as Web browsing and some search history. Such data provides a unique opportunity to analyze the interaction between people’s behavior in physical retail spaces and their Web behavior, serving as a proxy to their information needs. We find: (1) there is a weekly periodicity in users’ visits to the mall; (2) people tend to visit similar mall locations and Web content during their repeated visits to the mall; (3) around 60% of registered Wi-Fi users actively browse the Web and around 10% of them use Wi-Fi for accessing Web search engines; (4) people are likely to spend a relatively constant amount of time browsing the Web while their visiting duration may vary; (5) the physical spatial context has a small but significant influence on the Web content that indoor users browse; (6) accompanying users tend to access resources from the same Web domains.

This work is supported by the ARC LP Project TRIIBE, and our industry partner – thanks!

W2GIS 2015 proceedings on Springer

Springer has published the W2GIS 2015 proceedings now. So have a quick peek at what is coming at this year’s workshop and consider participating – the discussions and interactions always make for more than just the content of the book!

Register here:


A UZH PHD position available!

The GIScience Center of the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich invites applications for a PhD student to join our interdisciplinary research team. The GIScience Center at the Department of Geography hosts several research groups working on diverse topics including movement analysis, digital cartography and mobile systems, language and space, geographic information retrieval, digital terrain modeling, uncertainty modeling, geovisual analytics, spatial cognition and urban informatics.
The advertised PhD student position will be expected to contribute to a broader research focused on COMPUTATIONAL METHODS TO ANALYSE URBAN ENVIRONMENTS. Possible topics include the development of methods for the analysis of large spatial networks, the development of methods contributing to the understanding of mobility in indoor spaces, or methods enabling a systematic investigation of the functional structure of cities. Using computational approaches exploiting large datasets, the PhD student will develop algorithms and measures applicable to the specific research and will validate the results using diverse experimental approaches. The successful candidate is expected to choose a research focus and write a detailed research proposal within the first 6 months of his/her starting day.
We are seeking a highly motivated, creative thinker passionate about science and with a desire to develop a research career. Applicants will have completed an excellent final degree (Master or equivalent) in a relevant field, such as Geographic Information Science, Geography, Computer Science, Information Science, or Geomatics before appointment. We further expect knowledge of network analysis, spatial analysis, statistics and/or data mining; and basic programming skills and/or formal methods, as well as a willingness to develop these further. Applicants should have a very good standard of written and spoken English. Fluency in, or a willingness to learn, one or more of Switzerland’s national languages would also be an advantage. The successful candidate will also have an autonomous and self-reliant working style; high motivation to work collaboratively within a team; and a genuine interest in interdisciplinary collaboration.
We offer excellent working conditions, a stimulating and vibrant research environment and Zurich’s high quality of life. The candidate will be part of the Zurich Graduate School in Geography providing academic and professional support to doctoral students in Geography. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr. Martin Tomko and will be a member of the GIS Unit within the GIScience Center (
To apply, send your curriculum vitae, a motivation statement, transcripts, and contact details for two referees (including e-mail addresses) in a single PDF document with the applicant’s name as file name by 15 May 2015 to annica.mandola (subject: “PhD in Urban GIScience”). For further questions, contact Martin Tomko (martin.tomko).
The position will start on 01 July 2015, or as soon as possible thereafter, and is funded for three years, with an option for an extension of up to four years.

Please, disseminate!

A Wi-Fi positioning paper related to TRIIBE

A new paper related/inspired by our TRIIBE Project focusing on the improvement of the accuracy of indoor Wi-Fi positioning has now appeared in the Journal of Location Based Services, in what will become a special issue of selected papers fro mthe LBS 2014 Symposium. The paper will be presented next wek in Vienna by Brian.

Bai, Y. B., Wu, S., Retscher, G., Kealy, A., Holden, L., Tomko, M., Borriak, A., Hu, B., Wu, H. R. and Zhang, K. (2014). “A New Method for Improving Wi-Fi Based Indoor Positioning Accuracy.” Journal of Location Based Services. DOI:10.1080/17489725.2014.977362