This page provides an overview of my past and ongoing research projects, with links to the main project pages, where applicable. It is not always up to date, so please contact me if you have questions about current research directions.

If you are a prospective PhD student (or internal Masters or Final year student), have a look at my Publications for a rough idea about my research interests. I am currently looking for PhD/ internal Masters students with topics related to computational urban GIScience (note that you must have outstanding BSc/MSc results to be eligible for scholarship funding, or have your own funding). The profile is detailed at the end of this page.

We have also recently acquired a Clearapath Husky Autonomous Mapping platform with an exciting array of LIDAR, GPS and IMU sensors and a powerful onboard GPU-enabled computer, and also have a development Turtlebot 2 robot. Projects exploring autonomous mapping of urban indoor/outdoor environments are available, so students interested in SLAM, path planning, autonomous mapping and change detection are strongly encouraged to contact me, too (Python/C++/Matlab knowledge necessary, expertise with ROS an advantage).


  • Spatial tools for cultural heritage data acquisition, analysis and visualization (including autonomous mapping and automated visualization) [open for Masters projects]. Here, interest in contributions to open source packages is a plus.
  • Self-Healing Maps: protecting maps through automatic updating processes (CIs Winter, Rajabifard, Kealy, Khoshelham, Tomko, Kalantari), ARC DP (2017-2020) – This project will deliver a world-first computational framework for self-healing maps. It will be the first application of autonomous artificial immune systems to map data, enabling continuous assurance of map quality. This project will develop methods for autonomous preservation of map data consistency based on heterogeneous data inputs, such as from autonomous sensors. It aims at improving the trust in maps in time critical decision-making, such as in emergency response and traffic management. (PhD expressions of interest sought). [available for Masters projects]
  • Making Human Place Knowledge Digestible by Computers (CIs Winter,Renz, Baldwin, Tomko, Kuhn), ARC DP (2017-2020) – This project aims to deliver the fundamental computational methods to capture, model, process, and interact on human place knowledge. People think of places and their relations, while computers use coordinates and maps. People’s interaction with maps is cognitively costly and error-prone, which is untenable in time-critical decision making. We investigate new fundamental computational methods to enable smart human-machine interaction based on place knowledge, which is important for Web search, crowd-sourced data capture, or interaction with autonomous vehicles. (PhD expressions of interest sought) [available for Masters projects]
  • Computational modeling and analysis of  mobility (including visualization): an umbrella set of projects, including the investigations below:
    • Improving equity of Hepatitis B treatment access and outcomes by informing spatial targeting of resources (CIs Cowie, McVernon, Jenny, Tomko, Golding, MacLachlan), CRC-SI Proejct (2016-2018) – Exploring Hepatitis B modelling through mobility models [completed]
    • Digital solutions for capturing connectedness and mobility data in remote Indigenous communities (CIs McVernon, Tong, Gibney, McKinnon, Gundjirryirr Dhurrkay, Geard, Campbell, Bird, Wadley, Tomko, Taylor), Indigenous Research Initiative seed fund, Unimelb (2016-2017) – Tracking connectedness in remote communities for health modelling. [finished]
    • Mapping Urban Mobility for Flu Forecasting (CIs Tomko, Geard, Moss), MNSI Unimelb (2016-2017) – Exploring the utility of large-scale SatNav tracking data for influenza modelling. [second phase – also seeking Masters students]
  • Computational methods for the analysis of functional city structuresan ongoing project, looking at the way urban structure influences and determines human mobility, and how people interact in cities. I am seeking students interested in statistical analysis of urban networks and other quantitative means to analyse urban morphology! 

Past projects

  • TRIIBE – TRacking Indoor Information BEhaviour. ARC LP (2012-2015) with colleagues at RMIT University, Melbourne. We are exploring the correlations between the Web and physical behaviour of indoor mall visitors. [Completed, but interest in indoor behaviour analysis is ongoing]
  • Innopool GIUZ UZH: Topology in Geography (Interdisciplinary exploration of Topology in Geography)
  • Improving indoor wayfinding: bringing spatial cognition from evaluation to design. Sponsored by the Group of Eight Australia – Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme [2013-2014](CI, collaboration with Christoph Holscher, University of Freiburg/ETH Zurich)
  • The New ABP Building and Pedestrian Flows: Forecast and Analysis of Indoor and Outdoor Wayfinding Performance. ABP Research Grant [2012, ongoing](CI)
  • AURIN – The Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network [2011 – ongoing](Senior Project Manager, Information Infrastructure Design)
  • FUSS – Functional Urban Structures (Forschungskredit UZH – Early Career Researcher Grant)[2010](CI)
  • TRIPOD. EU FP6 Project, [2007-2009](Postdoctoral Researcher)
  • Access to Spatial Data. CRC-SI Project 3.3. [2004-2007]

Profile of potential PhD applicants:

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD with me (from 2016 at the University of Melbourne), you should see yourself in the below summary:

“You have a desire to contribute to the broader research field of GIScience, researching in particular COMPUTATIONAL METHODS TO ANALYSE URBAN ENVIRONMENTS. You are motivated by an interest in understanding how humans interact in, and with, their environment. Your see yourself contributing new methods for the analysis of large spatial networks, for the understanding of mobility in cities and indoor spaces, or methods enabling a systematic investigation of the morphology of cities. You are either keen to explore and test hypotheses on large datasets computationally, or to develop theories and formal methods, or you may be interested in the validation of analytical research using diverse experimental approaches, for instance through subject testing. “

If you are a highly motivated, creative thinker passionate about space and science, and have a desire to develop a research career, get in touch. Applicants should 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. I further expect knowledge of or interest in network analysis, spatial analysis, statistics and/or data mining; basic programming and/or database skills and a willingness to develop these further. You should should have a very good standard of written and spoken English. You have a self-reliant working style but are able to contribute productively to collaboration in a team, and are not scared of interdisciplinary collaboration.

If you are interested, please send me an email with the following items:

  1. Cover letter stating WHY you want to work with me, and WHY you are the right candidate (list your achievements);
  2. Attach CV including English results (IELTS or TOEFL), your GPA and institutional ranking if available;
  3. Detailed undergraduate and postgraduate transcript.