Research project: Localizing Content Governance

This project is led by Dr Scott Rodgers (PI) in collaboration with Dr Susan Moore (Co-I) and Dr Andrea Ballatore (Co-I), funded by a grant from Facebook Research (USD 70,000). Localizing Content Governance in Place-named Facebook Groups (2020/21) is a systematic study into how Administrators and Moderators govern contributions in Facebook Groups relating to named … Continue reading Research project: Localizing Content Governance

Research project: Searching for Unique Places

PI: Andrea Ballatore, Birkbeck, University of London, funded by Ordnance Survey (£40,000), 2019-20 Summary. This project will develop a framework for the search and recommendation of places. Unlike entities with clear boundaries, places such as neighbourhoods and towns are configurations of geo-located objects with fuzzy and arbitrary borders. Existing similarity search approaches have been optimised … Continue reading Research project: Searching for Unique Places

Web scraping is legal (for UK researchers)

TL;DR: In the UK, it is mostly legal to scrape data for non-commercial research. Great for doing research from home. Much research data nowadays is sourced directly from the Web, either from traditional websites or from social media platforms. Economists, sociologists, and geographers often rely on web scraping to collect large datasets about the behaviour … Continue reading Web scraping is legal (for UK researchers)

Where are celebrities from? New York Yankees and Hollywood Anglos

In a new paper with my colleague Eric Kaufmann, we used a crowdsourced dataset from Ethnicelebs.com to study, among other things, when and where American celebrities from diverse backgrounds anglicise their names to adhere to a WASP ideal. For example, action-movie actor of Catholic Lithuanian heritage Charles Dennis Buchinsky changed his surname to Bronson not to … Continue reading Where are celebrities from? New York Yankees and Hollywood Anglos

10 tips for interdisciplinary research careers

Interdisciplinarity has been a hot topic in academia for several decades and is probably here to stay. Having done interdisciplinary research for almost 10 years in the UK/US academia, I feel I am in a position to offer my advice regarding the challenges and rewards of crossing the treacherous boundaries of disciplines (and departments). For a … Continue reading 10 tips for interdisciplinary research careers

Wikimapia: An overlooked source of Volunteered Geographic Information

New paper: A. Ballatore & J. Jokar Arsanjani (2018) Placing Wikimapia: An exploratory analysis, in the International Journal of Geographical Information Science. [PDF] Abstract: Wikimapia is a major privately owned volunteered geographic information (VGI) project to collect information about places. Over the past 10 years, Wikimapia has attracted hundreds of thousands of contributors and collected millions … Continue reading Wikimapia: An overlooked source of Volunteered Geographic Information

Vandalising maps

Defacing the map: cartographic vandalism in the digital commons. The Cartographic Journal 51 (3), pp. 214-224. ISSN 0008-7041. [PDF] Abstract: This article addresses the emergent phenomenon of carto-vandalism, the intentional defacement of collaborative cartographic digital artefacts in the context of volunteered geographic information. Through a qualitative analysis of reported incidents in WikiMapia and OpenStreetMap, a typology of this … Continue reading Vandalising maps