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CfP: VGIscience PLATIAL’18 Workshop 20.-21.09.2018 in der Universität Heidelberg

CfP: VGIscience PLATIAL’18 Workshop 20.-21.09.2018 in der Universität Heidelberg


On the way to platial analysis: Can geosocial media provide the necessary impetus?


Heidelberg University, Mathematikon, 20—21 September 2018


The recent availability of user-generated geographic datasets allows gaining novel insights into otherwise hardly observable societal phenomena. Geosocial media forms one important source of user-generated information, which partly describes the everyday lives of people. The analysis of these kinds of data, however, requires new approaches. Geosocial media data—like those extracted from Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and others—differ from established sources in that they are largely inherently platial in nature. People provide their own subjective opinions or perceptions, and taken together these represent the digital social imagination of places. Crisp and objective geographic data primitives like points, lines or polygons are not necessarily the preferable units for analysing these kinds of information. Platial analysis approaches are thus needed to fully exploit the potential of geosocial media and related data. Yet, while human geographers and social scientists have been theorizing on the concept of place since a long time, and despite of invocations by leading GIScience researchers, we are still lacking a universal theory on the formalization of places and how to make them available to quantitative and other GIS-related analysis strategies. Partly, this lack has been due to the insufficient availability of platial data, but the appearance of geosocial media might change this condition. It is therefore time to rethink our geographical analysis strategies with a focus on “place” instead of “space”. We therefore encourage you to participate in our two-day workshop for discussing the following topics:

  • How could existing GIScience theories on space be integrated with the human-geographic and philosophical notion of place?
  • How can we—analogous to points, lines and polygons—derive platial units as counterparts to the established GIS primitives?
  • How is it possible to establish and quantify relationships between adjacent places?
  • What might be a suitable strategy for aggregating subjective platial information?
  • What roles do uncertainty and fuzziness take in a platial theory of geoinformation?
  • In which ways can places be visualized, and how can we do that at multiple scales?
  • How can platial analysis be integrated with applied research agendas from neighbouring disciplines like sociology/regional science, urban planning, or human geography?
  • How to align Tobler’s first law of geography with a platial notion of geospatial analysis?
  • Further topics are welcome if they fit the overall theme of this workshop.


Apart from discussing the above topics, it is our particular goal to establish an interdisciplinary dialogue involving geographers, computer scientists, social scientists, and other related scholars.


We are delighted to announce that Alexis Comber will give the keynote talk!

Keynote talk: Quantitative Platial Analysis Prof. Alexis Comber, University of Leeds


Workshop convenors

René Westerholt, GIScience, Heidelberg University (

Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, GIScience, Heidelberg University (

Alexander Zipf, GIScience, Heidelberg University (


Important dates

1 June 2018: Call for short papers and registration open.

8 July 2018: Submission deadline for short papers.

19 August 2018: Camera-ready papers are due.

16 September 2018: Papers are available online.

2021 September 2018: VGIscience PLATIAL’18 workshop.


How to contribute

We are seeking high-quality contributions on the topics proposed. Therefore, we want your work to be visible and sustainably citable also after the workshop. All short paper contributions will be published online as CEUR Workshop Proceedings, an outlet for high-quality computer science and information systems proceedings. Your papers shall be prepared in adherence to the guidelines published on the workshop website ( You can find the template and start writing on Overleaf. The manuscripts should not exceed 3,000 words, including figures and references (7 pages if you include many figures). The final submission of both PDF and LaTeX source files can be done via EasyChair.

The submissions will be handled as follows:

  1. Please submit your prepared paper (PDF and the TeX sources) through EasyChair.
  2. All submissions will be reviewed double-blind by at least two members of the programme committee. Therefore, please prepare your documents in anonymized form.
  3. The revised and accepted papers will be made available online before the workshop date.

We invite you to extend your short papers towards long papers for a planned special issue after the workshop, which we want to publish with Transactions in GIS (accepted, in planning). Further information on this latter opportunity will be made available on the workshop homepage soon.


How to register

The admission fee (including lunch, coffee breaks and dinner) depends on your status:

Regular participants: 130 €

PhD students: 80 €

Bachelor/Master students: 40 €

You will receive a receipt for your reimbursement. Please note that the number of attendees is limited, and your participation depends on the availability of places. You can register for the workshop on Eventbrite: Please note: For administrative reasons, the payment will be done after you have registered at Eventbrite (the tickets offered on Eventbrite are free, the payment is done separately).


Programme committee

Gennady Andrienko (City University London, United Kingdom)

Thomas Blaschke (University of Salzburg, Austria)

Dirk Burghardt (Technical University of Dresden, Germany)

Alexis Comber (University of Leeds, United Kingdom)

Andrew U. Frank (TU Wien, Austria)

Hans Gebhardt (Heidelberg University, Germany)

Michael F. Goodchild (University of California, Santa Barbara, United States)

Krzysztof Janowicz (University of California, Santa Barbara, United States)

Alan MacEachren (The Pennsylvania State University, United States)

Grant McKenzie (McGill University, Canada)

Franz-Benjamin Mocnik (Heidelberg University, Germany)

João Porto de Albuquerque (University of Warwick, United Kingdom)

Ross Purves (University of Zurich, Switzerland)

Simon Scheider (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

René Westerholt (Heidelberg University, Germany)

Stephan Winter (University of Melbourne, Australia)

Diedrich Wolter (University of Bamberg, Germany)

Alexander Zipf (Heidelberg University, Germany)


Do not hesitate to post your questions to


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