Ph.D. “Applications of Digital Image Processing for Automation in Palynology”,
Department of Electronic Engineering, The University of Hull. UK.
B.Sc. Joint Hons. Physical Geography and Geology, The University of Hull. UK.
- Reader, Faculty of Computing, Engineering & Science, University of South Wales
- 2003-2013 Principal Lecturer, Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan.
- 1994, 1995, and 1997. Visiting International Scientist. Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CGIAR – C.I.A.T.), Cali, Colombia, South America.
- 1991-2003 Lecturer, Department of Geography, The University of Leicester.
- 1989-1991 Research Associate, Midlands Regional Research Laboratory, The University of Leicester
- 1987-1989 Research Associate, Computers in Teaching Initiative, The University of Leicester
Areas of Expertise: Quantitative and Computational Geography; Spatial Analysis and Spatial Analytical Modelling; Spatial Accessibility Modelling and the computation and application of geographical accessibility metrics, particularly those using Enhanced Two-step Floating Catchment Area (E2SFCA) methodologies and derivatives; Dasymetric Mapping: principles, methods, and applications; Areal interpolation: methodologies and small-area population estimation techniques; Population distribution modelling and the construction of population density surfaces; Spatial databases: design and implementation; Spatial information systems: design and implementation. Software engineering, particularly in the development of geospatial add-in tools; Geographical Information Systems: ArcGIS, QGIS, PostGIS, JumpGIS, and others. Environmental (in)equality and (in)justice; Environmental and social applications for satellite remotely sensed imagery.
Ph.D. – External Examiner
Ph.D. – Internal Examiner
Ph.D. – Research Supervision
M.Sc. – Masters Projects Supervision
B.Sc. – Undergraduate Projects Supervision
Teaching: MSc Computing Scheme:
– ICT Systems Development (spatial databases);
Teaching: B.Sc Digital and Technology Solutions (Degree Apprentice)
– Yr1: Principles of Technology Solutions
Teaching: B.Sc./MComp Computing Scheme:
– Yr1: C# Computer Programming
– Yr2: Database Development (spatial databases); Computer Programming 2 (Franchise Colleges)
– Yr2: Team Application Project with Professional Practice and Employability;
– Yr3: GIS and the Spatial Web (Mapping APIs, OpenLayers & GeoServer);
Invited Peer Reviewer for a wide range of International Scientific Journals – these have included:
Applied Geography, International Journal of Geographical Information Science; Transactions in Geography; Geographical Analysis; The Professional Geographer; Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems; Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy; The International Journal of Science and Technology; British Medical Council Health Services Research; International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; International Regional Science Review; Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing; Habitat – Yr1:International; The Journal of Maps; International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Page, N., Higgs, G, and Langford, M., (accepted) “Exploring spatiotemporal variations in public library provision following a prolonged period of economic austerity: a GIS approach”, Area
Higgs, G, Langford, M., and Page, N. (2019) “Use of floating catchment area models to investigate trends in ‘extended hours’ GP provision”, presented at Applied Geography Commission Conference, Gran Sasso Science Institute, L’Aquila, Italy. June 17th – 19th.
Langford, M., Higgs, G., and Taylor, C. (2019) “Accessibility to secondary schools in the UK: an enhanced two-step floating catchment areas (E2SFCA) analysis, using well-informed variable-sized catchments”. presented at Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., 3rd-5th April.
Price, A., Langford, M., Higgs, G. and Radcliffe, J. (2019) “Enhancing our understanding of access to sporting facilities in Wales through geospatial analysis”. Poster presented at GIS Research UK Conference, University of Newcastle, April 24th – 26th.
Williams, R., Higgs, G. and Langford, M. (2019) “The usability of open source tools to measure access to health services; analysing mobile cancer unit location”. Paper presented at GIS Research UK conference, University of Newcastle, April 24th – 26th.
Higgs, G, Langford, M., Jarvis, P., Page, N., Richards, J. and Fry, R. (2019) “Using GIS to investigate variations in accessibility to ‘extended hours’ primary health care provision”, Health and Social Care in the Community, forthcoming, DOI:10.1111/hsc.12724
Page, N., Higgs, G. and Langford, M. (2018) “Exploring local patterns of voluntarism in Wales”, Cynhadledd Flynyddol WISERD/WISERD Annual Conference University of South Wales, Pontypridd. 18th-19th July 2018.
Page, N., Higgs, G. and Langford, M. (2018) “Estimating levels of volunteering in small-areas of Wales. Session 145: Geographies and landscapes of civil society(1)”, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference University of Cardiff, Wales. 28th-31st August 2018.
Langford, M., Higgs, G., and Dallimore, D. (2018) “Investigating spatial variations in access to childcare provision using network-based GIS models” Social Policy & Administration https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12419
Page, N., Higgs, G. and Langford, M. (2018) “An exploratory analysis of spatial variations in organ donation registration rates in Wales prior to the implementation of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013” Health & Place. vol.52, p.18-24 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.05.002
Page, N., Langford, M. and Higgs, G. (2018) “An evaluation of alternative measures of accessibility for investigating potential ‘deprivation amplification’ in service provision” Applied Geography, vol.95, p.19-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2018.04.003
Page, N., Langford, M. and Higgs, G. (2018) “Measuring spatial accessibility to services within Indices of Multiple Deprivation: Implications of applying an Enhanced two-step Floating Catchment Area (E2SFCA) approach” Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, Published Online 28 Dec 2017 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12061-017-9246-2
Langford, M., Higgs, G. and Radcliffe, J. (2018) “The application of network-based GIS tools to investigate spatial variations in the provision of sporting facilities” Annals of Leisure Research. 21:2, 178-198. Published Online 13 Jan 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11745398.2016.1272059
Page, N., Langford, M. and Higgs, G (2018) “Barriers to reproducible research in GIS; a practical example using a national index of multiple deprivation”, GISRUK 2018: 26th GIScience Research UK Conference, The University of Leicester, UK, 18th-20th April, 2018.
Higgs, G., Jones, S. Langford, M. and Heley, J. (2018) “Assessing the impacts of changing public service provision on geographical accessibility: an examination of public library provision in Pembrokeshire, South Wales” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 36(3), 548-568.
Williams, R., Higgs, G. Langford, M., Banks T. and Edwards, R (2018) “Translating networked based accessibility measures into an open source environment; challenges and opportunities”, GISRUK 2018: 26th GIScience Research UK Conference, The University of Leicester, UK, 18th-20th April, 2018.
Williams, R., Langford, M., Higgs, G., Banks T. and Edwards, R (2018) “Migrating Accessibility Measures to Open Source”, FOSS4G UK 2018, Urban Innovation Centre, London, UK, 8th-9th March, 2018.
Thomas, H., Crocker, S., Wilton, J.,Davies, C., Langford, M.,and Higgs, G. (2017) “Childcare Capacity in Wales: Mapping childcare supply against potential demand” Government Social Research 65/2017. Welsh Government. http://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/childcare-capacity-wales ISBN 978-1-78859-804-0
Higgs, G., Zahnow, R, Corcoran, J. Langford, M. and Fry, R. (2017) “Modelling spatial access to General Practitioner surgeries: Does public transport availability matter?” Journal of Transport & Health. doi:10.1016/j.jth.2017.05.361 http://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S2214140516303243
Frew, R., Higgs, G. Harding, J. and Langford, M. (2017) “Investigating geospatial data usability from a health geography perspective using sensitivity analysis: the example of potential accessibility to primary healthcare” Journal of Transport & Health. 6. 128-142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jth.2017.03.013
Page, N., Langford, M. and Higgs, G (2017) “Community-level Social Capital and Public Service Provision: A Position Paper and Research Agenda” 1639 Urban Services: Interactions, Mobilities, Engagements, Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, The Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, 5th-9th April, 2017.
Langford, M., Higgs, G. and Fry, R. (2016) “Multi-modal Two-step Floating Catchment Area Analysis of Primary Health Care Accessibility” Health & Place. 38, 70-81. DOI:10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.11.007
Langford, M., Higgs G. and Fry, R. 2015 “USW-FCA2: An ArcGIS add-In tool to compute Enhanced Two-Step Floating Catchment Area accessibility scores” Software Package – ArcMap add-in Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287198887_USW-FCA2_An_ArcGIS_add-In_tool_to_compute_Enhanced_Two-Step_Floating_Catchment_Area_accessibility_scores. DOI:10.13140/RG.2.1.3178.8884
Langford, M. Higgs, G and Fry R. 2015 “Measuring Assess to Primary Health Care using Two-Step Floating Catchment Areas and a Public/Private Multi-modal Transport Network” Plurimondi, [S.I.], Vol.8, No.16, 39-52. ISSN 2420-921X. available at <http://plurimondi.poliba.it/index.php/Plurimondi/article/view/53>
Langford, M. Higgs, G and Fry R. 2015 “Measuring Assess to Primary Health Care using Two-Step Floating Catchment Areas and a Public/Private Multi-modal Transport Network” ECTQ2015: The XIX European Colloquium in Theoretical and Quantitative Geography Mediterranean Agronomic Institute Bari (MAIB), Bari, Italy. 3rd-7th September 2015.
Higgs, G. Langford, M. and Norman P. 2015 “Accessibility to sport facilities in Wales: A GIS-based analysis of socio-economic variations in provision.” Geoforum. 62, 105-120.
Frew, R. Higgs, G. Langford, M. and Harding J. 2015 “Assessing geographic data usability in analytical contexts: Undertaking sensitivity analysis of geospatial processes” Proceedings of the 23rd Annual GIS Research UK Conference, Leeds University 15th-17th April 2015, p38.
Langford, M., Higgs G. and Fry, R. 2014 “USWFCA : An ArcGIS (10.1/10.2) Add-In tool to compute Enhanced Two-Step Floating Catchment Area accessibility scores” Software Package (ArcGIS AddIn) Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/261398233_USWFCA__An_ArcGIS_(10.110.2)Add-In_tool_to_compute_Enhanced_Two-Step_Floating_Catchment_Area_accessibilityscores
Langford, M., Higgs G. and Fry, R. 2014 “USWFCA Installation and Usage Instructions” Installation Instructions available at:
Langford, M. (2013) “An evaluation of small area population estimation techniques using open access ancillary data.” Geographical Analysis. 45, 324-344.
Higgs, G., Langford, M. (2013) “Investigating the validity of rural-urban distinctions in the impacts of changing service provision: the example of postal service reconfiguration in Wales.” Geoforum. 47, 53-64.
Higgs, G., Langford, M. and Fry, R. (2013) “Investigating variations in the provision of digital services in public libraries using network-based GIS models.” Library & Information Science Research. 35, 24-32.
Langford, M., Higgs, G., and Fry, R. (2012) “Using floating catchment analysis (FCA) techniques to examine intra-urban variations in accessibility to public transport opportunities: the example of Cardiff, Wales.” Journal of Transport Geography. 25, 1-14.
Higgs, G., Fry, R. and Langford, M. (2012) “Investigating the implications of using alternative GIS-based techniques to measure accessibility to green space.” Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. 39(2) 326 – 343.
Langford, M., Fry, R. and Higgs, G. (2012) “Measuring transit system accessibility using a modified two-step floating catchment technique.” International Journal of Geographical Information Science. 26(2) 193 – 214.
Berry, R., Higgs, G., Fry, R. and Langford M. (2011) “Web-based GIS approaches to enhance public participation in wind farm planning.” Transactions in Geographical Information Systems. 15(2): 147–172.
Langford, M. and Higgs, G (2011) “Evaluating the performance of the binary dasymetric interpolation model at the lowest census dissemination level” 1416 Interpolation and Uncertainty in Small-Area Estimates 1, Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Washington, 12th-16th April, 2011.
Langford, M., Fry, R., Higgs, G. (2011). “A modified two-step floating catchment area technique for measuring transit system accessibility”. Proceedings of the 19th Annual GIS Research UK Conference, Portsmouth University 27th-29th April 2011, 220-229.
Berry, R., Higgs, G., Fry, R., Langford, M. (2011). “Web GIS for enhancing public participation in wind farm planning”. Proceedings of the 19th Annual GIS Research UK Conference, Portsmouth University 27th-29th April 2011, 220-229.
Langford, M. and Higgs, G. (2010) “Accessibility and public service provision: evaluating the impacts of the Post Office Network Change Programme in the UK”." Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 35(4), 585-601.
Higgs, G. and Langford, M. (2009) “GIScience, environmental justice, and estimating populations at risk: The case of landfills in Wales”." Applied Geography. 29, 63-76.
Langford, M. (2009) “GIS for environmental decision making”." Environment and Planning B – Planning & Degisn. 36, 2, 377-378.
Langford, M., Higgs, G., Radcliffe, J., and White, S. (2008) “Urban population distribution models and service accessibility estimation”." Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 32(1), 66-80.
Higgs, G., Berry, R., Kidner, D. and Langford, M. (2008) ) “Using IT approaches to promote public participation in renewable energy planning: Prospects and Challenges”." Land Use Policy. 25(4), 596-607.
Langford M. (2007) ) “Rapid facilitation of dasymetric-based population interpolation by means of raster pixel maps”." Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 31(1), 19-32.
Berry, R., Higgs, G., Kidner, D., Langford, M. (2007). “Examining the potential of Internet-based Landscape and Visual Impact tools to promote public participation in wind farm planning. Proceedings of the 15th Annual GIS Research UK Conference, Maynooth, Ireland, 10th-13th April.
Berry, R., Higgs, G., Kidner, D., Langford, M. (2007). “Examining the potential of Internet-based geographical information systems to promote public participation in wind farm planning”. Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Annual Conference, London, 29th-31st August 2007.
Langford M. and Higgs G. (2006) ) “Measuring Potential Access to Primary Healthcare Services: The Influence of Alternative Spatial Representations of Population.” The Professional Geographer. 58(3), 294-306.
Langford M. (2006) ) “Obtaining population estimates in non-census reporting zones: An evaluation of the 3-class dasymetric method”." Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 30(2), 161-180.
Berry, R., Higgs, G., Langford, M., and Fry,R. (2006). “An evaluation of online GIS-based landscape and visual impact assessment tools and their potential for enhancing public participation in the UK. 7th International Conference on Information Technologies in Landscape Architecture., Anhalt University, Dessau, Germany. 17th-20th May. <http://www.isprs.org/proceedings/xxxviii/4-w13/id_46.pdf>
Langford M., and Higgs, G. (2005) “Measuring potential access to primary healthcare services in Wales: The influence of alternative spatial representations of population”, In BILLEN, R. et al (Eds.) Proceedings of the 13th Annual GIS Research UK Conference, University of Glasgow, UK. pp1-15.
Langford M. (2005) “Dasymetric mapping of industry and commerce across Wales, UK, using geospatial integration of national mapping agency products”. ACSM-CLSA-NALS-WFPS Congress on Surveying and Mapping, Las Vegas. USA.
Langford M. (2004) “Populated pixel maps: a simple method to facilitate dasymetric areal interpolation”. Proceedings of the 12th Annual GIS Research UK Conference, University of East Anglia, UK. pp370-372.
Langford M. (2003) “Refining methods for dasymetric mapping using satellite remote sensing”. In: Mesev, V. (Ed) Remotely Sensed Cities, Taylor & Francis: London. pp137-156.
Robinson S, Langford M. and Tate N. (2002) “Modelling Population Distribution with OS LandLine.Plus data and Landsat Imagery”. Proceedings of the 11th Annual GIS Research UK Conference, University of Sheffield, UK. pp320-325.
Langford M. and Harvey J. (2001) “The Use of Remotely Sensed Data for Spatial Disaggregation of Published Census Population Counts”. Proceedings IEEE/ISPRS Joint Workshop on Remote Sensing and Data Fusion over Urban Areas, Spazio Congressi, Rome. pp260-264.
Martin D, Tate N, and Langford M. (2000) “Refining population surface models; experiments with Northern Ireland census data”. Transactions in Geographical Information Systems. 4(4), 342-360.
Langford, M. and Tate N. (2000) “Enhancing models of dasymetric population mapping”, RSS2000, Leicester University, UK.
Cockings, S., Fisher, P. and Langford, M. (1997) “Parameterisation and visualisation of the errors in areal interpolation”. Geographical Analysis. 29(4), 314-328.
Langford, M. and Bell, W. (1997). “Land cover mapping in a tropical hillsides environment: A case study in the Cauca region of Colombia”. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 18(6), 1289-1306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/014311697218421
Langford, M., Bell, W. (1997) “A comparison between an image processing approach and a GIS approach to improving land cover mapping using multi-source satellite imagery”. Proceedings of the 5th Annual GIS Research UK Conference,, University of Leeds, UK. pp56-64.
Baldwin J., Fisher P,, Wood J, Langford, M. (1996) “Modelling environmental cognition of the view with GIS”. Third International Conference/Workshop on Integrating GIS and Environmental Modeling, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
Fisher, P. and Langford, M. (1996) “Modelling sensitivity to accuracy in classified imagery: A study of areal interpolation”. The Professional Geographer. 48(3), 299-309.
Fisher, P and Langford, M. (1995) “Modeling the errors in areal interpolation between zonal systems by Monte Carlo simulation”. Environment and Planning A. 27, 211–224. https://doi.org/10.1068/a270211
Bell, W, Langford, M., Rubiano, J, Urbano, P, Byne, S, Rincón, M. (1995) “Dificultades en la creación de un SIG en las laderas de los Andes colombianos”. cgspace.cgiar.org<http://ciat-library.ciat.cgiar.org/ciat_digital/CIAT/books/historical/111.pdf>
Langford, M. and Unwin, D. (1994) “Generating and mapping population density surfaces within a geographical information system”. The Cartographic Journal. 31, 21-26. https://doi.org/10.1179/000870494787073718
Strachan A. and Langford, M. (1994) “Diploma/M.Sc. in GIS – The Leicester Experience”. Proceedings EGIS’94, Paris, France. pp812-821.
Langford, M., Dykes, J., Wood, J (1994) “The design and implementation of a flexible GIS teaching resource”. Proceedings EGIS’94, Paris, France. pp243-251.
Langford, M., and Fisher P. (1994) “Measuring the Accuracy of Cross Areal Population Estimates”. AGI’94 Conference Proceedings, Birmingham, UK. Paper 3.22. pp1-8
Unwin D, Langford, M. (1993) “The life and death of LIPS: Some lessons from the design and use of courseware for teaching digital image processing”. IEE Colloquium on Teaching of Digital Image Processing in Universities, London UK. 21-21 Oct. 1993
Fisher P, Langford, M. (1993) “Dasymetric Mapping from Classified Landsat Imagery and Cross Area Estimation”. GIS/LIS Proceedings:1993, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 2-4 November, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Vol.1 p.219-219.
Langford, M., Fisher, P. and Troughear, D. (1993) “Comparative Accuracy Measurements of the Cross Areal Interpolation of Population”. Proceedings EGIS’93, Genoa, Italy. pp663-674.
Derbyshire, E., Unwin, D, Fang, X and Langford, M. (1992). “The Fourier frequency-domain representation of sediment fabric anisotrophy”. Computers and Geosciences. 18, 63-73.
Langford, M., Maguire, D. and Unwin, D. (1991) “The areal interpolation problem: Estimating population using remote sensing in a GIS framework” In Handling geographic information: Methodology and potential applications. I. Masser and M. Blakemore. London, Longman: pp55-77.
Langford, M. and Strachan, A. (1991) “Getting Started in GIS: cost effective solutions and academic support”. AGI’91 Conference Proceedings, Paper 3.7. Birmingham, UK.
Langford, M., Taylor, G. and Flenley, J. (1990). " Computerised identification of pollen grains by texture analysis." Review of PalaeoBotany and Palynology. 64, 97-203. https://doi.org/10.1016/0034-6667(90)90133-4
Langford, M., Maguire, D. and Unwin, D. (1990) “Cross area population estimation using remote sensing and GIS”. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling, Zurich, Switzerland. Vol.1, 541-550.
Langford, M., Unwin, D. and Maguire, D. (1990) “Generating improved population density maps in an integrated GIS”. Proceedings EGIS’90, Amsterdam, Netherlands. pp651-660.
Langford, M., Taylor, G. and Flenley, J. (1986) “The application of texture analysis for automated pollen identification”. Proceedings of the Conference on Identification and Pattern Recognition, Toulouse, France. Vol.2. 729-739. Universite Paul Sabatier.
2017. “Analysing the Sporting Infrastructure of Wales”. Commissioned by the Sports Facilities Review Programme, Department for Economy, Skills and Natural Resources, Welsh Assembly Government.
2016. “Childcare Provision Gap Analysis” commissioned by the Social Research and Information Division of the Welsh Assembly Government. The primary purpose of this contract was to undertake analyses of the spatial distribution of childcare provision relative to potential demand across Wales. The programme consisted of a series of advanced spatial statistical models using Two-Step Floating Catchment Areas Analysis, to evaluate the total capacity of childcare providers against the likely demand arising within local geographical levels (specifically Output Area and Lower Super Output Area). The research has had impact in terms of its use by the Welsh Government to explore geographical gaps in current childcare provision and to inform future policy development in regard to a manifesto pledge for free childcare provision for all working parents.
2015. “A customised GIS system for investigating inequalities in access to sporting facilities
in Wales”. Commissioned by SportWales. This project consisted of the development of a customised tool for use in ArcMap to provided bespoke accessibility analyses. The tool was bundled with a geodatabase containing pertinent open access data and 2011 census statistics which allowed the client to analyse variations in the spatial availability of sporting facilities across Wales and to investigate potential associations in provision with socio-economic characteristics of the local population demographics.
I am a quantitative geographer and computer scientist, with research interests in the fields of spatial data modelling and geostatistical analyses. Research activities, publications, and other forms of output have broadly focused on spatial analyses, the advancement of geographical information science, and the application of computer software engineering to spatial data analysis and solving geographical problems.
Like most academics, my research career has followed a number of twists and turns. Initially working with Professor John Flenley, I published pioneering work in the field of Paleopalynology. This concerns the analysis of fossil pollen found in mud cores and is an important scientific tool for studying paleoclimates and paleoenvironments. It is also used in oil and gas exploration and occasionally for criminal forensic evidence. Traditionally, pollen identification is a highly-skilled, time-consuming and costly task based on optical microscopy. My Ph.D. (published in 1988) explored the potential for machine vision, pattern recognition, and digital image processing to automate the task <https://hydra.hull.ac.uk/resources/hull:3098>. It established the principle that texture descriptors computed from digital scanning electron microscope images could inform pattern recognition and statistical classification algorithms (artificial Intelligence techniques) to automate pollen identification. “Computerized identification of pollen grains by texture analysis” (Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 1990) acted as a catalyst for others to pursue this goal, and after many years of further development automated pollen identification is now a reality. (see: Gonçalves at. al. (2016) Feature extraction and machine learning for the classification of Brazilian Savannah pollen grains. PLoS ONE; Maros J.R. et. al. (2015) Automated pollen identification using microscopic imaging and texture analysis. Micron; DellAnna R. et. al. (2009) Pollen discrimination and classification by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) microspectroscopy and machine learning. Anal. Bioanal. Chem.; Li P. and Flenley J.R. (1999) Pollen texture identification using neural networks. Grana).
After completing my Ph.D. my research interests shfted towards the development, evaluation and application of spatial interpolation techniques for small-area population estimation. “Generating and mapping population density surfaces within a geographical information system" was published in 1994 with Professor David Unwin, and was the first to introduce the influential methodological development of applying dasymetric mapping techniques to spatial interpolation. This widely cited paper has inspired much ongoing research activity exploring the use of satellite imagery and other forms of ancillary geospatial information for intelligent spatial interpolation, population surface modelling, and small-area population estimation.
The Cartographic Journal article focussed on how dasymetric techniques can improve the cartographic presentation of population distribution compared to ‘traditional’ choropleth maps. Further work, published with Professor Pete Fisher, focused on proving the efficacy of dasymetric methods for driving intelligent areal interpolation techniques. “Modeling the errors in areal interpolation between zonal systems by Monte Carlo simulation” in Environment and Planning A (1995), and “Parameterisation and visualisation of the errors in areal interpolation” in Geographical Analysis (1997) developed key methodologies and concepts that have since been adopted in many subsequent publications in this field.
My most recent research, conducted with Professor Gary Higgs, has focused on computing and applying measures of geographical accessibility. One outcome of our efforts is the development of bespoke software to facilitate the computation of sophisticated accessibility metrics. I have developed and published an ArcGIS AddIn tool to compute Enhanced Two-Step Floating Catchment Areas accessibility metrics (made available on ResearchGate) which has generated widespread interest amongst academics. An alternative tool, using the PostGIS spatial database, now offers a free and open source (FOSS) alternative, and work is on-going to further develop this into providfing web services and accessibility scores through a browser-based interface.
In addition to tools development, we have also conducted numerous studies to explore the application of such methods in a wide variety of thematic areas. Our publications have applied E2SFCA scores, as well as other accessibility measures, to themes as diverse as Primary Health Care provision, access to Public transport facilities, the reconfiguration of Post Office service, access to Public Libraries and to Sports facilities, and to evaluating the capacity and spatial distribution of supply of Childcare Services: For example:
(2006) “Measuring potential access to primary healthcare services: the influence of alternative spatial representations of population”, The Professional Geographer; (2016) “Multi-modal Two-step Floating Catchment Area Analysis of Primary Health Care Accessibility”, Health & Place; (2012) “Using floating catchment analysis (FCA) techniques to examine intra-urban variations in accessibility to public transport opportunities: the example of Cardiff, Wales”, Journal of Transport Geography; (2013) “Investigating the validity of rural-urban distinctions in the impacts of changing service provision: the example of postal service reconfiguration in Wales”, Geoforum; (2010) “Accessibility and public service provision: evaluating the impacts of the Post Office Network Change Programme in the UK”, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers; (2017) “Assessing the impacts of changing public service provision on geographical accessibility: an examination of public library provision in Pembrokeshire, South Wales”, Environment and Planning C: (2018) “The application of network-based GIS tools to investigate spatial variations in the provision of sporting facilities”, Annals of Leisure Research; (2015) “Accessibility to sport facilities in Wales: A GIS-based analysis of socio-economic variations in provision”, Geoforum; (2018) “Investigating spatial variations in access to childcare provision using network-based GIS models”, Social Policy & Administration.
Overall my research has impacted upon a broad and eclectic mix of fields including environmental analysis, medical geography, urban geography, social science, and geographical information science. This is evidenced by over 1,600 citations, to date, in international peer-review articles published across a broad spectrum of academic journals (incl: Applied Geography; Applied GIS; Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Australian Journal of Primary Health; Automation in Construction; BMC Health Services Research; The Canadian Geographer; Cartographica; Cartography and Geographic Information Science; Chinese Science Bulletin; Computers Ecological Modelling; Computer Vision and Image Understanding; Energy Policy; Environment and Urban systems; Environment and Planning A; Epidemiology; Geography Compass; Geographical Analysis; GeoJournal; GeoCarto International; GIScience and Remote Sensing; Health and Place; International Journal of Geographical Information Science; Journal of Quantitative Criminology; International Journal of Health Geographics; International Journal of Population Geography; Journal of Geographical Systems; Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved; Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Planning; Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology; Land Use Policy; Journal of Maps; Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences; New Zealand Geographer; Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing; Population and Environment; Population Research and Policy Review; Population, Space and Place; The Professional Geographer; Quaternary Science Reviews; International Journal of Remote Sensing; Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A; Renewable Energy; Social Science Research; Social Science and Medicine; Spatial Science; Science in China – Series E: Technological Sciences; Science of the Total Environment; Urban Geography; Vetinary Research; The International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation; International Journal of Geographical Information Science, and Transactions in GIS).
Areas of Expertise
Quantitative Geography and Spatial Analysis. Particularly applied to the use of spatial accessibility metrics – in health and social services, environmental justice and spatial analysis. GIS Applications, Geo-computation, and Geo-spatial modelling; Software engineering (in C#, Python, and SQL/MM) particularly for the development of geo-spatial analytical tools; Spatially-enabled databases, including design, implementation, and the deployment of spatial querying operations; Dasymetric mapping principles, particularly those applied to areal interpolation tasks.
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