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Academic Report: Why is Euclidean Geometric Thinking so wrong for maps and mapping in the era of Big Data?

Report title: Why is Euclidean Geometric Thinking so wrong for maps and mapping in the era of Big Data?

Reporter: Prof, Bin Jiang (University of Gavle, Sweden)

Time: 10:30-11:30am, June 20th, 2017

Room: 420, School of Geography Science



Cartography, as well as geography, has been very much dominated by Euclidean geometric thinking, which tends to concern about geographic locations, as well as sizes of geographic features. However, it is widely known that geographic features are not measurable, or any measurement must be specific to a certain map scale (Jiang and Brandt, 2016). Thus, Euclidean geometry is not an appropriate paradigm for geographic or cartographic research. In this presentation, I will demonstrate and discuss how fractal geometric thinking can be applied to various mapping practices such as thematic mapping, map generalization, cognitive mapping, and even perception of beauty.



Dr. Bin Jiang is the professor in GeoInformatics and Computational Geography at University of Gavle, Sweden. He worked in the past with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University College London's Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis. He is the founding chair of the International Cartographic Association Commission on Geospatial Analysis and Modeling. He used to be the Accociate Editor of International Journal of Computer, Environment and Urban Systems (2009-2014), and is currently Academic Editor of open access journal PLOS ONE, and Associate Editor of Cartographica. His research interests center on geospatial analysis and modeling of urban structure and dynamics, e.g, agent-based modeling, scaling hierarchy, and topological analysis applied to street networks, cities, and geospatial big data.