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Enhancing Geospatial Data: Collecting and Visualising User-Generated Content Through Custom Toolkits and Cloud Computing Workflows

Gray, Steven James; (2023) Enhancing Geospatial Data: Collecting and Visualising User-Generated Content Through Custom Toolkits and Cloud Computing Workflows. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Through this thesis we set the hypothesis that, via the creation of a set of custom toolkits, using cloud computing, online user-generated content, can be extracted from emerging large-scale data sets, allowing the collection, analysis and visualisation of geospatial data by social scientists. By the use of a custom-built suite of software, known as the ‘BigDataToolkit’, we examine the need and use of cloud computing and custom workflows to open up access to existing online data as well as setting up processes to enable the collection of new data. We examine the use of the toolkit to collect large amounts of data from various online sources, such as Social Media Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and data stores, to visualise the data collected in real-time. Through the execution of these workflows, this thesis presents an implementation of a smart collector framework to automate the collection process to significantly increase the amount of data that can be obtained from the standard API endpoints. By the use of these interconnected methods and distributed collection workflows, the final system is able to collect and visualise a larger amount of data in real time than single system data collection processes used within traditional social media analysis. Aimed at allowing researchers without a core understanding of the intricacies of computer science, this thesis provides a methodology to open up new data sources to not only academics but also wider participants, allowing the collection of user-generated geographic and textual content, en masse. A series of case studies are provided, covering applications from the single researcher collecting data through to collection via the use of televised media. These are examined in terms of the tools created and the opportunities opened, allowing real-time analysis of data, collected via the use of the developed toolkit.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Enhancing Geospatial Data: Collecting and Visualising User-Generated Content Through Custom Toolkits and Cloud Computing Workflows
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10168801
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