I am a graduate student in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My research focuses on advancing the spatial discovery of research data. I work with the Center for Spatial Studies and UCSB Library to develop a UCSB Open Data site, which is a nexus for spatially integrated interdisciplinary data.
My research interests include geographic information retrieval, data management, semantic web technologies, and education. My previous experience in Urban and Regional Planning and GIS motivates my goal of developing techniques that increase access to spatial analysis tools and. See my vitae for more detail.
I am developing an open data site that leverages ArcGIS Online to increase users' ability to discover researcher datasets and associated publications. I have also developed a simple proof of concept linked data model connecting publications to referenced data using Open Refine. Spatial discovery of data is important for interdisciplinary research as overlap between objects that typically exist in separate repositories allows for new insights, data reuse, and increased citation, driving cross-disciplinary collaboration. I will present the results of this work at the Esri Education UC as part of the Advances in GIScience panel for Transactions in GIS.
I developed and tested case studies for a implementation of Core Concepts of Spatial Information, a project that refines and simplifies the use of existing spatial libraries through abstraction. I worked with a team on authoring the library of Python wrappers for the repository. Case studies included testing analysis implementations in ArcPy and GDAL for terrain and luminosity. I analyzed current practices and toolkits that domain scientists use to develop spatial analysis workflows and then reframed their procedures in terms of core concepts. This work was presented at the 2015 Spatial Local and at the AGILE meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.
I worked as a student contractor at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA processing radar imagery in support of disaster response. I produced damage proxy maps to visualize areas where changes in surface conditions reflected the impacts of disasters. The maps were used to identify damaged structures and to assess the extent of regional damage in remote areas. I worked on a team to develop a Web-based GIS interface, which reduced time-consuming data conversions in the validation process and supported disaster response agencies in rapid rescue and emergency supply logistics. I presented this work on behalf of my team at NASA Headquarters.
Lafia, S., Jablonski, J., Kuhn, W., Cooley, S. and Medrano, F. A. (2016). Spatial discovery and the research library. Transactions in GIS, 20: 399–412. doi:10.1111/tgis.12235
Cooley, S., Lafia, S., Medrano, F.A., Stephens, D., Kuhn, W. (2015). Spatial Discovery Meeting Final Report. Spatial Discovery Expert Meeting, Final Report. UC Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies.