Aidan Slingsby
Lecturer in Visual and Analytic Computing

giCentre, Department of Computer Science, City, University of London


Home | Background | News | Publications | Diary | Contact (and find) me


I am a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science as part of the giCentre Research Centre. I direct our MSc in Software engineering programme, co-direct our MSc in Data Science programme, and look after part of our PhD programme.

My research interests focus on the role of data visualisation in the analysis of data, particularly those that are spatial and temporal. My work involves creating, designing, applying and evaluating both static and interactive information visualisation for data exploration and analysis. I design and apply these techniques in a variety of application areas including insurance, population, human movement, animal movement and ecology. I use and combine techniques from cartography, GIS and information visualisation.

I have a background in Geography and GIS, holding a BSc (Hons) in Geology (Edinburgh), an MSc in GIS (Edinburgh) and a PhD in GIS (University College London).


Recent news

August 2017: I was invited to the Lorentz Center workshop in Leiden (Netherlands) on Movement: New Sensors, New Data, New Challenges organised by Kevin Buchin, Urska Demsar, Kamran Safi and Rob Weibel. We worked on a number of data challenges using animal tracking data capturing with a variety of different types of sensors.
July 2017: I organised a small workshop where we brainstormed some research ideas with staff from the UK's Animal and Plant Health Agency to tackle questions of the spread of animal disase. This was funded by small grant from City's "pump-priming" funding.
June 2017: I attended the EnvirVis workshop at EuroVis in Barcelona and presented my paper Visual Characterisation of Temporal Occupancy for Movement Ecology.
April 2017: I attended GISRUK and presented my paper with Emiel van Loon on Temporal tile-maps for characterising the temporal occupancy of places: A seabird case study. My colleague Roger Beecham presented joint work on spatially varying explanations behind the UK's vote to leave the EU". The conference is celebrating its 25th anniversity and keynotes from Bob Barr and Bruce Gittings were useful reflections on the evolution of the discipline over this time.
November 2016: My paper led by Cagatay "Supporting Theoretically-grounded Model Building in the Social Sciences through Interactive Visualisation" has been accepted to the Neurocomputing journal. We show how interactive visualisation can help social scientists build predictive models that are grounds in social science theory.
November 2016: I acted as the opponent for Andreas Halls' PhD thesis entitled Reasoning in Spatio-Temporal Analysis. His excellent thesis discussion at his public defence, resulted in my recommmendation of a pass with distinction. Very well done Andreas! The defence was attended by his family, friends and colleagues. Thank you to all for your part in organising such a nice day. Andreas was advised by Paula Ahonen-Rainio and supervised by Kirsi Virrantaus.
August 2016: My co-authored paper with colleagues led by Roger Beecham - Map LineUps: effects of spatial structure on graphical inference has received an Honorable Mention.

See older news.


Current projects

Visual analytics for criminal intelligence: EU-funded VALCRI project where we - and 17 other institutions from across Europe - are designing and implementing techniques that apply visual analytics to criminal intelligence analysis. We are using some of the ideas from our previous EPSRC/DSTL-funded DaisyDiva project.

Weather: At 10:59 on 13/12/17, my weather station reported a temperature of 8.1°C with 2.4mm of rain so far today and an average wind speed of 0km/h (0km/h gust) in a --- direction. More on Weather Underground.


Teaching and supervision

I teach Business Intelligence and Analytics (data analysis with an emphasis on visual analysis and presentation; INM451) to MSc students, Visual Analytics (the science and practice of combining computational and analysis analysis; INM433) to MSc students, Object Oriented Programming (principles of object-oriented programming with Java; EE2425) to undergraduates; and our two-week intensive programming "bootcamp" of fun for our first-year undergraduates. This teaching contributes to our MSc in Business Systems and Design, the MSc in Data Science and our Undergraduate programmes.

I am currently supervising 14 MSc projects and Rafael Henkin's PhD project in temporal visual analysis. I'm open to supervising projects that relate to my research interests. Examples include: implementing existing work using web technology, combining interactive visualisation and geographically-weighted statistics for visual exploration, developing and/or evaluating flow/movement visual analytics methods, applications with sensor data and ecology-related applications.


Some examples and demos

Video demos on the giCentre Vimeo Channel

birdGIS: Software for visually-exploring GPS data, originally designed for GPS-tracked birds.

London bike hire graphs: last 24 hours of usage compared to last week and for any day since mid-August

OAC maps: rectangular cartograms of UK demographics.

Place Survey: explore the Place Survey results for Leicestershire.

Responsive Legends for Aerial Photographs: demo of a map legend for an aerial photograph that is responsive to zoom/pan.

Tag map mashups: Mashups of point-based spatial data of British placenames

Exploring Design Decisions for Effective Information Visualization: tutorial with software.


Key publications

See full list.

Slingsby, A. & van Loon, E. (2016). Exploratory Visual Analysis for Animal Movement Ecology. Computer Graphics Forum, 35(3). [details | DOI | software | video]

Turkay, C., Slingsby, A., Hauser, H., Wood, J. & Dykes, J. (2014). Attribute Signatures: Dynamic Visual Summaries for Analyzing Multivariate Geographical Data. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics [details]

Slingsby, A., Dykes, J., Wood, J. & Radburn, R. 2014. Designing an Exploratory Visual Interface to the Results of Citizen Surveys. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, doi: 10.1080/13658816.2014.920845 [details]

Slingsby, A., Beecham, R. and Wood, J. 2013. Visual Analysis of Social Networks in Space and Time using Smartphone Logs Pervasive and Mobile Computing 9 (6), pp848-864. [details]

Walker, R., Slingsby, A., Dykes, J., Xu, K., Wood, J., Nguyen, P., Stephens, D., Wong, W. and Zheng, Y. 2013. An Extensible Framework for Provenance in Human Terrain Visual Analytics Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 19 (12), pp2139-2148. [details]

Slingsby, A., Dykes, J. and Wood, J. 2011. Exploring Uncertainty in Geodemographics with Interactive Graphics. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 17(12), pp2384-2391 [paper]

Dykes, J., Wood, J. and Slingsby, A. 2010 Rethinking Map Legends with Visualization. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 16(6), pp890-899 [pdf | video] Honorable mention

Wood, J., Dykes, J., Slingsby, A. 2010. Visualization of Origins, Destinations and Flows with OD Maps, The Cartographic Journal 47 (2) pp117-129. DOI:10.1179/000870410X12658023467367 [pdf]

Slingsby, A., Wood, J. and Dykes, J. (2010) Treemap Cartography for showing Spatial and Temporal Traffic Patterns, Journal of Maps, v2010, 135-146. DOI: 10.4113/jom.2010.1071 [pdf | demo].

Slingsby, A., Dykes, J. and Wood, J. 2009. Configuring Hierarchical Layouts to Address Research Questions. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 15 (6), Nov-Dec 2009, pp977-984 [pdf | video] Honorable mention

Wood, J, Dykes, J., Slingsby, A. and Clarke K. 2007. Interactive visual exploration of a large spatio-temporal data set: reflections on a geovisualization mashup. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 13 (6), pp1176-1183, November/December 2007. [pdf]