Montreal Building Footprints

Mar 8, 2019

Microsoft just recently published their Building Footprints dataset for Canada. A quick analysis (well, not so quick given the 500MB geojson file) of the coverage for the Island of Montreal shows that there are considerable differences from the dataset released by Statistics Canada last month. For instance,...

Scooter-pocalypse talk at UC Santa Barbara

Mar 5, 2019

UCSB Think Spatial

A big thank you to everyone that showed up to my (Grant's) ThinkSpatial talk this week at UC Santa Barbara's Center for Spatial Studies. It was great to see some familiar faces and discuss the spatiotemporal patterns of scooter-sharing services in Washington D.C. I hope to do it again soon.

Spatial Knowledge and Information Canada Conference 2019

Feb 25, 2019

The 7th Conference on Spatial Knowledge and Information Canada (SKI-Canada) just wrapped up in beautiful Banff, Alberta. The conference brought together GIScience researchers who live and work in Canada and this year Grant McKenzie served as one two program chairs for the conference. Held over four days from February 21-24th, the single track conference included 30 presentations, three panels on a range of topics, and a series of networking and social events. Thanks very much to our...

New publication on predicting financial access in sub-Saharan Africa

Feb 21, 2019

The recent increase in user-generated content and social media adoption in developing countries offers an unprecedented opportunity to better understand the accessibility and spatial distribution of financial services in sub-Saharan Africa. Financial inclusion has been identified as a priority by multiple agencies in the region and on-the-ground efforts are currently underway to identify previously unknown financial access points in numerous developing African countries. Existing techniques...

Social Statistics & Population Dynamics Talk

Jan 16, 2019

McGill University

Grant will be giving a talk titled "Platial Dynamics: Activity exploration through digital exhaust" at McGill's Center for Population Dynamics on February 6th. Details on the talk (and other upcoming speakers) are available at If you are in the area, come by and check it out.

Join the Lab! Masters and PhD Opportunities

Nov 9, 2018

The Platial Analysis Lab is currently accepting applications for funded graduate research from motivated students at the Masters and PhD levels. Potential research topics and requirements for students are listed below.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
• Human activity patterns and trajectory analysis
• Location privacy and security
• Location-based services & Mobile tracking
• Geographic knowledge representation


GIS Day @ McGill

Oct 26, 2018

GIS Day Poster

GIS Day is on Wednesday, November 14th this year and McGill will be hosting a number of GIS day events in the Geographic Information Center (Burnside 5th floor). I will be giving the keynote address at 1pm titled "Place, Place, and the Fourth Paradigm of Science" followed by a series for excellent speakers. If you are in town, come by and check out the events.

Internet of Things Conference 2018

Oct 18, 2018

I was fortunate to spent this past week as a participant and organizer of the Internet of Things (IoT) conference. Held this year at the Kimpton Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA, the conference has become the premier gathering place for academic researchers and practitioners in the IoT domain. The 8th International Conference on the Internet of Things (IoT 2018) is a fantastic forum for efforts, to share, discuss and witness cutting...

Identifying neighborhood names

Sep 26, 2018

In 2014, Google published a neighborhood map of Brooklyn, the most populous borough in New York City, a seemingly harmless step in providing its users with useful geographic boundary information. The backlash was swift. Residents of Brooklyn responded angrily, many stating that a commercial company such as Google had no right to label and define boundaries within their city. This was not a lone incident, as many mapping agencies, both government and commercial, have come to realize that...

GIScience Conference 2018

Sep 6, 2018

The Tenth International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience ‘18) came to a close last week in Melbourne, Australia. By all accounts the conference was a success and it was great to catch up with colleagues and researchers I maybe only get to see once a year. The Location Privacy and Security Workshop (LoPaS '18) held on the first day of the conference went well with an excellent keynote, three thought...