The Importance of Spatial Data Analysis in the Public Sector

November 1, 2018 6:30 am PST | Data as a Service

Decision-makers within the government and public sector use data to dig into which initiatives and programs to invest in. But when it comes to where to devote resources, spatial views can make an impact.

At the University of Pennsylvania Master of Urban Spatial Analytics program, graduate candidates examine decision-making in the public sector with a focus on traditional data science, as well as spatial analysis.

Spatial views illuminate the most meaningful places to allocate resources across neighborhoods and other geographical regions.


MUSA will offer a master class — open to all — set for Nov. 16 on using R, data visualizations, and cartography to explore resource allocation, using real, publicly available datasets for the exploration. Attendees should have an introductory-level knowledge of R. They can join the master class through a live webcast, or in person at the university’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.

“The 2018 MUSA Master Class sponsored by Socrata is an opportunity for civic technologists and data scientists the world over to come together and learn from a an expert in the field,” says Ken Steif, Ph.D., Program Director of MUSA and Lecturer in University of Pennsylvania’s MUSA and city planning programs.

The workshop will be led by James Chesire, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in quantitative human geography at University College London and Deputy Director of both UCL Q-Step Centre and ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre. Dr. Chesire, a leader in the use of cartography in R, is known for his work with data visualizations.

After Dr. Chesire demonstrates how to create data visualizations with data, attendees will replicate his analysis using datasets hosted on Socrata’s platform.

Data visualizations created during this master class will be shared on social media via #MusaMasterClass. Even if you can’t make it to the Nov. 16 event, you can follow along with the visualizations results at that hashtag.

Imagine a future where we have the ability to identify the registration, gasoline usage, replacement parts, and environmental impact of our car — all through one seamless digital system. Read how the Dutch Transit Authority is doing just that in Dutch Transit Data Fuels Innovation & Engagement.

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