The Spatial Information Design Lab is now the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University. Visit our new site at c4sr.columbia.edu to find out about current projects and upcoming events. This site is an archive of work completed up to 2014.
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Posted on August 24, 2015 by Spatial Information Design Lab
Now Hiring!

The Spatial Information Design Lab and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation are seeking applicants for 'The Synapse', a groundbreaking interdisciplinary project. The Synapse is a large-scale, permanent installation to be located in the ground floor of the Jerome L Greene Science Center, opening on the new Manhattanville campus in the summer of 2016. 

For more information about the project, please refer to this page: http://spatialinformationdesignlab.org/projects/synapse

We are now looking for candidates for the following four positions:

Graphic Designer

Data Visualization Specialist

Data Scientist

Junior Programmer

Read on for more information about the positions below:

Graphic Designer 

This position will focus on the creation of consistent visual language as well as frameworks and templating systems across multiple media, though primarily focusing on screen based/interactive systems located in the urban layer space of the Jerome L Greene Science center. The successful candidate will work closely in collaboration with an interdisciplinary design team consisting also of a science writer, a data scientist / programmer, a data visualization specialist and architectural designers working in collaboration with the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, located in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. 

Education / Experience: Bachelor's Degree or the equivalent required. 4-6 years of related experience required.  

Required skillset: Must have demonstrable experience creating consistent experiences across multiple media platforms and demonstrable experience with identity design / branding. Must be fluent in Adobe CS applications, custom typography design, template design, motion graphics and storyboard creation. Ability to work collaboratively and to think critically and creatively to problem-solve required. Excellent interpersonal skills, presentation skills and organization required.  

Experience with 2d animation tools (such as After Effects) and data visualization frameworks such as processing preferred.  

Apply here: jobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=149812

 

Data Visualization Specialist  

This position will focus on the creation of various interactive data visualizations for the major components of the installation, all located in the urban layer space of the Jerome L Greene Science center. as well as the web and motion formats of the other two projects. The successful candidate will work closely in collaboration with an interdisciplinary design team consisting also of a science writer, a data scientists / programmer, a data visualization specialist, a graphic designer and architectural designers working in collaboration with the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, located in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, as well as faculty in the Arts and Sciences. 

Education / Experience: Bachelor's Degree or the equivalent required. 4-6 years of related experience required.  

Required skillset: Must have demonstrable experience creating engaging and novel interactive visualizations in multiple media. Must be fluent in software frameworks such as Processing and d3, and in programming languages such as Python and Javascript. Some familiarity with web development frameworks, basic HTML and using APIs required. Ability to work collaboratively and to think critically and creatively to problem-solve required. Must have experience working in creative teams in an art/design context. Excellent interpersonal skills, presentation skills and organization required.

Experience with Adobe CS applications, typography, template design and graphic design preferred.  

Apply here: jobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=149815

 

Data Scientist

Reporting to the Director, David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation, the Data Scientist will lead the creation of algorithms and data visualizations for 'The Synapse', a groundbreaking interdisciplinary project in collaboration with the Spatial Information Design Lab at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. 

Develops algorithms and data visualizations that pull information from various exhibits and systems located in the urban layer space of the Jerome L Greene Science center such as visitor behavior, interaction with various exhibits as well as feeds from social media and Neuroscience specific data sources. 

Works closely in collaboration with an interdisciplinary design team consisting also of a science writer, a data visualization specialist, a graphic designer and architectural designers working at the Spatial Information Design Lab. Manage junior level computer scientist to enhance development of algorithms, visualizations, and art/design projects as assigned. Performs other duties as assigned. This is a full time temporary position through October 31, 2015, with the possibility of extension dependent on performance and the availability of funding. 

Education / Experience: Bachelor's degree is required, Advanced degree desirable. Minimum of 4-6 years related experience. M.S. or higher in data science, computer science or other relevant fields. 

Required skillset: Some experience with API design and DSL / Language design is also required. 

Fluency with multiple general-purpose scripting languages such as Python, R and Javascript are required, as well as in-depth knowledge of document-oriented storage systems such as MongoDB and others. Demonstrated ability in critical and creative thinking / problem solving; Capability to work independently and in a team; Good communication and presentation skills. 

Experience working in creative teams in an art/design context is preferred but not necessary. Experience with MATLAB and other scientific systems used in Neuroscience is a plus. Demonstrable track record of driving interdisciplinary art/design projects.  

Apply here: jobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=150426  

 

Junior Programmer  

Reporting to the Data Scientist, the Computer Scientist, Junior, will focus on the creation of custom APIs, domain specific languages and other work for 'The Synapse', a groundbreaking interdisciplinary project, in collaboration with the Spatial Information Design Lab at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. 

Develops custom APIs, domain specific languages for installation components of in the Jerome L Greene Science Center. Supports projects through creation of various components for the installations within the urban layer space of the Jerome L Greene Science center. Reports to and works closely with the senior data scientist on The Synapse projects. Collaborates with an interdisciplinary design team consisting also of a science writer, a data visualization specialist, a graphic designer and architectural designers working at the Spatial Information Design Lab. Performs other duties as assigned. This is a part-time, temporary position through October 31, 2015, with the possibility of extension dependent on performance and the availability of funding. 

Education / Experience: Bachelor's degree in computer science and/or its equivalent required. Minimum of up to 2 years related experience.  

Required skillset: Fluency in various programming languages such as Python, Java and Javascript. Demonstrated ability in critical and creative thinking / problem solving. Capability to work independently and in a team. Good communication and presentation skills.  Experience working in creative teams in an art/design context. 

Demonstrable experience with the creation of domain specific languages and APIs is a plus. Motivated with demonstrable track record of driving interdisciplinary art/design projects. Some knowledge of web frameworks/ templating systems would be a preferable.  

Apply here: jobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=150408  

 

Posted on November 4, 2014 by Laura Kurgan

Thanks Andy Kirk for nice write up on SIDL's collaboration with Alex Gil, Digital Scholarship Coordinator, Humanities and History Division, Columbia University Libraries.

http://www.visualisingdata.com/index.php/2014/11/library-project-visuali...

Posted on August 22, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Juan Francisco Saldarriaga will be showcasing his project CitiBike Rebalancing Study at the NYC Media Lab Annual Summit, to be held on September 19th at the New School in New York City.

Posted on August 12, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Adam Davidson from the Graduate Center, and Juan Francisco Saldarriaga from the Spatial Information Design Lab presented their project Modeling Social Justice Issues in Urban Zones Using Big Data: Evidence from Bikeshare and Taxicab Data. This project is a collaboration between David King, Columbia University; Jonathan Peters, City University of New York; Adam Davidson, City University of New York; and Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, Columbia University.

The workshop took place on August 11-12, 2014, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://urbanbigdata.uic.edu/

Posted on July 6, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

It's been a rough couple of months for Citi Bike, what with the revelation that the program requires "tens of millions" to stay afloat, or news that annual membership rates could skyrocket from $95 to $150/year. Still, that's not stopping Columbia University fromattempting to perfect the imperfect system.

Using weekday data from October 2013, researcher Juan Francisco Saldarriaga at Columbia's Spatial Information Design Lab mapped demand imbalances at every Citi Bike station in the city.

Some of the findings are expected, with the worst imbalances occurring from 6 to 10am and 4 to 8pm. Peak data in the morning shows most bikes leaving residential neighborhoods (the Lower East Side, the East Village, Chelsea, and Hell's Kitchen), and arriving at Midtown East and the Financial District. The opposite is true in the afternoon and evening.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/07/06/maps_reveal_widespread_imbalances_in_citi_bike_stations.php#reader_comments

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Coming across an empty bike-share station when you need a bike — or a full one, when you need a dock — is a disappointing experience, to say the least. While Citi Bike’s rebalancing efforts try to keep up by shuttling bikes around town, the company is working against a tide that shifts demand unevenly across its service area.

Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, a researcher at Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab, mapped those demand imbalances as part of a project the lab is working on. ”Origins and destinations of Citi Bike trips are not necessarily symmetrical during the day,” he wrote. To untangle the patterns of bike-share riders, the team used weekday data from last October to create a matrix showing imbalances at every station by hour of day.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/06/30/the-science-and-maps-behind-finding-available-citi-bikes-and-docks/

Posted on June 25, 2014 by Spatial Information Design Lab

As a form of public transportation, bikeshare systems have one major catch: The bikes seldom circulate themselves in quite the way planners would like. If users traveled around town in all directions, at all times of day, in relatively equal numbers, docks would empty and refill naturally. None would ever be totally empty. None would ever be completely full.

Of course, this is not how people travel in the real world (and it is not how cities are built). In Washington, commuters flood out of residential neighborhoods in the morning (emptying docks there), many aiming for the same few blocks downtown (where the docks are invariably full). In New York, riders descend on Penn Station during rush hour; they congregate around Union Square at night.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/25/the-ultimate-riddle-of-supply-and-demand-bikeshare/

Posted on June 8, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

As part of the Urban Design Event Series (5 Borough Studio, Summer 2014), Juan Francisco Saldarriaga presented the lecture Activity Mapping, at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University.

Posted on June 1, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Report about visualisation work related to a NYC ‘Citi Bike Rebalancing Study’

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://visualisingdata.com/index.php/2014/08/best-of-the-visualisation-web-june-2014/

Posted on March 31, 2014 by Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Since its introduction last May, the Citi Bike program has attracted 100,000 annual members but far fewer daily subscribers than expected, a combination that has contributed to the system’s precarious finances as operators look to expand.

The math is simple: Regular riders strain the system through repeated use, leading to higher costs. A new data visualization project demonstrates this phenomenon, and makes clear the degree to which the bike share system has become interwoven into the city’s transit network.

Visit the link below to find out more:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/31/by-plotting-journeys-providing-a-glimpse-at-citi-bike-ridership/