Call for Participation: International Symposium on Geospatial Approaches to Combating Covid-19, 13-14 December 2021, hybird

The ICA Commission on Location Based Services and Commission on Geospatial Analysis and Modeling are pleased to invite you to the International Symposium on Geospatial Approaches to Combating Covid-19, which will take place hybird online and in Florence, Italy on 13—14 December 2021.

There is an inherent spatial dimension in the spread of infectious diseases. A large body of studies and practices have evidenced the importance of spatial thinking and the effectiveness of geospatial technologies in understanding Covid-19. It is critical to share research findings quickly so as to maximize the use of them in the world’s collective efforts. This symposium calls for submissions of Covid-19 research from the geospatial perspective.

Thie symposium features 34 oral presentations, organized into 7 sessions.

For more details of the symposium, please refer to

Hope to see many of you at the symposium.

LBS 2021: A report

During 24-25 November 2021, the 16th Conference on Location Based Services (LBS 2021) has been successfully held online on Zoom. The conference was organized by the ICA Commission on Location Based Services, and hosted by Prof. Anahid Basiri and her team at the University of Glasgow.

This year LBS 2021 was again privileged to host more than 215 participants from all over the world, contributing to the conference with high-quality presentations and inspiring discussions.

The conference featured five keynotes:

  • Michael Batty, University College London, “More Than One Digital Twin”
  • Urška Demšar, University of St Andrews, “Studying migratory bird navigation with spatial data science”
  • Matt Duckham, RMIT University, “LBS and Indigenous Data Sovereignty”
  • Anita Graser, Austrian Institute of Technology, “Open LBS Research: Why (not)?”
  • Ross Purves, University of Zurich, “Location, place and language”


The conference also featured a “Best paper session” on the 2nd conference day.

  • The “Best paper award” went to Jerome Dreyer, Sven Heitmann, Felix Erdmann, Gernot Bauer and Christian Kray from Germany for their full paper on ” ‘Informed’ consent in popular location based services and digital sovereignty”.
  • The winner of the best short paper award at LBS2021 is “Would citizens contribute their personal location data to an open database? Preliminary results from a survey”, authored by Vilma Jokinen, Ville Mäkinen, Anna Brauer and Juha Oksanen from Finland.

We also hosted a series of interesting oral presentations covering different aspects of LBS Research, which were grouped into five oral sessions on “Wayfinding and Navigation Systems”, “Positioning”, “Location tracking and systems”, “Mobility and Activity Analytics”, and “Visualization, Perception and Analysis”.

You can check the hashtag #LBS2021 on Twitter to get some impressions of the conference.

LBS 2022 will be hosted by Augsburg University and TU Munich in Munich on 12-14 September 2022. More details will follow.

CEUS special issue on “Geospatial Big Data Analytics for Smart Cities” published online

We are happy to announce that the special issue on “Geospatial Big Data Analytics for Smart Cities” in Computers, Environment and Urban Systems has been published online on November 2021.

This special issue is an outcome of the International Symposium on Location-Based Big Data 2019 (LocBigData 2019, held in Tokyo, Japan), which offered a platform for researchers from various disciplines and perspectives to share ideas and research findings and to discuss the open challenges and future research challenges in this emerging field.

The special issue consists of 9 papers, which reflect the front-end snapshots of current research activities in this field, and illustrate how LocBigData analytics can help to achieve smart cities.

The paper on “Analytics of location-based big data for smart cities: Opportunities, challenges, and future directions” provides a state-of-the-art review on LocaBigData analytics and identifies a series of open and key research challenges that should be addressed to advance the emerging field of LocBigData analytics or urban analytics to enable smart and sustainable cities (see the following figure for a visual summary).