1986 …2022

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Personal profile

Research interests

Mitch is a computational quantitative geographer / applied computer scientist. His primary research interests lay in spatial analysis and geoinformatics, and broadly in the development and application of spatial technologies and spatial analyses to a wide range of social and environmental issues and concerns. Mitch is interested in all forms of spatial analysis, geocomputation and geoinformation handling, and is actively engaged in the development of bespoke software solutions for all of the above.

His first degree was awarded in Geography and Geology. This was followed by a Ph.D. which focused upon Software Development in the fields of Digital Image Processing and Artificial Intelligence (specically automated identification of pollen grains viewed under a scanning electron microscope using machine vision techniques).

Over his 35 years of activity in Higher Education he has aquired an impressive record of sustained delivery of high quality academic research and a reputation for teaching excellence. His research profile, as presented here, highlights a particular focus on the themes of spatial accessibility modelling, and dasymetric mapping & areal interpolation.

Mitch is widely recognised as a pioneer of binary dasymetric areal interpolation techniques, the results of which have since impacted upon studies in environmental analyses, medical geography, urban geography, social science, and geographical information science.

Mitch also has extensive experience of undertaking research into spatial accessibility analyses, and this includes the authoring of bespoke software tools to enable sophisticated spatial analyses techniques to be readily performed. He has published throughout his academic career, and across a broad range of international peer-reviewed scientific journals. He has also undertaken consultative projects with both National Government agencies and NGOs, and previously spent time working at the UN-funded International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia. Mitch has regularly presented the outcomes of his work at international conferences around the world.

Research activities fall under the following thematic areas:

• Geographical Accessibility and Spatial Inequalities
• Dasymetric mapping and dasymetric areal interpolation
• Small-area population estimation
• Computational and Applied Geography
• Spatial Analyses
• Geoinformatics
• Software engineering solutions for applied geography

Teaching interests

Software Engineering: Currently this is focussed on the C# Programming language(C#, WinForms, ADO.NET, WPF). Experience also of coding with Python, SQL, PL/pgSQL, JavaScript, PHP, and several other common development languages.

Geoinformatics: Particularly regarding the use of spatial-object-relational databases (principally PostgreSQL + PostGIS + pgRouting, but also SQLite/SpatiaLite, ArcGIS, and SQL/MM spatial extensions)

Geoinformatics: Web Mapping (including web site development with HTML5/CSS/JavaScript; Client-side technologies: the Google Map and Bing Map APIs, and Leaflet, OpenLayers and Turf.js FOSS APIs; Server-side technologies: PHP scripting; GeoServer configuration and management, OpenTripPlanner; WMS feeds, WFS feeds; JSON, GeoJSON & KML; The implementation of multi-tier server architecture solutions: WebServer • MapServer • Database Server)  

Experience

Academic distinctions:
Co-Director, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data
Senedd Research Academic Fellow, 2020
Visiting International Scientist, CIAT, Colombia, 1994, 1995, 1997
Course Director, MSc. Geographical Information Systems,
University of Leicester, 1996-2000

Background:
A career academic with over 35 years of research and teaching experience in Higher Education. An excellent research profile founded upon a sustained and substantial record of peer-review publications within international journals, and including a number of significant subject contributions and achievements.

An international reputation for applied cutting-edge research in the fields of geo-computation and spatial data analysis. Outstanding contributions to Geographical Information Science (GIS) and Applied Computing, including over a dozen highly cited academic papers (citations counts of 100+).

Over the five-year period 2017-2021 achieved the publication of 20 peer-review articles in International Journals, and a current (2022) h-index score of 26.

I am recorded as first author on over 40% of my peer-review publications, and I am the sole author on several others. A citations count (2022) of over 3175, with a continuing upwards tradjectory matching the trend seen in my publications rate.

 

Some notable research distinctions:

- a significant contribution to the development of our understanding of geographical accessibility and social equality in respect to a range of public and private services

At the core of this work is an interest in examining and documenting evidence of geographical variation in access to a range of public and private services. Much of this might be described as applied geography, or equally, applied computing. Over the last decade or so much of this body of work has been conduced through the ESRC funded Wales Institute of Socio-economic Research and Data (WISERD). It has sought to considered the wider implications of the lack of accesibility or inequality of access to key services amongst potentially disadvantaged groups of society, and has been applied in considertation to chidcare, primary health services, public librariesbank and building society branchesnursing and residential care places, transport systems, and sports facilities.

- a significant contribution to the development of dasymetric techniques as applied to population modelling, small-area population estimation, and spatial interpolation

My widely cited 1994 Cartographic Journal paper (360+) was the first to espouse the use of dasymetric mapping techniques as a potential means of acheiving high quality spatial interpolation, specifically in the area of small-area population estimation but also generalisable to most other areal interpolation scenarios. Hitherto, dasymetric mapping had been a little-used cartographic approach for map production. I have since made a number of further important contributions to the development of dasymetric-based spatial interpolation techniques, which has itself now become an accepted mainstream geospatial analytical technique.

- a pioneering contribution in the field of digital palynology

Ph.D. applied image processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in an early pioneering study into the potential to automatically identify and count microscopic pollen grains derived from core samples. The enormous advances since in computing power, imaging software and AI capabilities have now brought the prospect of full automation of pollen analyses into a practical reality. My work represents one of the earliest examples of applying computer vision and AI technologies to achieve automation in palynology.

External positions

Ph.D. External Examiner (multiple institutes)

Keywords

  • GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
  • Computational Geography, Applied Geography,
  • Geoinformatics
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Applied social science

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