Dr. Liqiu Meng
Dr. Liqiu Meng is a professor in cartography at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany. She holds B.Sc. (1982) and M.Sc (1985) in cartography from Zhengzhou Institute of Surveying & Mapping in China, and gained her doctoral degree (1993) in geodetic engineering at Hanover University, Germany. She worked as a senior lecturer for cartography at Gävle University in Sweden (1994-1996). She then became senior technical consultant for GIS for the SWECO Company in Stockholm, whilst also teaching at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) (1996-1998). Following her habilitation at the KTH in the field of geoinformation science 1998, she took up in the same year the chair professorship at TUM where she initiated the international master’s program “Cartography” jointly run by TUM, Technical University of Vienna and Technical University of Dresden and University Twente. In addition, she teaches courses of cartography and geoinformatics in the Bachelor’s and Master’s program “Geodesy and Geoinformation” and a number of other international master’s programs. She is series editor for Springer Lecture Notes “Geoinformation and Cartography”. She has advised 21 doctoral theses and published ca. 150 peer reviewed scientific papers. Her research interests include geospatial data integration, multimodal navigation algorithm, mobile map services, visual analytics of geodata, and open event mapping.
She is a member of German National Academy of Sciences and Bavarian Academy of Sciences. She served as Senior Vice President of TUM (2008-2014) and Senator in the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers (2009-2012). Currently she is serving as deputy chairperson in the Senate of German Aerospace Center (DLR). She is also engaged as a member in the Board of Trustees of German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), the International Advisory Board, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and Aalto University Council, Finland.
Smart map services for smart city
Cities are gravity centers of human activities and epicenters of many grand changes. The critical mass of human resources has made cities ideal test beds and frontline showcases for scientific inventions and technical innovations. Although our way of perceiving locations and distances in today’s digital age is not confined to the geographical space any more, the change gradient from urban to rural areas remains sharp. Since 2008 more than a half of the world population has been living in cities. The urbanization process is still continuing, forming more megacities. An over-concentration of population, infrastructure facilities and services in urban areas, however, threats to increase the urban vulnerability and adversely influence the well-being of citizens. This growing pain of cities urges us to alter the course of urbanization from going “big” to going “smart”.
The concept “smart city” aims to realize energy efficient dwellings, networked mobility, green and clean environment, and an inclusive society that allows everyone to survive and thrive. The recent upsurge in the research intensity about smart city is essentially triggered by the emergence of big data. Geospatial scientists belong to the most active game changers as they not only create a large portion of geo-referenced urban data by means of omnipresent remote sensing technologies, but also provide ubiquitous map services for different stakeholders.
The presentation is dedicated to maps which help give a retrospect into the past, highlight the present and anticipate the future of a city. Maps for smart city may play multiple roles as a travel mate to support mobility, a digital twin to mirror the reality, an open window to enable the insider and outsider inspections of urban environment, and a thinking instrument to facilitate the exploration of complex patterns and relationships embedded in urban data. Both content and form matter for smart maps which can not only keep up with users’ dynamic demands, but also please their eyes and foster their graphicacy.
The speaker reviews the paradigm shift from map products and services to open mapping platforms where design recipes are freely accessible for users to create mashups. Two persistent challenges are addressed: handling diverse input data sources and creating diverse output maps. In addition, the speaker underlines the necessity to provide visual support as the “best mile” for any kind of geospatial analysis rather than just the “last mile” along the assembly line from data to map. Four categories of map services are demonstrated based on case studies: (1) descriptive services with fact-based and emotion-based visual storytelling of urban events; (2) diagnostic services that visualize the synthetic information such as urban metrics indicating the relative “health” of cities in political, economic, environmental and social aspects; (3) predictive services that illustrate the future scenarios incl. the uncertainty bounds inferred from automatic and interactive reasoning processes; and (4) prescriptive services that turn the problem-solving methods into visual routes and guide users to do things right and to do right things in given scenarios.