Last week I attended an interesting event here in Tokyo, labelled “Spatial Thinking and Geographic Information Science STGIS2011”. The event was initiated by the University of Tokyo (東京大学) Center for Spatial Information Science (CSIS) at their satellite campus in Komaba, located in the west of Tokyo. It was a three-day event, held for the first time, with a focus on the “spatial thinking” component of GIScience and attracted scholars from all over the world.
The main topic of my research is the vulnerability of urban areas for terrorism. But what exactly is vulnerability, and how can it be defined and operationalized? There are many discussions going on about these questions in the social sciences community. Albeit only very few of them are related to terrorism threats, the ideas and approaches presented there turn out to be very useful for me in finding my very own definition – in nailing down the quite abstract idea of vulnerability into a quantifiable measure.
I have been invited to present my graduation thesis at a Japanese geography and GIS conference called 2011年度 空間情報科学研究センター シンポジウム – CSIS Days 2011 in November. CSIS is the Center for Spatial Information Science (jap. 空間情報科学研究センター) at Tokyo University (jap. 東京大学). Tokyo University is considered to be the No. 1 university in Japan, also CSIS is regarded the top-notch institution for geospatial analysis in Japan, so apparently I’m quite thrilled by the fact that they showed interest in my work.