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Joao Porto de Albuquerque (Associate Professor)

João Porto de Albuquerque (Associate Professor)

I'm Associate Professor at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, where I lead the MSc in Urban Informatics and Analytics. I am also a core member of the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities and an associate member of the Human-Centred Computing Group of the Department of Computer Science.

Some of my key research topics include urban informatics/analytics, smart cities, sociotechnical information systems, collaborative and social computing, social media, crowdsourced and volunteered geographic information, spatial big data analytics, decision support systems, disaster management and urban resilience, information technology for development.

Research Profile

My research centres on the study of collaborative and geospatial relationships in sociotechnical information systems. I have an interdisciplinary background and was trained in computer science and social science, having later become enchanted with geography. My research is situated within an interdisciplinary problem space that intersects geographic information science, organisational information systems, human-centred computing and science & technology studies.

I’m particularly interested in developing innovative research methods to improve our understanding of sociotechnical urban environments with a view to making cities more resilient and to improving human development. I pursue this with two complementary approaches:

Social research methods to understand the use of digital and geocomputational technologies (social studies of data and information systems): including the study of citizen engagement through digital technologies, sociospatial issues associated with urban resilience to disasters, IT for development and smart urban governance, sociomateriality of IT-enabled collaboration;

Computational methods that address urban social issues (urban science/ computational social science/ social data science): spatial urban analytics, geocomputation and spatial decision-support systems that leverage big data from crowdsourced/volunteered geographic information (e.g. social media, collaborative maps, and crowd sensing) and environmental sensor data streams.

In terms of student supervisions, I'm currently interested in supervising motivated students in social and urban data science from an interdisciplinary perspective. My supervised students can receive PhD scholarships from the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (Centre for Doctoral Training in Urban Science & Progress) and from the Alan Turing Institute. Furthermore, I'm a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and this can host postdoctoral fellows with funding from the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship.

Academic Background

I joined Warwick and CIM in January 2016 having previously held a post at the Institute of Mathematical and Computing Sciences of the University of São Paulo (2010-2015), Brazil, with which I still maintain an affiliation. Since 2014 I also hold a fellowship of Visiting Professor at the GIScience Chair of the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg University (Germany), funded by the DFG’s Excellence Programme. Previously, I was Assistant Professor at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo, and a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in the Department of Informatics of the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Current Projects

Co-I: NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Improving Slum Health, National Institute for Health Research (PI: Richard Lifford/WMS, £4.5m, own budget: £580K), awarded April/2017-March/2021. Leading WP1: Geo-spatial mapping of health services in slums.

PI: Social Media for Resilience? A comparative investigation of decision-making processes using volunteered geographic information, Brazil Partnership Fund 2016-17 (£8,760), University of Warwick/Santander Universities, August 2016-July 2018. Co-I: Dr Nathaniel Tkacz.

Co-PI: AGORA – A Geospatial Open collaboRative Architecture for building resilience against disasters and extreme events. CAPES (Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Education), April 2015-March 2018 (R$ 899K total, own budget R$ 110K). Part of the“Alerts and the Centre for Research on Disasters at University of São Paulo (ALERTA-CEPED-USP)”. PI: Carlos Rodriguez (University of São Paulo).

Past projects (selection)

PI: UK-Brazil Collaboration on Leveraging Crowdsourced and Sensor Data to Support Decision-Making towards Urban Resilience. EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund Institutional Award (£50K), June/2016-March/2017, project partners: British Geological Survey, National Disaster Monitoring and Early-Warning Centre (CEMADEN), Brazil Geological Survey (CPRM), University of São Paulo, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Co-I: Dr Nathaniel Tkacz.

PI: Open Flood Risk Map: A decision-support system based on user-generated spatial data for communities in support of emergency response planning in flood management (at Heidelberg University). LUBW (Environmental Agency of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany) (EUR 110K), awarded 2014-2016.

Selected Publications (recent)

Horita, F. E. A., de Albuquerque, J. P., Marchezini, V., & Mendiondo, E. M. (2017). Bridging the gap between decision-making and emerging big data sources: an application of a model-based framework to disaster management in Brazil. Decision Support Systems.

de Albuquerque, J. P., Horita, F. E. A., Degrossi, L. C., Rocha, R. dos S., Camargo de Andrade, S., Restrepo-Estrada, C., & Leyh, W. (2017). Leveraging Volunteered Geographic Information to Improve Disaster Resilience: Lessons Learned From AGORA and Future Research Directions. In C. E. C. Campelo, M. Bertolotto, & P. Corcoran (Eds.), Volunteered Geographic Information and the Future of Geospatial Data (pp. 158–184). Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global.

de Albuquerque, J. P. de, Herfort, B., & Eckle, M. (2016). The Tasks of the Crowd: A Typology of Tasks in Geographic Information Crowdsourcing and a Case Study in Humanitarian Mapping. Remote Sensing 2016, Vol. 8, Page 859, 8(10), 859.

de Albuquerque, J. P. de, Herfort, B., Eckle, M., & Zipf, A. (2016). Crowdsourcing geographic information for disaster management and improving urban resilience: an overview of recent developments and lessons learned. In C. Capineri, M. Haklay, H. Huang, V. Antoniou, J. Kettunen, F. Ostermann, & R. Purves (Eds.), European handbook on crowdsourced geographic information (pp. 309–321). London: Ubiquity Press.

Steiger, E., Resch, B., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Zipf, A. (2016). Mining and correlating traffic events from human sensor observations with official transport data using self-organizing-maps. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 73, 91–104.

Klonner, C., Marx, S., Usón, T., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Höfle, B. (2016). Volunteered Geographic Information in Natural Hazard Analysis: A Systematic Literature Review of Current Approaches with a Focus on Preparedness and Mitigation. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 2016, Vol. 5, Page 103, 5(7), 103.

Assis, L. F. F. G. de, de Albuquerque, J. P., Herfort, B., Steiger, E., & Horita, F. E. A. (2016). Geographical Prioritization of Social Network Messages in Near Real-time Using Sensor Data Streams: An Application to Floods. Brazilian Journal of Cartography, 68(16), 1231–1240.

de Albuquerque, J. P., Diniz, E. H., & Cernev, A. K. (2016). Mobile payments: a scoping study of the literature and issues for future research. Information Development, 32(3), 527–553.

de Albuquerque, J. P. de, & Christ, M. (2015). The tension between business process modelling and flexibility: Revealing multiple dimensions with a sociomaterial approach. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24(3), 189–202. doi:10.1016/j.jsis.2015.08.003. 2015 JSIS Best Paper Award as “Best Runner Up”.

de Albuquerque, J. P. de, Herfort, B., Brenning, A., & Zipf, A. (2015). A geographic approach for combining social media and authoritative data towards identifying useful information for disaster management. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 29(4), 667–689. doi:10.1080/13658816.2014.996567

Horita, F. E. A., de Albuquerque, J. P. de, Degrossi, L. C., Mendiondo, E. M., & Ueyama, J. (2015). Development of a spatial decision support system for flood risk management in Brazil that combines volunteered geographic information with wireless sensor networks. Computers & Geosciences, 80, 84–94. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2015.04.001

Steiger, E., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Zipf, A. (2015). An Advanced Systematic Literature Review on Spatiotemporal Analyses of Twitter Data. Transactions in GIS, 19(6), 809–834. doi:10.1111/tgis.12132

Herfort, B., de Albuquerque, J. P., Schelhorn, S., & Zipf, A. (2014). Exploring the geographical relations between social media and flood phenomena to improve situation awareness A study about the River Elbe Flood in June 2013. In J. Huerta, S. Schade, & C. Granell (Eds.), Connecting a Digital Europe Through Location and Place (pp. 55–71). Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing.

Wahoff, J.-H., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Rolf, A. (2012). The Mikropolis Model: A Framework for Transdisciplinary Research of Information Systems in Society. In Y. K. Dwivedi, M. R. Wade, & S. L. Schneberger (Eds.), Information Systems Theory v.2 (Vol. 29, pp. 367–386). New York, NY: Springer New York.

de Albuquerque, J. P. (2012). Flexibilidade e modelagem de processos de negócio: uma relação multidimensional. Revista de Administração de Empresas, 52(3), 313–329.

de Albuquerque, J. P., Prado, E. P. V., & Machado, G. R. (2011). Ambivalent implications of health care information systems: a study in the brazilian public health care system. Revista de Administração de Empresas, 51(1), 58–71.

All Publications

List of all my publications on Google Scholar

Full-text of my recent publications at the Warwick repository

PDFs for most of my publications can be found on my profile at ResearchGate

Modules Taught

IM913 - Spatial Methods and Practice in Urban Science


Director of the MsC in Urban Information and Analytics

Deputy Research Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies

Editorial/Professional Service and Associations

President of the Special Interest Group on “Organizational Systems Research Association” (SIG-OSRA) of the Association of Information Systems (2015-2017)

Panel member for NERC Highlight Topics 2016 - "Innovative application of big data techniques to natural hazard prediction and risk mitigation"

Editorial Board Member: Journal Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards/Springer (since 2015)

Professional Association Memberships: Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), Member of the International Association for Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Member of the Brazilian Computing Society (SBC), Founding member of the Brazilian Association for Science, Technology and Society Studies (ESOCITE.BR)

Sybille Lammes


Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
Room B0.16
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Tel: +44 (0)24 765 72516

Office hours: Mondays 10am-12noon


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