Skip to main content

Joao Porto de Albuquerque (Associate Professor)

João Porto de Albuquerque (Associate Professor)

Dr João Porto de Albuquerque is Associate Professor and Impact Director at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, where he directs the MSc in Urban Informatics and Analytics. He is 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.

Dr Porto de Albuquerque has an interdisciplinary background in computational, social and geographical sciences. After studying Computer Science, Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Campinas, Brazil, he did a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Campinas and in the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany (2006). He conducted post-doctoral research in social studies of information systems at the University of Hamburg, Germany, as a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006-2008). From 2013-2015 he acted as a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg University, Germany, from which he currently holds a fellowship funded by the DFG’s Excellence Programme.

Previously, he worked at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo (2008-2010) and at the Department of Computer Systems of the Institute of Mathematical and Computing Sciences of the University of São Paulo (2010-2015), Brazil, with which he still maintains an honorary affiliation.

Research Profile

My research centres on the study of collaborative and geospatial relationships in sociotechnical information systems. This 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 geospatial data and information systems: this includes the study of citizen engagement through digital technologies, sociospatial issues associated with urban resilience to disasters, the sociomateriality of IT-enabled collaboration, and IT for development;

Computational methods to address urban social issues (urban science/ computational social science/ social data science): the particular interest lies on developing spatial analytics and geocomputation methods for decision support by leveraging big data from crowdsourced/volunteered geographic information (VGI, e.g. social media, collaborative maps, and crowd sensing) and sensor data streams.

My wide-range research topics include urban informatics/analytics, smart cities, sociotechnical information systems, collaborative and social computing, social media, crowdsourced and volunteered geographic information, spatial analytics, decision support systems, disaster management and urban resilience, information technology for development.

In terms of student supervisions, I'm currently interested in supervising students motivated to work on 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 alumnus of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and can host postdoctoral fellows with funding from the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship.

Current Research Projects

Co-I: NIHR Global Health Unit on Improving Health in Slums at University of Warwick (PI Richard Lilford/Warwick Medical School, ~£6m, managed budget ~£600K). National Institute for Health Research, awarded June 2017-March 2021. Leading WP1: Geo-spatial mapping of health services in slums. Press release, Global Health Unit summary.

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, awarded 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, managed 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)

For a complete list of my publications see my profile on Google Scholar

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 Andrade, S. C., Restrepo-Estrada, C., Delbem, A. C. B., Mendiondo, E. M., & de Albuquerque, J. P. (2017). Mining Rainfall Spatio-Temporal Patterns in Twitter: A Temporal Approach. In A. Bregt, T. Sarjakoski, R. van Lammeren, & F. Rip (Eds.), Societal Geo-innovation. GIScience 2017. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography (pp. 19–37). Heidelberg: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.

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

All Publications

Full-text of my recent publications at the Warwick WRAP 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

IM928 - Urban Resilience, Disasters and Data

Research Supervised

PhD students as primary supervisor:

  • Lívia Castro Degrossi (University of São Paulo, with Renata Fortes): A Methodological Approach for Obtaining High-quality Volunteered Geographic Information applied to Flood Risk Management
  • Sidgley Camargo de Andrade (University of São Paulo, with Alexandre Delbem): An approach to high-granulation event detection and monitoring through social media streams and sensor data streams: an application in the area of flash flooding
  • John Rahilly (Warwick, with Stephen Jarvis): A Green and Pleasant Land? Investigating the Relationship between Planning Policy and 'Urban Green Infrastructure
  • Philipp Ulbrich (Warwick, with Jon Coaffee): Resilience-Thinking in Critical Urban Infrastructure Governance
  • Alex Caton (Warwick, with Stephen Jarvis): Digital Epidemiology: Spatial analyses of social media data to mitigate disease spread

PhD students as co-supervisor:

  • Camilo Restrepo Estrada (University of São Paulo, with Eduardo Mario Mendiondo): Reduction of the hydrological vulnerability supported by volunteered geographic information
  • Vangelis Pitidis (Warwick, with Jon Coaffee): The geological dimension of urban resilience: Impact of geo-hazards in resilient urban design and policy
  • Vikki Houlden (Warwick, with Scott Weich and Stephen Jarvis): The Relationship Between Mental Wellbeing and Greenspace Characteristics in the Urban Environment


Director of the MsC in Urban Informatics and Analytics

Impact 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 (during term time, please confirm via email)

Current CV

Google Scholar Profile


Follow me on LinkedIn

Follow me on