All posts by robinlovelace

It's time to understand the world.

GIS for Transport Applications Workshop 2017

Back in 2015 the TGRG supported the first GIS for Transport Applications (GIS4TA) workshop in Leeds.

Fast forward two years and we’re happy to announce the second GIS4TA event, following the success of the first one, and support from the RGS.

The course will be an action-packed 2 day event taking place on the 16th and 17th November at the University of Leeds. The emphasis will be on practical workshops rather than presentations. And you’re expected to bring maps! Like the one below…


For more information and to apply, see here:


Call for Papers: Advancements in Mapping and Visualising Sustainable Transport Systems

This is a call for abstracts to be presented at the RGS-IBG Annual conference, 29th August to 1st September 2017.

To apply:

Send an abstract of up to 300 words to Craig Morton and Robin Lovelace.

You can find out more about this Call for Papers in this form – you can also apply by adding your abstract and details to this Word document (this is encouraged!):


Deadline: 5th February 2017

Any questions? Please email r. lovelace at leeds. ac .uk or in a comment below if so.  The abstract is copied below.

Continue reading Call for Papers: Advancements in Mapping and Visualising Sustainable Transport Systems

Urban Transport Without the Hot Air, Review

This is an outstanding book by Steve Melia. I strongly recommend it to anyone in the field, as sumarised in the final paragraph of my review for the Journal of Transport Geography:

Steve Melia has produced a beautiful, meticulously researched and important contribution to the global transport debate. The work synthesises a vast spectrum of evidence on a range of urban transport issues, resulting in a concentrated work of art. Amazingly, this chunk of vital information is also extremely enjoyable to read. I strongly recommend Urban Transport Without the Hot Air to anyone interested in active transport, urban planning or sustainability overall. Indeed, the simple questions of how and why we move around as a species have dramatic (if invisible) implications for the future of human existence on planet Earth. Melia demonstrates that once we properly understand the problems the solutions are within our grasp.

The full review can be seen at the following links.

On the Journal of Transport Geography’s website:

As a pdf document hosted by the TGRG:


Front cover of Melia’s masterpiece

Transport and energy: evidence base for post-carbon futures

The TGRG and Energy Geographies Working Group joined forces for the second year running at the RGS-IBG annual conference, to host another session on Energy and Transport. This is a growing area of academic study, as illustrated by the increased number of presentations (10 this year compared with 6 the previous year) and attendees who packed the room.

This post provides a very brief overview of each presentation and, where possible, links to slides from the presenters.

Continue reading Transport and energy: evidence base for post-carbon futures

Transport routing during emergencies

Transport routing algorithms have a silent yet vast impact on transport behaviour. Now, with a few taps on a smartphone or clicks on a computer one can find the fastest path between A and B. With the ‘real time’ routing options of services like Google Maps, Graphhopper and the Open Source, it’s even possible to receive instructions during the journey. As I discovered during a cycle ride from Lulow to Hereford, this voice guidance can be hugely useful if one has neither a paper map nor the time to carefully plan an optimal route before the trip. Now people are talking about using crowd-sourced data to inform the suggested route, as demonstrated in this paper. See below for insight into developments that will help transport planners and geographers select the best routes in case of disruption to the network.

Continue reading Transport routing during emergencies

Cycling and Active Travel

This was a broad yet deep overview of the state of cycle infrastructure as a specialist topic of expertise for civil engineers. John Parkin, Professor of Transport Engineering at the University of the West of England. To put this in context, it was part of an event on cycling organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers. Below you’ll find a very short write-up of the talk and, more importantly, a copy of John’s excellent slides and a link to an audio recording of the talk.

The talk built on the recent addition of the Institution’s of the Cycling Working Group. Creating a dedicated cycling group in this esteemed Institution is a small but significant step towards integrated transport planning in the UK and, as John says, it is inspiring to see that this group was primarily motivated by students – the new generation of civil engineers – rather than by a top-down process. This was one of the most informative and enjoyable talk on cycling I’ve seen in a long time. So sit back, hit ‘play’ in the soundcloud box and enjoy the ride.