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Research Focuses

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Research Focuses


Geospatial Technology for Construction and Environment

Geospatial technology includes Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), remote sensing (optical remote sensing, ground penetration radar (GPR), interferometric SAR (InSAR) and LiDAR) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). LSGI's research focuses on the development of theories and methodologies of GNSS, remote sensing and GIS and application of these technologies. In theory and methodology, efforts are devoted to some key issues (such as atmospheric effect, reliability, uncertainty, and scale) for precision positioning to measure ground features, underground (utility survey) and under-water (hydrographic survey), robust feature extraction and interpretation from images, reliable mining and analysis of spatio-temporal data. In applications, the Department is focused on construction and environment.

One of the main research topics is mapping, such as automated updating of topographic map, land cover and change detection, planetary mapping (e.g. Mars and Moon), thematic mapping (environment, socio-economic data) and seabed mapping. New cartographic technology for mapping such as dynamic and animated maps, schematic maps, cartograms, navigational maps and personalized maps.

Another main research topic is construction, including the monitoring of structures, land subsidence, ground deformation and landslides; construction management, and underground utility. A focus is the integrated INSAR and GNSS for such applications.

The third main research topic is the geospatial technology for environmental studies, including studies of air quality, water quality, vegetation, sea levels, hydrology and glaciers. 


Urban Informatics for Smart Cities

This is a trans-disciplinary field that draws on three broad domains, i.e. people, place and technology. The focus will be on three areas, i.e. Spatial Big Data Modeling and Analytics, Smart Positioning and Mobility, and Urban Sensing and Measurement. An inter-disciplinary research team at PolyU has been formed to work on solutions for spatial big data modeling for heterogeneous, multi-resolution sources of spatial data; analytical methods for dynamic urban data; as well as analysis and prediction of urban mobility and dynamic behavior based on spatial big data.

Recently, attention is also paid to the more automated 3D/4D city modeling with a high level of details and the development of a spatial data infrastructure for smart city development in Hong Kong. Smart positioning is the core technology to support a mobile internet, location based services (LBS), and the Internet of things (IoT). Satellite-based navigation systems have become the fundamental infrastructure for national security and economic growth.
Smart mobility is crucial for a smart city by reducing traffic congestion and pollution, improving transfer speed and human safety, and reducing transfer cost. LSGI has conducted research on navigation technologies and smart mobility for more than 30 years. Research in Urban Sensing and Measurement includes urban heat island research, urban atmosphere monitoring, urban hazard monitoring, urban utility and infrastructure monitoring and management, urban 3D mobile mapping and modeling.

LSGI is developing an international area of excellence in urban informatics. An MSc in Urban Informatics and Smart Cities was launched in 2020 and a PhD research area in urban informatics and Smart Cities in 2019. A Smart Cities Research Institute was established in 2020. A comprehensive book of Urban Informatics was published in 2021. The department also initiated and organized an international conference series: International Conference on Urban Informatics (2017, 2019); established an International Society for Urban Informatics in 2019; and started the International Journal of Urban Informatics in 2019.

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