Trisalyn Nelson

Pacific Views: Library Speaker Series Presents: Spatial Data Science Solutions for Better Bicycling

Tue, 01/17/2023 - 4:00pm
Pacific View Room
UCSB Reads 2023 badgeUCSB Library invites you to the first Pacific Views lecture of 2023 with Professor Trisalyn Nelson (UCSB Geography). This event is in conjunction with the UCSB Reads 2023 book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, which asks us to explore the question: “What kind of living environment makes us happy?” 
Lack of available data can be a barrier to bicycling and pedestrian research and planning. Much of Nelson's research focuses on building novel data sources to map bicycling infrastructure, safety, and volume. In this presentation she will outline how her team uses OpenStreetMaps to map bicycle infrastructure, crowdsource webmaps ( and to map safety and access concerns, and modelling ridership using Strava data. She will discuss how crowdsource data provide unique opportunities to enhance GIS data, but also challenges associated with data representativeness and equity in knowledge. 
This event is co-sponsored by
Trisalyn Nelson joined the Department of Geography at UC Santa Barbara as Jack and Laura Dangermond Endowed Chair of Geography in 2020. In 2022 she became the Chair of the Department of Geography. Dr. Nelson and her team develop and apply spatial and spatial-temporal analyses to address applied questions in a wide range of fields from ecology to health. She has studied mountain pine beetle infestations, grizzly bears, and environmental change. Currently, her research focuses on active transportation, and the use of big data and analytics to better plan cities. Nelson led the creation of, a web-map to gather volunteered geographic information on cycling collisions and near misses, as well as, a web-map to collect volunteered geographic information about barriers to pedestrian movement. With her team, she has developed new ways of using fitness app data (like Strava) to map bicycling volume useful for transportation planning. Nelson's uses and other big data to quantify and monitor patterns of urban cycling safety and ridership.