VCBM 2024

We are happy to announce that the annual Eurographics Symposium on Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine (EG VCBM) will be hosted by the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany, on September 19/20, 2024.

Tobias Isenberg
Senior Research Scientist at Inria, France

Visualization of Species Distributions based on Social Media Data and a Couple of Surprises and Insights

Abstract: Sometimes it is initially not some regular scientific question that leads one into a rabbit hole, but some weird personal interest and quest, yet that after a while turns out to actually have to do a lot with your scientific interests. And I would like to tell the story of such a case the led me to learn quite a bit about data biases, data errors, and data plausibility with respect to global species distribution data, that one can derive from geo-located social media. In the course of this endeavor we analyzed local and global geographic distributions and their inaccuracies. We also created a new visual representation as a means for visualizing how believable a specific contributor’s location data is or if it was likely manipulated. I will talk about some specific cases of data manipulation that are almost a detective story, and also several additional cases of data bias or data error that one can find. I also will talk about the comparison of our own “repurposed” social media dataset with data from a dedicated citizen science project. And I will try to reflect a bit on what this means for how we deal with and assume about data we may use.

Biography: Tobias Isenberg is a senior research scientist at Inria, France. He received his PhD degree from the University of Magdeburg, Germany in 2004. Previously he held positions as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary, Canada, and as assistant professor at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is particularly interested in interactive visualization environments for 3D spatial data as well as illustrative visualization and visual abstraction techniques.