This is a short history of our cooperation through the National Centre for e-Social Science


From 2005, two of the key research nodes of NCeSS were located in London at UCL – GeoVUE and at Leeds in the University of Leeds – MoSeS. GeoVUE ended on the 30th September 2008 and GENeSIS began on 1st October 2008. This is a convenient point to explain all these terms. GeoVUE stands for Geographic Virtual Urban Environments. It was a project which essentially developed web-based services for the visualisation of 2D maps producing in particular GMapCreator and MapTube amongst other software for map mashup and then moved on to consider importing 2D maps and related geospatial data into 3D environment, specifically games and virtual worlds but also 3D GIS, CAD and 3D virtual globes.


GENeSIS is a little different in that it stands for GENerative e-SocIal Science. The acronym like all good symbols for research projects can be unpacked in diverse ways which emphasise our focus on space and simulation but we consider the previous statements the baseline definition. It joins GeoVUE to MoSeS which is the project that the Leeds node has developed in the first phase of NCeSS funding. MoSeS is a microsimulation model of the UK economy developed using microsimulation logics and applied to subdivisions of the UK space at different spatial scales. It is used for policy analysis such as the impact of aging on public services. MoSeS stands for MOdelling and Simulation for e-Social Science.


GENeSIS (= GeoVUE + MoSeS) is to develop microsimulation models for social science and to link these to the emerging paradigm of agent-based models. The UCL node will develop ABMS and their visualisation while the Leeds node will link microsimulation to ABMs. Model development and visualisation will take place in both nodes and the programme of research will be integrated. A rudimentary web site has been set up ( but we consider that this blog will take over as our basic web presence, once we have experimented with formats.


Mike Batty, CASA, UCL



It’s actually very easy to get data from a shapefile onto OpenStreetMap using OpenLayers and the GMapCreator. The example below shows the social cohesion data from Mark Easton’s BBC blog

Open Layers Community Cohesion

The working OpenLayers/OpenStreetMap map can be viewed at the following link:

This page was generated using the GMapCreator and a custom template that I created for OpenLayers. The resulting map page could be completely Google free if required, but this one includes the Google map, satellite, hybrid and terrain layers as options, along with the OpenStreetMap Mapnik and Osmarender base layers.

The prototype GMapCreator template can be downloaded from the following link (right click on it and use ‘save as’ to save the file):

The file is loaded into the GMapCreator from the ‘Edit’ menu and the ‘Use Custom HTML Template’ option. All suqsequent maps will then use this template until the option is turned off.

Richard Milton, CASA, UCL

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We have been running a series of experiments recently looking at crowd simulation, dynamics and particles in 3D Max. The aim is to visualise the complex systems that make up the city within an environment that allows both clear and easy visualisation and export capabilities to other packages such as Crysis or Google Earth.

While 3D Max is of use for crowd and particle simulation when it comes to modelling complex systems an external package is required, such as NetLogo. The movie below details our first steps here at CASA to export a basic traffic model from NetLogo into 3D Studio Max. The import script was written by our new PhD student, Ateen Patel and opens up a vast array of opportunities to both visualise and model the city.

NetLogo to 3D Max – Proof of Concept from digitalurban on Vimeo.

Music by The Tedd-Z Cookbook, Aerodrome (Funky Shuffle Remix)

NetLogo is a cross-platform multi-agent programmable modeling environment that is widely. It is particularly well suited for modeling complex systems developing over time. Modelers can give instructions to hundreds or thousands of independent “agents” all operating concurrently. This makes it possible to explore the connection between the micro-level behavior of individuals and the macro-level patterns that emerge from the interaction of many individuals.(Nation Master Encyclopedia)

We will have more posts on complex systems and visualising the city over the coming weeks and months.

See for more on modelling, agents and the city.

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