Integrating Interpersonal Relationships into GIS Research through Social Flows

Integrating Interpersonal Relationships into GIS Research through Social Flows


  • Clio Andris, The Pennsylvania State University, State College
September 14, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm


Social flows are agent-based decisions to move, telecommunicate, or state a relationship across geographic space. The flows are reflected through airline flights, GPS traces, peer-to-peer social networks, migration, remittances, phone calls, online “friends,” and other vectors that illustrate a proclivity to connect geographic space. Modeling these flows, and the personal relationships that they can reveal, has presented a challenge to researchers who typically use layer-based GIS systems for environmental modeling. The speaker will outline initiatives to harness and classify social flow data using creative data online (private and public data sources). These new data sets can allow for the disaggregation of gravity models into segment-specific flows using social network rules, better POI use, and place connectivity metrics (via Yellow Pages, Airbnb, Yelp and NCAA data), and the improvement of government-mandated environmental impact statement documents through community cohesion metrics. The speaker will also describe how newly developed methods in flows and network analysis may also prove to be a natural next step in expanding GIS education.

Additional Information 

About the Speaker:

Clio Andris is an assistant professor of geography at Penn State working at the intersection of social networks and geographic information science. She specializes in social flow theory and researches how interpersonal relationships can be mathematically integrated into geographic models. She is the director of the Friendly Cities Lab, whose goal is “data-driven love for community.”

Sponsoring Organization 

Urban Dynamics Institute


  • Wigner Auditorium
  • Building: 4500-N
  • Room: 250

Contact Information