Somayeh Dodge

I am Somayeh Dodge. I serve as an Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science and run the MOVE Lab at the Department of Geography at the UC Santa Barbara. I received my Ph.D. in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) from the University of Zurich in November 2011. I hold an MS in GIS Engineering and a BS in Geomatics Engineering from the KNT University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. Before joining the UC Santa Barbara faculty in July 2019, I worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (2016-2019) and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (2013-2016). Prior to that, I completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University (2012-2013) and at the University of Zurich (2011-2012) on Computational Movement Analytics.

My research focuses on understanding and modeling movement using data-driven and knowledge-driven approaches and visualization to study movement in human and ecological systems. I develop computational methodologies for the analysis, visualization, modeling and simulation of movement to study how movement patterns are formed in dynamic coupled natural and human systems. I have developed data fusion and machine learning approaches to automatic transport-mode detection, similarity analysis and interaction analysis using GPS traces. My work on dynamic visualization of movement (see DYNAMOvis) was featured at the 2018 ESRI User Conference plenary on “Inspiring What’s Next” . At the OSU I was involved in the development of Movebank EnvDATA (Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation) System which has been featured as a milestone in movement ecology. Both EnvDATA and DYNAMOvis systems have been used extensively by the movement ecology community to explore the relationships between movement and environmental correlates. For more information about my research and teaching please see

Current Postdoctoral Researchers

Crystal Bae

My name is Crystal Bae, and I am a Postdoctoral Researcher in the MOVE Lab, working at the intersection of geographic movement visualization and spatial cognition. I hold a Ph.D. in Geography with an emphasis in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. My dissertation work focused on how dyads (pairs) and individuals carried out wayfinding plans during situated navigation. My previous work includes the assessment of residents’ cognitive boundaries of Koreatown, Los Angeles with relation to home locations, socio-demographics, and travel behavior. More information is available on my personal website.

Current Graduate Students

Seonga Cho

My name is Seonga Cho. I am a graduate student with a focus on Geographic Information Science at the Geography Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. I received my MA and BA degree from the Department of Geography, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. My research focus is on urban spatiotemporal movement data and accessibility analysis. Also, I am interested in spatial optimization and housing problem in urban areas.

Evgeny Noi

My name is Evgeny Noi. I am a quantitative geographer doing research on locational theory pertaining to urban environment. My current focus is on geoAI and smart city policies. Previously, I worked in consulting capacities at the United Nations, Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities, Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU) and the city of Moscow. Prior to joining the lab, I was merging big spatial data and machine learning analysis in prototyping smart city solutions for Moscow IT Department. I hold a BA in Political Science from Irkutsk State University, Russia and an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, USA.

Zijian Wan

My name is Zijian Wan. I am a graduate student with a focus on movement modeling and analysis, often in a big geospatial data context and using approaches in spatiotemporal data mining. My research interests lie at the intersection of GIScience, spatial data science and machine learning. I received my BS in Geographic Information Science from Wuhan University, China, in 2020. With the increasing availability of a massive amount of movement data and the advancement of data analytics to explore the full potential of spatiotemporal data, we can investigate movement for a variety of application domains, such as transportation and wildlife migration study in which behaviors and movement patterns are key topics. Please find more information about me on my personal website.

Vania Wang

My name is Vania, and I’m interested in using spatial and computational tools to understand human movement and health. Prior to joining the MOVE team, I was conducting my dissertation fieldwork in southeast Africa, studying daily movement as it pertains to HIV treatment and prevention. I received my BS in microbiology from the University of Washington, Seattle; and a master of public health from the University of California, Berkeley in infectious diseases and vaccinology.

Current Undergraduate Researchers

Karen Gao

My name is Karen Gao and I am a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am finishing my B.A. in Geography with emphasis in Geographic Information Science. My academic interests include GIS, remote sensing and utilizing programming for geospatial applications. I am currently aiding Dr. Dodge with research in implementing visualization techniques for mapping movement data using programming and web development.

Amanda Ho

My name is Amanda and I am a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After transferring with an A.A. in Mathematics from West Valley Community College, I am now finishing a B.S. in Statistics with a concentration on Applied Statistics, and a B.A. in Philosophy: Ethics and Public Policy. Some of my academic interests are environmental conservation, social epistemology, and applications of data science to address social inequality. I am currently aiding research for the MOVE Lab’s analysis and modeling of tiger movement in Thailand.

Thomas Rayner

My name is Tom, and I am a fourth year student at UCSB pursuing a degree in Statistics and Data Science as well as a certificate in the Technology Management Program. My interests include machine learning, data science, software development, business analytics, and finance. I am currently helping the MOVE lab to analyse movement trends of different population segments throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Former Students

Kate Carlson

Kate graduated from the University of Minnesota Honors Program. She received her B.S. in Geography in 2019. Her interests include Geographic Information Science, geovisualization, and cartography. Kate worked on DYNAMOvis project between 2018-2019 as her senior thesis project. After her work on DYNAMOvis, Kate started a MS in Geography at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Wing Yi (Pinki) Wong

Pinki graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Computer Science in Fall 2018. Her research interests are software engineering, GIS, and Visualization. Pinki worked on DYNAMOvis project from Summer 2017 to Spring 2019 . Her work was supported by the University of Minnesota’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). After graduation, Pinki took a job as a Software Engineer at Be The Match.

Kin (Nathan) Chan

Nathan was born and raised in Hong Kong. He graduated from Shoreline Community College and transferred to the University of Minnesota in 2016. He was a senior in the Computer Science Department at the University of Minnesota, when he started working on DYNAMOvis project. Nathan’s interests are operating systems, artificial intelligence, and GIS. He worked on DYNAMOvis from Summer 2018 to Spring 2018 as an independent research study.

Kerri Newcomer

Kerri was a student in the University of Minnesota’s honors program majoring in Plant and Microbial Biology with a minor in Computer Science, when she worked on DYNAMOvis in the Spring of 2018 as a part of the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Scholarship.

Glenn Xavier

Glenn began developing the pilot visualization tool that would become DYNAMOvis in Spring 2014. His later work was supported by several research awards and grants from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). Glenn graduated from UCCS in Fall 2015 with a BA in both Geography and Anthropology and is currently pursuing a Master of GIS from Penn State University. He later started a job with the Center of Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University as the Environmental GIS Analyst for Scott, McConnell, and Whiteman AFB.