1986 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Mitch is a computational quantitative geographer / applied computer scientist, with over 35 years experience of working in academic research and teaching roles. His primary research interests are in the fields of spatial analysis and geo-informatics, and in applied computational geography, working under the following broad themes:

• Spatial analyses and geo-informatics
• Geographical accessibility and spatial inequalities
• Dasymetric mapping, dasymetric areal interpolation,
        and small-area population estimation
• Software engineering solutions for applied geography

His first degree was in Geography and Geology. This was followed by a Ph.D. focused on software development and undertaken in the early days of Digital Image Processing and Artificial Intelligence. Applying machine vision techniques and statistical classifiers to the task of identify pollen viewed under a scanning electron microscope, it is some of the earliest research into automated Palynology.

His research career has gone on to addressed the development and application of spatial technologies and spatial analyses to a wide range of social and environmental issues and concerns. This includes methodological developments in spatial analyses, particularly through the application of dasymetric mapping and dasymetric areal interpolation techniques, and most recently by using applied spatial accessibility modelling. He is an accomplished programmer who remains actively engaged in the construction of bespoke software solutions to support his work. Mitch has accrued an impressive record of research activity, publishing articles across a wide spectrum of high quality academic journals, and presenting the outcomes of his latest activities at international conferences around the world. He has extensive experience of undertaking consultative projects, with both National Government Agencies and Non-Government Organisations, including extended secondments to the UN-funded "International Center for Tropical Agriculture" (CIAT) based in Cali, Colombia.

 

Teaching interests

Software Engineering: Currently focussed on the C# Programming language (C#, WinForms, ADO.NET, WPF) in teaching activities. Experienced in coding with various other programming languages, such as Python, SQL, PL/pgSQL, HTML/CSS/JavaScript/PHP, used principally in support of research activities and student projects.

Geoinformatics: Particularly regarding the use of spatially enabled object relational databases. Primarily based on PostgreSQL + PostGIS + pgRouting, but with additional experience in using SQLite/SpatiaLite, ArcGIS, and other GIS packages.

Web Mapping: Design and implementation of web sites incorporating maps and other spatial elements. Coding in HTML / CSS / JavaScript / jQuery. Client-side web mapping principles and technologies based on the use of GoogleMap API, Bing Map API, and FOSS libraries, particularly Leaflet API, OpenLayers API and Turf.js. Server-side web mapping principles and technologies including PHP scripting and GeoServer configuration and information management. Further expereince in the use of OpenTripPlanner, WMS feeds, WFS feeds, and GeoJSON & KML data interchange. Also, the implementation of multi-tier server architecture solutions based on a WebServer - GeoServer - Spatial Database stack.

Project supervision: Undergraduate projects. Masters projects.
Ph.D. supervision and Director of Studies

Experience

Academic distinctions:

Professor in Spatial Analysis and Geoinformatics
Co-Director, ESRC-Funded Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD)
Senedd Research Academic Fellow, 2020
Course Director, MSc. Geographical Information Systems,
University of Leicester, 1996-2000
Visiting International Scientist, CIAT, Colombia. 1994, 1995, 1997

Research highlights:

With an international reputation for applied cutting-edge research conducted in the fields of geocomputation, geoinformatics, and spatial analysis, Mitch has made an outstanding contribution to Geographical Information Science (GIS) and Applied Computing. This includes over a dozen highly cited academic papers (citations counts 100+) in addition to other achievements.

Mitch is widely recognised as a pioneer of binary dasymetric areal interpolation techniques, the applications of which have since impacted upon studies in environmental analyses, medical geography, urban geography, social science, and geographical information science. Langford M and Unwin D. (1994) Generating and mapping population density surfaces within a geographical information system, published in The Cartographic Journal, explores the construction of dasymetric population surfaces and appears amongst its most cited articles of all time listings.

Other highly cited articles contribute with further developments in areal interpolation methodologies, or by introducing methodological innovations in spatial accessibility models and their real-world applications...

Langford M, Higgs G. and Fry R. (2016) Multi-modal Two-Step Floating Catchment Area Analysis of Primary Health Care Accessibility. Health and Place. Introduces novel developments to the Enhanced Two-Step Floating Catchment Area methodology to allow the incoroporation of multiple simulateous transport modes through the spatial network connecting supply and demand points.

Langford M, Fry R, and Higgs G. (2012) Measuring transit system accessibility using a modified two-step floating catchment technique. International Journal of Geographical Information Science

Langford M. and Higgs G. (2006) Measuring Potential Access to Primary Healthcare Services: The Influence of Alternative Spatial Representations of Population. This article, in The Professional Geographer, examines how the use of various commony employed spatial data constructs to represent the demand population placed upon services can then affect the outcomes of derived accessbility measures

Langford M. (2006) Obtaining population estimates in non-census reporting zones: An evaluation of the 3-class dasymetric method. Computers, environment and urban systems

Fisher, PF. and Langford M. (1996) Modeling sensitivity to accuracy in classified imagery: A study of areal interpolation by dasymetric mapping. The Processional Geographer 

Fisher, PF. and Langford M. (1995) Modelling the errors in areal interpolation between zonal systems by Monte Carlo simulation. Environment and planning A.

External positions

Ph.D. External Examiner (multiple institutes)

Keywords

  • GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
  • Computational Geography, Applied Geography,
  • Geoinformatics
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Applied social science

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