UK Data Service Data Impact Fellows 2017: Anthonia Ijeoma Onyeahialam

We are delighted to announce Anthonia Ijeoma Onyeahialam @MappingReveals as one of our UK Data Service Data Impact Fellows for 2017. Anthonia is Postdoctoral Research Associate (GIS and Geovisualisation) on the GLOBAL-RURAL Project Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University.

I’m a research associate with interdisciplinary interests in globalisation and rural communities. I employ multiple datasets, methods and perspectives in my research, and am interested in the way digital and visual technologies are deployed in the dissemination of evidence in ways that influence, and promote public engagement. I joined the Global-Rural an ERC funded project, Aberystwyth University in 2014 where I work primarily on “Narrating the Global countryside” work package. My role is the quantitative analysis of secondary datasets on globalisation using GIS and statistical methods to draw out global patterns, and interactivities and impacts on rural areas using assemblage thinking framework and the visualisation of this evidence. As part of my other responsibilities, I develop and construct story maps to disseminate narratives from the research to the public by integrating qualitative and quantitative data that include text, intentional maps, GIS data and multimedia.

I completed an interdisciplinary PhD in Geography at Newcastle University, and a Master’s in GIS at the University of Calgary, Canada and an Msc in Photogrammetry and Geoinformatics from Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Germany. I have a Bsc in Geography and Planning, University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria.

I’ve worked in industry and academia; as a Teaching Assistant at Newcastle University, and prior to my PhD worked as a lecturer at Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys, Ile Ife, Nigeria under the auspices of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). I was the GIS Specialist for United Nations Mission to Liberia (UNMIL) where I supported the mission on many peace keeping projects. I worked as a research assistant at University of Calgary.

Description of research, intended impact and public engagement activities

My current research interests lie in interrogating globalisation through the quantitative analysis of secondary datasets that examine and map processes, network flows and structures. I mainly use statistics and GIS analysis within an assemblage-thinking framework to understand these connections and their relationships with the global countryside. As my research covers a number of globalisation themes – migration, trade and economy, land and capital, tourism and culture, global infrastructure and communications, civil society and social movements and global challenges at a global scale, and their relation to case study sites in Wales, New Zealand, China, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Liberia, Italy and Ireland, I use data from multiple sources. Specifically, I work with the UK Data service international data (UKDS.Stat), Cenus data made available by the UK Data Service such as integrated census microdata and aggregate data; international and national data catalogues combined with fieldwork data.

I also use GIS to visualise evidence and tell stories, combining the earlier mentioned quantitative data with detailed qualitative datasets from research in case study sites to construct map based multimedia rich narratives using text, quotes, intentional maps, images/photographs, audio and videos files presented on a story-telling platform. My research aims to spread knowledge about rural areas and globalisation and through it affect policy and public perception of rural areas as active participants in the globalisation process who are constantly negotiating their roles.

For impact and public engagement of research findings, I target policy makers, rural and regional development actors, case study communities and other rural communities, NGOs and campaigners, media, schools and teachers, academics and the general public using online platforms and a variety of national and international events.

In developing myr impact, I will use storymaps, an online map based story telling method that offers an insightful, engaging and contemporary way of disseminating research narratives to the public. The platform allows the integration of narrative text, multiple data sets, intentional interactive maps relevant to the story, audios, videos, interview transcripts, emphatic quotes and citing datasets while telling a story. I am currently constructing 129 research evidenced story maps at a global scale and case study sites. All story maps will be hosted on the Global-Rural website, which will be launched in January 2018. Being a frequent social media user, I’ll share these story maps on twitter and blogs and the ESRI platform and will also show case them during  planned academic and non academic public engagement events. They will be used to engage rural communities particularly were the research was conducted for these communities to contribute back and give their voice in the narrative. As these story maps have the capacity to document public engagement metrics, the extent of reach will be revealed.

I’ll be looking to make impact on key international dates relevant to my research by writing media articles and blogs. One of such dates is 18th December 2017 International Migrants Day where I am looking mark it by writing a media article titled “Beyond the human cost of migration” in “The Conversation” which I have found to have wide readership beyond of the academia. I will mark other key dates such as : – March 22nd 2018 – World Water Day where my article will be based on water security focusing on water foot prints; May 17th 2018 – World Telecommunication and Information Society Day; May 29th 2018 – World Milk Day; 27th September 2018 – World Tourism day; and October 25th 2018 – World Energy Day by publishing media articles, blogs and/or story maps

Two immediate thoughts on blog topics I will contribute to the UK Data Impact Blog are themed along the lines of “Achieving the Global-Rural project outputs: An overview of the role the UK Data Service” and “To Cite or UnCite: Implications for Public Engagement and Interpretation”.

To extend international reach and impact beyond UK, I intend to submit my gallery of 129 story maps to the ESRI public engagement platform as well as enter for the 2018 ESRI ‘story telling with maps contest.

A recent community focused impact to change perceptions and influence local council policies through rural community events is the Newtown Exhibition titled “Assembling Newtown: Moving with the Times” held in Newtown, Powys County (September 19th to 30th, 2017). I showcased a collection of maps based on place of birth and migration using UK Data Service census collection and story maps showing Newtown’s and other rural town’s historical global engagements. The event is open to residents, NGOs, local government and policy makers and has had video, photo, local and social media coverage.

I am looking into engaging with the Whitechapel Gallery, London “The Rural Public Programme Series” for 2017 to 2019 through contributing exhibition content, infographics and story map displays in their activities.

I have proposed to host an ESRC Festival of Social Sciences interactive event here at Aberystwyth University in 2018, targeting schools, policy makers and businesses. Some thoughts on event content is creating an opportunity for the public to learn about story maps, how they can be use for public engagement. They will learn how to create one to tell stories about themselves and their communities.

I have requested exhibition space to display outputs from my research during the forthcoming GISRUK 2018 conference April 17 to 20th 2018 at University of Leicester and I also hope to reach out to through the WISERD non-academic workshop and policy led events. As part of the final Global-Rural final project workshop and symposium in January 2019 that will involve policy makers, 3rd sector, rural and regional development actors, communities, schools and teachers, I will display interactive visualisations, infographics and maps.

I am working on an atlas publication featuring narratives, maps, images and visualisations where there will be proper citation of all secondary and primary data used. I look to launching the atlas in an appropriate event.

At the end of the project, the intention is to collate these as a learning resource including story map outputs and share with schools, community libraries, and history groups and where data is involved deposit with UK Data Service in ways that will encourage further development. I will continue to impact publicly by sharing research findings using the project and personal twitter handles (@globalruralproject and @mappingreveals).

To get updates on storymap launch and dissemination information follow @mappingreveals and watch this space for my story maps. Follow Anthonia’s journey as a #DataImpactFellows @UKDSImpact

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