Internship at State of Place

Spatial Analytics Research Internship - State of Place

From March to July 2023 I conducted my internship as Spatial Analytics Research at State of Place, which is an urban software company which aims to leverage the power of data to help private and public institutions to understand, manage and forecast city processes and urban quality, in order to more quickly, efficiently, & effectively deliver places people deserve. My role in the team was focused on developing some projects related to the leveraging of geospatial aspects of the data, as well as identifying possible new sources of data and designing geospatial workflows. During the four month of work, I was involved in five main projects, some of them by my own, and other as part of a team, which are detailed below:

a. Near Blocks’ Influence Project

This project was the one that comprised most of the time of my internship, being fascinating since it allowed me covering the whole pipeline of the process, from research, to data cleaning, code development and documentation. The project was developed as a solution for the requirement of a new version of the SoP index that accounts for spatial context and neighboring blocks, leveraging the potential of the geospatial data the company already had. 

The work started with a review of existing literature to explore previously applied methods, studied parameters, ways of measuring distances, maximum distances of influence, and the effect of distance decay. Subsequently, the data cleaning for the required purposes took place and the code development started. The entire project was developed in Python, using different geospatial libraries such as Osmnx and geopandas. As a result, the developed code allowed getting the walking isochrones from a block, and calculating the influence of neighboring blocks at different distance levels into the algorithm. This derived in the creation of a proposal for a new version of the SoP index, which is being finalized and tested for future implementation. The last step of the project included the documentation of all the code and work developed, for its future understanding, use, modification and implementation by the rest of the team.

 b. Data preparation for Geocoding

The work consisted on cleaning, organizing and tagging a huge dataset with information about different cities’ blocks, for making it ready to be geocoded. The dataset contained location information in different non-standarized ways, and therefore the aim was unifying this location columns, according to the formats that geocoders require as an input. Moreover, the work also involved researching about different geocoding servers, designing small workflow tests and getting the dataset ready for future works.

 c. Search & Evaluation of New Feature’s Data Sources

This task was continuously developed at different moments throughout the length of my internship. Being SoP a company that analyzes the built environment based on a set of features extracted from geolocated data, the searching for new datasources is a continuously on-going task. In this context, druing my internship I was part of a series of “features workshops” for discussing the main data requirements and possible data sources. Based on that information, I was partially in charge of gathering possible open and proprietary data sources that met the criteria, as well as of researching existing workflows that could be applied for our data uses purposes.

d. Recommendation System’s Features Compatibility

This project was developed as a starting point for an update to the recommendation system that the company has, which recommends which features to change in a block, to get a better State of Place Index, according to certain settings such as the objectives, the most important dimensions and the budget. My worked consisted on analyzing the compatibility among the different features, as well as the spatial relationships between them, in order to develop programming-rules that can give an improved result for a future version of the software.

Certificate of Internship Completion

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