Past Meetup

GeoPhilly & PhillyPUG January Meetup: Python & Maps

This Meetup is past

40 people went

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This event is a joint endeavor by GeoPhilly and the Python User Group ( The evening event will feature short talks about how folks are using Python and geospatial together.

This event is a local contribution to the national Data Innovation Day 2014 ( Event. The purpose of Data Innovation Day is to raise awareness about the benefits and opportunities that come from increased use of information by individuals and the public and private sector.


Mark Chadwick, CTO, Vistar Media

"Processing Geospatial Data with Python and Hadoop"

Bio: Vistar Media is a location-based advertising company. We pull in all sorts of geospatial datasets to help our clients better understand and reach their audiences. Some of datasets are quite large, and all of them look quite different. We needed a tool powerful enough to cut through the large datasets yet flexible enough to try new approaches to consuming oddly-shaped data. We settled on using Python and Hadoop for our geospatial data. A match made in heaven. Mark will talk about it for a bit.

Andrew Thompson, Community Evangelist, Azavea

"Is it a Package or a Wrapper? Designing, Documenting, and Distributing a Helper Library for Azavea's Cicero API"

Bio: As Community Evangelist at Azavea, Andrew works with software engineers, GIS analysts, product managers, and marketing staff to build and grow a developer and user community around Azavea's civic software products. As a B Corporation, Azavea focuses on creating geospatial analysis (GIS) web software ( in the fields of urban forestry, elections and politics, public safety, digital humanities, and urban planning to encourage more vibrant and sustainable communities. Andrew came to this work from my deep interests in cities, technology, and journalism and marketing. Andrew graduated in 2012 from Haverford College with a Bachelor's in Growth and Structure of Cities and minor in Computer Science.

Brian Jacobs

"MIT SENSEable cities project in Singapore"

Bio: Brian Jacobs is a designer and interactive developer, experienced with data-driven web applications and interactive data visualization in commercial, civic, and research contexts. Brian previously worked for Azavea from 2008-2012, and most recently for MIT’s Senseable City Lab in Singapore where he collaborated with software engineers and researchers to create a browser-based data processing interface and visualization platform for city-scale spatiotemporal datasets. This year he’ll begin a Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellowship at ProPublica.

Jen Lowe

Bio: Jen is an independent data scientist and data communicator. She teaches Math for Artists at NYU ITP, works on communications with DataKind, crunches numbers for the most human startups, and contributes ideas at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Jen's previous haunts include the Spatial Information Design Lab at Columbia University and the School for Poetic Computation. She's spoken at SXSW and Eyeo. Her research, writing, and speaking explore the promises and implications of data and technology in society. Her education is in applied math and information science. Often oppositional, she's always on the side of love.

Pizza and soda will be provided.

We'll head to the bar ( after the talks are over.