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Geodesign specialist to speak about gaming approaches to planning in Feb. 18 lecture at ISU

February 09, 2015



AMES, Iowa — Ola Ahlqvist, an associate professor of geography at Ohio State University, will speak about gaming approaches to geodesign and planning in a lecture Wednesday, Feb. 18, at Iowa State University.

Ahlqvist will present "Can Online Map Games Predict the Future? From Chess to Multi-Agent Spatial Modeling and Simulation" at 5:30 p.m. in Kocimski Auditorium, room 101 College of Design.

"Maps and games have a long history of co-evolution, and after many years of parallel and sometimes independent development, we see today a convergence of mapping and gaming technologies," Ahlqvist said.

In his talk, Ahlqvist will introduce five current broad themes in computer gaming and cartography: spatial analysis, Web 2.0, virtual worlds, geodesign and cyberlearning. Using examples from an ongoing Online Map Game (OMG!) project—funded through the National Science Foundation's Cyberlearning program—Ahlqvist will highlight some of the connections between the fields of cartography and gaming and advocate for greater exploration of gaming approaches to geodesign and planning.

Part of the 2014-2015 Contemporary Issues in Planning and Design Lecture Series cosponsored by the College of Design and Department of Community and Regional Planning, Alqvist's lecture is free and open to the public.

Ahlqvist's most recent research looks at combining online maps with massive multiplayer online gaming in a platform for social-environmental simulation, collaboration, learning and decisionmaking. Other projects address land-cover change, landscape history, geographic information cyberinfrastructures, visualization of vague information and participatory mapping. His work has been published in Applied Geography, Landscape Ecology, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Remote Sensing of Environment and Environment and Planning

Ahlqvist has a professional background in local and regional environmental planning. In 2001 he received a PhD in geography with an emphasis on physical geography from Stockholm University, Sweden, and has done postdoctoral work at Pennsylvania State University. At Ohio State he teaches courses in cartography, geographic visualization and the geospatial web. He also serves as the director of Ohio State’s Service-Learning Initiative.

Jane Rongerude, Community and Regional Planning, (515) 294-5289,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,