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The Grandes Métropoles Project

The Grandes Métropoles Workshops

The Grandes Métropoles project is based on one-day workshops held once or twice a year. Its objective is:


The workshops are organised into two sessions. They begin with two or three case studies presenting theoretical and methodological problems associated with the analysis of a local dataset. The second session involves data manipulation in a computer workshop. Examples offered include data processing extracts drawn from completed studies (Twitter data, residential mobility, etc.) and explorations that lead to the discovery of a dataset (Airbnb rentals, public cycle hire scheme, etc.).


This simulated training environment (‘sandbox’) aims to disseminate questions and innovations (in terms of concepts, methods and/or tools) between researchers, lecturers, doctoral students and engineers from the various CIST teams. It also gives the different thematic groups within CIST the opportunity to cross-tabulate their approaches in relation to common case studies.


The objective is not so much to construct a local database for use across all CIST’s research groups as to gradually build up a body of test datasets, to present the processing chains used and to propose generic(‘how to’)approaches to solving the theoretical and methodological problems presented.

3 workshops in 2016 and 2017

So far, three workshops have been organised by the INFTER research group in partnership with other thematic groups working within CIST:

Introductory workshop (May 2016)

Presentation of the first analyses carried out on the training sample (Paris, Chicago, Mexico City) to examine challenges relating to harmonisation (based on changes in land use/cover patterns), representation (anamorphic mapping of demographic data) and data cross- tabulation (e‧g. real estate prices).

Digital social media and local data (November 2016), co-organised with the MEDIA research group (Medias and Territories)

Focused on the subject of ‘tweets’, feedback on accessing data and data quality, construction of geographic information (categories of locations identifiable by tweets, link with other semantic information) and the original contribution of these data in the analysis of metropolitan dynamics (detection of urban events, lexical analysis relating to development projects, etc.).

Metropolitan mobility: official sources, alternative sources (October 2017), co-organised with the MIT research group (Mobilities, Identities and Territories)

Exchanges around a number of different focuses (immobility, walking) and the limitations of their descriptions in censuses and official mobility surveys. Case study of residential mobility data in Mexico City to highlight processes of socio-spatial reconfiguration in the city.

Future thematics will focus a priori on environmental issues (air quality, biodiversity, etc.). This initial simulated training environment (‘sandbox’) is designed to be opened up to new thematics and new metropolitan study sites based on your ideas for contributions. And computer workshops can also be organised in other formats (such as hackathons).

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