Meet the team - Rafael Verduzco

The Urban Big Data Centre brings together the expertise and experience of colleagues from all over the world. We'd like to introduce some of them in a series of informal profiles.

What is your job title at UBDC and what does your role entail?

I am Research Associate in Urban Transport Analytics here at UBDC. My work centres around studying how digital footprints and innovative data sources can offer insights into urban transport and human mobility. Additionally, I support our Data Service in assembling or updating datasets related to transport. I am also involved in teaching activities in the Urban Transport MSc and guiding students through quantitative methods. It's always rewarding to share what I've learned with our field’s next wave of thinkers.

What are you currently working on?

This spring, I'm diving into main projects. The first one has us using the HUQ mobile app location dataset to explore how much we can use it to estimate traffic volumes. I'm teaming up with my colleagues to build and test new ways of using this fresh data. The early results look good, and we're eager to take this further, shedding light on active travel modes. The second project has us giving a facelift to one of our cherished UBDC datasets. This one's about public transport accessibility indicators across Great Britain (PTAI), covering everything from bustling urban centres to quieter regional services. We're working on making it more detailed geographically and even more useful for researchers.

Are there any subject areas you’d like to explore in more depth in the future?

The initial findings with mobile app location data have really attracted my interest. I'm eager to dig deeper into this area, perhaps by blending it with other cutting-edge sources like CCTV camera data or traffic sensor readings. On a different note, I'm also keen to weave in job advertising data from Adzuna into my accessibility research. This could paint a more dynamic picture of the labour market, highlighting how it interacts with our public transport system. It's an exciting prospect as it opens up new avenues to explore issues like urban poverty and spatial inequality.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your background?

I started my academic journey with a degree in Architecture. I found myself really intrigued by the way streets and public spaces were organised and how they influenced movement. This interest drew me into urban and transport planning and governance. To learn more, I headed to the Netherlands for a master’s degree and also got a taste of their amazing bike culture.

On a personal note, I come from a sunny, warm city called Colima, near Mexico’s Pacific coast. As the youngest of three siblings, I have a soft spot for cooking, especially when I get to share these moments with my partner and family. Before my studies took centre stage, I used to spend time drawing and painting. Recently, I've picked this back up and hope to carve out more time for it in the future.

What do you like about living in Glasgow and Scotland?

Living in Glasgow, and Scotland more generally, is fantastic. One of the things I love most about Glasgow is the abundance of green spaces right in the middle of the city. Plus, the Highlands are just a short trip away when you're up for a more challenging hike. [Picture: An Caisteal, near Crianlarich] I've spent nearly five years here and I can honestly say that the city's motto, "People Make Glasgow", hits the nail on the head. Glaswegians are some of the friendliest people you'll meet. They've made me feel right at home since day one.

What other interests do you have outside of work?

As I touched on earlier, I'm quite a fan of outdoor activities Cycling and hiking have long been favourites of mine, and thanks to my colleagues at UBDC, I've recently added climbing to my list of pastimes. There's a wonderful group of us at the centre who share these interests. We often find ourselves swapping stories about our weekend adventures, planning our next hiking trip, or encouraging each other to tackle a new route or climbing challenge. It's a fantastic way to connect with my colleagues outside of work, and it's certainly enriched my experience living in Scotland.

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Call for expressions of interest – Adzuna data

UBDC invites expressions of interest from applicants interested in using Adzuna job listings data for non-commercial academic research projects. Adzuna is a search engine for job advertisements in the UK and provides data about the job market.

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