Masatoshi Arikawa / Associate Professor / Spatial Information Science
Environmental and Spatial Information System / / Spatial Information Technology, Location-Based Services, User Interfaces, Cartography

Career Summary
1986: B.Eng., Faculty of Engineering (Kyushu University)
1988-1993: Research Associate (Kyushu University)
1992: Ph.D. in Computer Science and Communication Engineering, Kyushu University
1993-1994: Research Associate (Kyoto University)
1994-1999: Associate Professor (Hiroshima City University)
1994: Visiting Scholar, The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (University of California, Santa Barbara)
1999-present: Associate Professor, Center for Spatial Information Science (University of Tokyo)
Educational Activities
Graduate School: Seminar of Spatial Information Analysis
Research Activities

(1) Human-Centered Spatial Communication Tools to Enhance Human Spatial Capability in Daily Life
People often communicate information about places in their daily lives, and they commonly refer to maps to find their intended places. However, maps are not the only media that represent spatial information. Verbal media, such as texts and voices, and real scene media, including pictures and videos about places, are also used to communicate spatial information. The present GIS (geographic information system) focuses mainly on geocoded data, such as latitude and longitude and map representations, and has less functions for dealing with natural language and real scene representations, which are used much more often in the enormous amounts of digital content produced by people. New style spatial information tools focusing on human-centered media such as texts and photos are necessary to establish smooth communication between human and computer in dealing with spatial information. We have been exploring such new style software tools for assisting human activities from the viewpoint of human-centered spatial media.

Audio Tours + Egocentric Maps on Mobile Music Players = Place-Enhanced Podcast
Audio Tours + Egocentric Maps on Mobile Music Players = Place-Enhanced Podcast "maPodWalk" [Cover Page of "American Congress on Survey and Mapping" Bulletin, Vol. 232, April 2008]

(2) Spatial Album Software: PhotoField (Joint study with Hideyuki Fujita)
Location-stamped photos have been recently disseminated with the rapid spread of GPS-equipped mobile phones. The location for a photo taken by a GPS-equipped mobile phone is the position of the camera equipped in the mobile phone, not the positions of objects shown in the photo. This makes it difficult for us to tell what is shown in the photos with only camera positions. We proposed photo vectors as a useful context pattern of photos to solve this problem. A photo vector is composed of a starting point (the camera's position) and an ending point (an object's position shown in a photo). Introducing the photo vectors into digital photo management software provides users with a richer environment to handle digital photos in spatial ways. Users can find their intended photos via the photo vector field without manually browsing the photos. We have developed a prototype, called PhotoField, based on this idea. It is available from []. Examples of advanced queries using PhotoField are "find a photo taken from the opposite side of the building", "find a photo showing the left side to here", and "find a photo of the station taken from a distance".

'Digital archives of pictorial diagrams displaying notable sights in Kyoto' at the exhibition 'Landscape pictures of notable sights in Kyoto, the past and present' produced at Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.
"Digital archives of pictorial diagrams displaying notable sights in Kyoto" at the exhibition "Landscape pictures of notable sights in Kyoto, the past and present" produced at Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.

(3) Spatial Document Management System (SDMS) (Joint study with Yasushi Asami, Takeshi Sagara, Yusuke Kataoka, and Yoh Shiraishi)
Digital documents such as text, email, html, pdf, MS Word, and MS Excel files often include place descriptions such as addresses or place names. SDMS, which is a highly interactive software we developed, can extract both addresses and place names from digital documents, geocode the extracted place words into geographic coordinates, and generate point of interest (POI) pieces that can be displayed on a map. Users only drag and drop an icon that corresponds to a digital document file or a folder on the window content of SDMS on a PC desktop. Then, SDMS processes it, generates pieces of POI, and displays them on a map. SDMS has a user-friendly interface to enable users to easily deal with all digital documents as spatial data. It can also export the generated set of POI pieces as Shape or G-XML formatted files to be ready for common GIS. The functions of sorting files placed in folder windows or desktops are necessary to find and manage intended digital files. The sorting functions on the present desktops are mainly provided in alphanumeric-order or time-order. In the near future, the desktop will provide a new promising sorting function for digital files; they will be sorted in space-order, and this is exactly the primary function of SDMS.

Example of user interface of SDMS to geocode digital documents into spatial data by simple drag and drop manipulation.

1) Masatoshi Arikawa, Ken'ichi Tsuruoka, Hideyuki Fujita, and Akihiro Ome: Place-tagged Podcasts with Synchronized Maps on Mobile Media Players, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol. 34, No. 4, pp. 293-303, Oct. 2007
2) Masatoshi Arikawa, Shin'ichi Konomi, and Keisuke Ohnishi: NAVITIME: Supporting Pedestrian Navigation in the Real World, IEEE Pervasive Computing, Special Issue on Urban Computing, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 21-29, July-Sep. 2007
3) Masatoshi Arikawa and Kouzou Noaki: Geocoding Japanese Walking Directions using Sidewalk Network Databases, Location Based Services and Telecartography, Springer, pp. 217-229, Jan. 2007
Other Activities
GIS Association of Japan (GISA)
International Cartographic Association (ICA)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan (IEICE)
Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ)
The Virtual Reality Society of Japan (VRSJ)
Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ)
Future Plan
Geospatial information technology will be a key factor to integrate the immature information technology environment into the traditional socio-cultural environment. Our laboratory is working on inventing and developing new human-centered software tools on a digital geospatial information infrastructure to improve our daily lives and to move to the future socio-cultural environment.
Messages to Students
"The important thing is not to stop questioning." -- Albert Einstein
"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -- Helen Keller
"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it. -- Mark Weiser
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." -- Alan Kay