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Browsing posts in: About

Oliver Lock

Urban planner. Data hustler. Visualiser. Consultant.


My day-to-day work focuses on developing quantitative approaches to understanding and addressing real-world challenges in the cities context. In particular, this is focused on applying spatial analysis, modelling and visualisation techniques to solving complex problems in transport and urban mobility.

My education in cities has benefited from academic and professional experience spanning Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane), the U.K. (London) and U.S. (San Francisco). This experience can be broadly classified as transport planning, modelling, geographic information systems (GIS), data visualisation and web development.

I’m excited by digital/tech trends and constantly strive to integrate these into creating innovative planning products and practice. In particular, I am fascinated by the opportunities afforded by the ‘big’ data deluge faced by governments and other organisations. Harnessing, deriving insight, and making use of these data sets is (I believe) imperative to the cities task, and a significant enabler for planning a positive future.



Matcha Green Tea





Data Art

3D Printing and Design


Photography – architecture, cities, landscapesSONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC


University of Melbourne
2009 – 2012Bachelor of Environments (Hons 1) in Urban Design and PlanningDiploma in Informatics (Hons 1) focusing on databases, information design and visualisationSAM_0669 - CopyDean’s Honours List
Top 3% of results academically in faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

Peter McPhee Student Award
for organising TEDxUniMelb student club and conferences

University College London (UCL)
2013 – 14
The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA)

Master of Research (Distinction) in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation


Dissertation on ‘big data’ analysis using historic data generated by the MUNI network in San Francisco

University of New South Wales (UNSW)
2017 – Present
City Futures Research Centre

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Smart Cities, Urban Dashboards and Analytics

UNSW Scientia Scholarship
For PhD candidates with potential for producing research with a global impact

ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4165-1232

Introductory Post

City Informatics, this blog, will share research and thoughts on many fields – from urban planning, design and architecture to human-computer interaction, spatial information and analysis to social media and transport systems. While these are diverse topics this blog will draw upon their intersections – at people, place and technology.

City planning as an interest developed through studying where I grew up, Melbourne. Melbourne is an interesting case ; the world continuously anoints it as one of the most liveable cities ; yet the public ceaselessly criticizes all aspects of its transport infrastructure.

I have studied Urban Design & Planning and Informatics at the University of Melbourne. Through this I developed a strong interest in solving urban problems – food security, climate change, overpopulation with a continuous lens towards sustainability. The interaction between people and technology also drives me – particularly the information that is broadcast from these interactions that decision-makers can use to manage urban problems, as well as that smart citizens can use to solve them individually and collectively.

I now live and study in one of the world’s most global cities, London, working towards a Master of Research in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation. This is at CASA – an innovative and exciting lab, combining the skills of computer scientists, mathematicians, urban planners and architects to using and developing latest visualisation and modelling technologies to provide knowledge and insights to tackling these urban issues.

For example, this data visualisation of train journeys in London, Pulse of the City from Jon Reades on Vimeo.

Through this blog I would like to share and discuss my thoughts on this field with readers, as well as use as a platform to share and discuss others’ thoughts/work that I find interesting or useful. Where possible I would like to also provide tips for undertaking this kind of work, as many times I have found very valuable information on blogs .. for free!

If you would like to get in contact, please email me at oliverclock@gmail.com or tweet me at @oc_lock.