Research Fellow


University of Nottingham


Geography; Geographical Information Systems; Human-computer Interaction


Nottingham Geospatial Institute; University of Nottingham Human Factors Research Group; University College London’s Extreme Citizen Science Research Group



Other links

University Profile; LinkedIn; Academia.edu


Personal Bio

I come from Dorset, UK, and studied Geography at the University of Oxford (BA, 2004). Following a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) internship at the United States Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and further public and private sector GIS experience, I led a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between UCL and Dr Foster Intelligence in 2007 to introduce geospatial techniques into web-based software for the analysis of health outcomes to inform the commissioning of healthcare services. This was graded developed into my Engineering Doctorate (2015) and interest in the usability of geospatial technologies.

From 2015-2017, I joined the University of Nottingham as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to develop an online Citizen Science project to identify and classify changes on the surface of Mars. (EU FP7 (2007 – 2013) grant agreement no 607379: www.i-mars.eu.)

Ever since, I have been a postdoc with the Rights Lab, developing online Citizen Science approaches to the location of activities associated with Modern Slavery, the aim being to validate/train machine learning algorithms to farm satellite imagery for the same features. Preliminary projects (see ‘Projects’ below), focused on the brick manufacturing industry in India, will extend to other activities such as fish farming, charcoal camps and mining, with distinctive signatures in satellite imagery.

Research Profile

I am a Research Associate with the Rights Lab’s Slavery Observatory project. My research interests span Geography (including Web GIS, cartography, spatial cognition and knowledge construction, health geography) and Human-Computer Interaction (from applied aspects such as user-centred design, usability engineering and design practice, to cognitive aspects including sense- and decision-making, information visualisation and affective interaction design), especially as it applies to geographical and so-called “Big” data. I am especially interested in the boundary between amateur and professional, and human and machine, capabilities.


Developing and managing the Slavery from Space crowdsourcing website.

Collaborating with DigitalGlobe and Tomnod to develop crowdsourcing approaches to finding slave-based activities using their satellite imagery (Funded by: ESRC National Productivity Investment Fund).

Coordinating ‘Satellite Remote Sensing of Sites Associated with Slavery’ competition as part of an EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund – Research/Knowledge Exchange project.



Boyd, D.S., Jackson, B., Wardlaw, J., Foody, G.M., Marsh, S. and Bales, K. (2018) Slavery from Space: Demonstrating the Role for Satellite Remote Sensing to Inform Evidence-Based Action Related to UN SDG Number 8. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

Wardlaw, J., Sprinks, J., Houghton, R., Muller, J-P., Sidiropoulos, P., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. (2017) Comparing experts and novices in Martian surface feature change detection and identification, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation.

Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J., Houghton, R., Bamford, S. and Morley, J. (2017) Task Workflow Design and its impact on performance and volunteers’ subjective preference in Virtual Citizen Science. Int. J. of Human-Computer Studies, 104, 50-63.

Wardlaw, J., Cox, A.L. and Haklay, M. (2013) Adaptation of Method-resources Between Projects: A Case Study From a Dynamic and Complex Work Domain. Law, E.C., Hvannberg, E.T., Vermeeren A.P.O.S., Cockton, G. and Jokela, T. (eds.) Proceedings of CHI 2013 Workshop “Made for Sharing: HCI Stories of Transfer, Triumph and Tragedy, pp. 4-9.

Skarlatidou, A., Wardlaw, J., Haklay, M. and Cheng, T. (2011) Understanding the influence of specific Web GIS attributes in the formation of non-experts’ trust perceptions. Ruas, A. (ed.) Advances in Cartography and GIScience. Volume 1. Selection from ICC 2011, Paris. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Springer Berlin, pp. 219-238.

Jones, S., Wardlaw, J., Carolan, M. and Crouch, S. (2011) Modelling catchment areas for acute providers: a case study. Health Care Management Science, 14(3), pp. 253-261.

Farr, M., Wardlaw, J. and Jones, C. (2008) Tackling health inequalities using geodemographics: a social marketing approach. Int. J. Market Research, 50(4), pp. 449-468.

Conference presentations

American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing Annual Conference 2018, Denver, USA. Wardlaw, J., Jackson, B., Foody, G.M., Boyd, D.S. and Marsh, S. Designing a Crowdsourcing Project for Processing of Remotely Sensed Data.

Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress (DPS/EPSC) 2016, Pasadena, USA. Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J. Houghton, R., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. Better the Martian you know? Trust in the crowd vs. trust in the machine when using a Martian Citizen Science platform.

Human Factors in Complex Systems Conference 2016, University of Nottingham, UK. Houghton, R., Wardlaw, J., Sprinks, J., Giordano, M., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. Martian Factors: A Systems Ergonomics Approach To Citizen Science.

Annual Meeting of the Geological Remote Sensing Group 2015, Frascati, Italy. Wardlaw, J., Sprinks, J., Houghton, R., Bamford, S., Morley, J. and Marsh, S. iMars: Crowd-Sourced Analysis of Imagery for Geological Change on Mars.

EPSC 2015, Nantes, France. Sprinks, J. Houghton, R., Bamford, S., Morley, J. and Wardlaw, J. Is that a Crater? Designing Citizen Science Platforms for the Volunteer and to Improve Results.

The Sixth ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems 2014, Rome, Italy. Workshop: HCI Engineering – Charting the Way towards Methods and Tools for Advanced Interactive Systems: Wardlaw, J., Haklay, M. and Cox, A.L. Inside the ‘Big Data’ Factory: Lessons from Health Informatics.

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association GIS in Public Health Conference 2009, Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Wardlaw, J. and Haklay, M. Mapping in the UK Health Informatics Sector.

Conference posters

DPS/EPSC 2016, Pasadena, USA. Sprinks, J., Wardlaw, J., Houghton, R., Bamford, S. and Marsh, S. Mars in Motion: An online Citizen Science platform looking for changes on the surface of Mars.

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Health Care Symposium 2012, Baltimore, USA. Wardlaw, J. and Haklay, M. Supporting Decision Making Through the User Interface: Health Information Technology in a Public Health System Context.

GIS Research UK Conference 2009, Durham University. Wardlaw, J., Haklay, M. and Jones, C.E. Developing a New Approach to Geovisualization for Health Professionals.

Book chapters

Haklay, M., Wardlaw, J. and Mazumdar, S. (2018) Citizen Science for observing and understanding the Earth. In: Mathieu PP. and Aubrecht C. (eds) Earth Observation Open Science and Innovation. ISSI Scientific Report Series, vol 15. Springer, Cham.

•  Wardlaw, J. (2010) Principles of interaction. In: Haklay, M. (ed.) Interacting with Geospatial Technologies, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, pp. 179-198.