This image shows the infrared light from the eye-tracker that is being bounced off my eyes to detect where I am looking.

Geographic Information Science:
My current research is investigating the process of visual cluster detection in animated and static maps. I recently collected eye-movement data while working with Sara Fabrikant at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. We hope this information will help us explain how map readers find moving clusters. Our big recent news is that we recently acquired an eye-tracker for use at UNSW-ADFA. Stay tuned for pictures of the lab once it's set up!

I am also interested in several other aspects of perception and cognition with maps and am in the process of planning research projects in these areas.

Human-Environment Interactions:
With colleagues at CSIRO-Sustainable Ecosystems, the Australian National University and the ACT Department of Health, I am looking at how how obesity can be conceptualized as a complex system, with influences that range from the individual to the global scale.

Other current projects include:
1) Working with colleagues from the School of ITEE at UNSW@ADFA and CSIRO and a PhD student to use agent-based models to investigate space-time dynamics of the recent equine flu outbreak in Australia.

2) Working with colleagues from CSIRO and the Community Fire Authority and a PhD student to develop a socio-ecological measure of bushfire vulnerability.

If you are a potential postgraduate student who is interested in working in these areas, please feel free to email me at: a.griffin at


Recent publications:

1. Griffin, A. L. and S. Bell. (2009). "Applications of signal detection theory in geographic information science." Cartographica, in press.

2. Bhowmick, T., Griffin, A. L., MacEachren, A. M., Kluhsmann, B and E. Lengerich. (2008). “Informing Geospatial Toolset Design: Understanding the Process of Cancer Data Exploration and Analysis”, Health & Place, 14: 576-607.

3. Banos, A. and A. L. Griffin. (2007). “A methodology for exploring urban neighbourhood shapes and sizes.” Proceedings of the 15 th European Colloquium on Theoretical and Quantitative Geography, Montreux, Switzerland, September 7-11.

4. Griffin, A.L., MacEachren, A.M., Hardisty, F., Steiner, E. and B. Li. (2006). “A comparison of animated maps with static small-multiple maps for visually identifying space-time clusters.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 96(4): 740-53.