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Research Interests:
Social Sciences
Discipline: Geography
Pillar / Cluster: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Ate Poorthuis is an Assistant Professor in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. His research explores the possibilities and limitations of big data, through quantitative analysis and visualization, to better understand how our cities work. He has a particular interest in the practical application of these academic insights within urban planning and policy. Other projects he has worked on include the DOLLY Project, a repository of billions of geolocated social media, which is used to address the difficulties of using big data within the social sciences.

Recent Publications

  • Shelton, T. and A. Poorthuis (2019). The nature of neighborhoods: using big data to rethink the geographies of Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit system. Annals of the American Association of Geographers (109) 5, pp. 1341-1361.  
  • Poorthuis, A. (2018). How to Draw a Neighborhood? The Potential of Big Data, Regionalization, and Community Detection for Understanding the Heterogeneous Nature of Urban Neighborhoods. Geographical Analysis (50) 2, pp. 182-203.  
  • van Meeteren, M. and A. Poorthuis (2018). Christaller and “big data”: recalibrating central place theory via the geoweb. Urban Geography (39) 1, pp. 122-148.  
  • Steentoft, A., A. Poorthuis, B. Lee and M. Schläpfer (2018). The canary in the city: indicator groups as predictors of local rent increases. EPJ Data Science, pp. 7-21.  
  • Poorthuis, A. and M. Zook (2017). Making Big Data Small: Strategies to Expand Urban and Geographical Research Using Social Media. Journal of Urban Technology (24) 4, pp. 115-135.  


  • PhD in Geography, University of Kentucky
  • MSc in Metropolitan Studies, University of Amsterdam
  • BSc in Human Geography, University of Amsterdam


  • Urban Geography & Planning
  • Technology and the City
  • Social Theory on Space
  • Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Statistics
  • Mapping and Visualization
  • Research Methodology