Past Member

Jose Balsa Barreiro

Human Dynamics
  • Visiting Scholar

[Updated: Aug. 15th, 2019]

José Balsa-Barreiro is a research scientist (Postdoc Fellow in the academic year 2017-18) in the Human Dynamics group at the MIT Media Lab. This research group is led by Alex 'Sandy' Pentland, who is renowned as 'the Godfather of Wearables'. Prof. Pentland is one of the most-cited scientists in the world. In fact, Forbes recently declared him one of the '7 most powerful data scientists in the world' along with Google founders and the Chief Technical Officer of the United States.

Dr. Balsa-Barreiro is currently working on various topics related to socio-economic issues such as polarization, inequality, and segregation of societies. Further, his scope covers different topics related to human dynamics, computational social science, demography, territorial/urban planning, and transportation, amongst others. His main focus is to apply in his studies GIS mapping, multiscale analysis, and theories/strategies of complex networks. In addition, he is involved in various research projects in relation to a variety of topics, such as refugee’s integration, blockchain applicatio… View full description

[Updated: Aug. 15th, 2019]

José Balsa-Barreiro is a research scientist (Postdoc Fellow in the academic year 2017-18) in the Human Dynamics group at the MIT Media Lab. This research group is led by Alex 'Sandy' Pentland, who is renowned as 'the Godfather of Wearables'. Prof. Pentland is one of the most-cited scientists in the world. In fact, Forbes recently declared him one of the '7 most powerful data scientists in the world' along with Google founders and the Chief Technical Officer of the United States.

Dr. Balsa-Barreiro is currently working on various topics related to socio-economic issues such as polarization, inequality, and segregation of societies. Further, his scope covers different topics related to human dynamics, computational social science, demography, territorial/urban planning, and transportation, amongst others. His main focus is to apply in his studies GIS mapping, multiscale analysis, and theories/strategies of complex networks. In addition, he is involved in various research projects in relation to a variety of topics, such as refugee’s integration, blockchain application to health systems, big data and machine learning.

With regard to his background, he earned an international Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of A Coruna and the Politecnico di Torino. His Ph.D. thesis dissertation was focused on the application of GNSS techniques and GIS mapping to naturalistic driving data. During this time, he was involved in diverse departments/institutions, such as the Research Institute on Traffic and Road Safety (INTRAS), the Department of Mathematical and Representation Methods (DMMR), and the Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI).

After successfully defending his thesis in 2015, Balsa-Barreiro has been working on various research lines and projects. In mid-2015 he took up the position as EU experienced researcher at the Institute for Photogrammetry (IFP) in Stuttgart, funded by the Marie Curie Fellowship Program. Supervised by Prof. Dieter Fritsch, Head of the Institute for Photogrammetry from 1992 to 2016 and Rector of the University of Stuttgart from 2000 to 2006, he was working on the generation of 3D/4D  models of historical urban areas and additionally developed strategies on the digital preservation of cultural heritage by applying techniques of photogrammetry, laser scanning, and computer vision.

In 2016, he became part of the Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT) at ETH Zurich. In this role, he was working together with Prof. Monica Menendez, Head of the research group of Traffic Engineering (SVT). Being involved in various projects and proposals, the main focus of his research was investigating new methodologies and possibilities of applying travel-time maps to transport infrastructures.

Currently, Balsa-Barreiro is a lecturer at the Department of Geography at the University of Santiago de Compostela. In addition, he is part of the University Institute of Research and Development of Galicia (IDEGA) and member of the scientific team of the 'Observatorio de las Ideas'. Previously, he moreover collaborated with the Research Centre for Vehicle Technology (CiTV) in 2014 and the Cartographic Institute of Valencia, from 2010 to 2012.

Balsa-Barreiro enjoys analyzing current topics related to politics, society, and economy. During the last years, he has collaborated in The Objective from 2014 to 2015, and has published essays in notable media sources, such as [2019] Journal of International Affairs (SIPA/Columbia University), Harvard International Review, El País, [2018] Foreign Affairs (Hellenic Ed.), [2016] Foreign Affairs (Latin American Ed.), [2014] Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit, [2013] Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Foreign Affairs (Latin American Ed.), Instituto Choiseul, Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos, Nueva Tribuna, [2012] Le Monde Diplomatique, International Institute of Political Sciences, Nueva Tribuna. He also published some extended works at the [2011] United Nations Public Administration Network and the Galician School of Public Administration related to the management of Public Administrations, besides to other ones related to industrial maintenance [2015] (UF2240, UF0904).

In his free time, he enjoys developing and collaborating in art initiatives, successfully participating in international events, such as [2019] ARCO Spam in Madrid.

Research Interests

They include geographical analysis, mapping, human dynamics, economic geography, urban planning, transportation, complex networks, big data, among others. 

Selected Academic Publications

J. Balsa-Barreiro, Y. Li, A. Morales and A.S. Pentland (2019). Globalization and the shifting centers of gravity of world's human dynamics: Implications for sustainabilityJournal of Cleaner Production 239 (2019): 117923

J. Balsa-Barreiro, P.M. Valero-Mora, J.L. Berné-Valero and F.A. Varela-García (2019). GIS mapping of driving behaviour based on naturalistic driving dataISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 8(5): 226.

J. Balsa-Barreiro, L. Ambuhl, M. Menendez and A.S. Pentland (2019). Mapping time-varying accessibility and territorial cohesion with time-distorted maps. IEEE Access 7(1): 41702-41714.

J. Balsa-Barreiro and D. Fritsch (2018). Generation of visually aesthetic and detailed 3D models of historical cities by using laser scanning and digital photogrammetry. Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 8: 57-64.

O. Abdalmenem, J. Balsa-Barreiro and D. Fritsch (2018). Methodology for digital preservation of the cultural and patrimonial heritage: generation of a 3D model of the Church St. Peter and Paul (Calw, Germany) by using laser scanning and digital photogrammetry. Sensor Review 38(3): 282-288.

J. Balsa-Barreiro and D. Fritsch (2015). Generation of 3D/4D photorealistic building models. The testbed area for 4D Cultural Heritage World project: The historical center of Calw (Germany). Lecture on Notes in Computer Science 9474(1): 361-372.

J. Balsa-Barreiro, P.M. Valero-Mora, I. Pareja and M. Sánchez (2015). Proposal of GIS methodology for Quality Control procedures (QC) of data obtained in naturalistic driving studies. IET Intelligent Transport Systems 9(7): 673-682.

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2014). Insostenibilidad de modelos territoriales desde un punto de vista demográfico: A Costa da Morte (Galicia, España). Papeles de Población 19(78): 167-206.

J. Balsa-Barreiro and J.L. Lerma (2014). Empirical study of the variation of the LiDAR point density over different land uses. International Journal of Remote Sensing 35(9): 3372-3383.

J. Balsa-Barreiro and J.L. Lerma (2014). A new methodology to estimate the discrete-return point density on airborne LiDAR surveys. International Journal of Remote Sensing 35(4): 1496-1510.

J. Balsa-Barreiro, T. Hermosilla and R.C. Lois-González (2014). La campaña de incendios de 2006 en Galicia: Un análisis del cambio en el modelo de distribución espacial de la actividad incendiaria. Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles 64: 81-100.

T. Hermosilla, J. Palomar-Vázquez, A. Balaguer-Beser, J. Balsa-Barreiro and L.A. Ruíz (2014). Using street based metrics to characterize urban typologies. Computer, Environment and Urban Systems 44: 68-79.

J. Balsa-Barreiro and T. Hermosilla (2013). Socio-geographic analysis of the causes of the 2006’s wildfires in Galicia (Spain). Forest Systems 22(3): 497-509.

J. Balsa-Barreiro, P.M. Valero-Mora, I. Pareja and M. Sánchez (2013). Geo-referencing naturalistic driving data using a novel method based on vehicle speed. IET Intelligent Transport Systems 7(2): 190-197.

J. Balsa-Barreiro, J.P. Avariento and J.L. Lerma (2012). Airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) point density analysis. Scientific Research and Essays 7(33): 3010-3019.

Selected Essays

J. Balsa-Barreiro and E. Rossi (2019). The common enemy: how the rhetoric of fear is subverting democracies. (SIPA/Columbia University) Journal of International Affairs (Aug. 25th).

E. Rossi and J. Balsa-Barreiro (2019). Is it dead or only sleeping? The crisis of social democracy (and the Establishment) in EuropeHarvard International Review XL(2, Spring): 38-40. 

J. Balsa-Barreiro, M. Cebrián and A. Ortega (Jan. 10th, 2019). Por un Internet español con emociónEl País (Tribuna).

J. Balsa-Barreiro and E. Rossi (2018). Political discourse in the social media era. Foreign Affairs (Hellenic Ed.) 51(Apr.-May): 23-28.

J. Balsa-Barreiro (Jun. 11th, 2014). La calma antes de la tempestad (o viceversa). Una reflexión acerca del estado de la crisis española de la deuda. Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit (FNST), Sede Mexico-Latinoamerica. 

J. Balsa-Barreiro (Jun. 11th, 2013). ¿Cómo enfrenta España la crisis de la deuda? (España en la crisis de la deuda). Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica (FAL) 83(2013).

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2013). España: deuda pública, paro y crisis. Diálogo Politico (Fundación Konrad Adenauer para América Latina) 2(2013): 139-154.

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2013). La dificultad por controlar la deuda pública española en el contexto actual. Seguridad Global (Instituto Choiseul) 04(2013): 127-138.

J. Balsa-Barreiro (Aug. 30th, 2012). La crisis económica y el cambio en el poder geopolítico en Europa. Le Monde Diplomatique (ed. Chile).

Reviews

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2019). Status as a Service (StaaS)Revista de Ideas. Observatorio de las Ideas 76-77 (Jul.-Aug.): 24-25. Review of the post in the blog Remains of the Day: Eugen Wei (2019). Status as a Service (StaaS)Remains of the Day (published on Feb. 2019).

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2018). La comunicación aumenta la polarizaciónRevista de Ideas. Observatorio de las Ideas 68 (Nov.): 24-25. Review of the original journal paper: Bail et al. (2018). Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(37): 9216-9221.

Books

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2019). LiDAR for management in natural disasters and catastrophes. In Ed: K.G. Greene: Government Briefing Book: Emerging Technology & Human Rights, 1(Aug): 11. 

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2016). UF0904. Selección de equipos y elementos en instalaciones de climatización. Certificado de Profesionalidad IMAR0109. Madrid: Ed. Nuevos Negocios en la Red. 

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2015). UF2240. Mantenimiento correctivo de electrodomésticos de gama blanca. Certificado de Profesionalidad ELEM0411. Madrid: Ed. Nuevos Negocios en la Red. 

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2012). El desarrollo económico de Santa Comba de Xallas. Bases para la elaboración de un Plan Estratégico Municipal (PEDEM). Santiago de Compostela: Ed. Publishing Service of the University of  Santiago de Compostela.  

J. Balsa-Barreiro and R. Brocal (2011). Los sistemas GMAO y SIG como herramientas para la gestión integrada en la administración local. New York: United Nations of Public Administrations Network(UNPAN).

J. Balsa-Barreiro (2008). Análise para a implementación dun sistema de información xeográfica para a xestión de servizos en calquera nivel da administración. Particularización e aplicacións de mellora para o caso da Dirección Xeral de Turismo-Turgalicia (Consellería de Innovación e Industria). Santiago de Compostela: Galician School of Public Administration.

J.R. Chantada Acosta and J. Balsa-Barreiro (2007). Evolución de los habitantes de derecho en los núcleos de población de O Xallas de 1888 a 2005. Santiago de Compostela: Ed. J. Chantada. 

J.R. Chantada Acosta and J. Balsa-Barreiro (2007). Evolución de los habitantes de hecho en los núcleos de población de O Xallas de 1888 a 1991. Santiago de Compostela: Ed. J. Chantada. 

Editor-in-Chief

Journal of the Institute of Electronics and Computer, IEC Science (United States). 

Member of scientific committees

[2019] Machine Learning and Modeling for Complex Systems at Conference of Complex Systems (CSS 2019),  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Sep. 30th-Oct.04th.

[2019] The 2nd Northeast Regional Conference on Complex Systems (NERCCS 2019), Binghamton, New York, Apr. 03-05th.

[2018] The 9th International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS 2018), Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jul. 22-27th.

[2018-...] Observatorio de las Ideas, Barcelona, Spain.

Thesis supervision

Rodriguez Garcia, Manuel (2019). Application of GIS to Biogeography. Analysis of the Fragas do Eume's wildfire in 2012. M.Sc. in Planning and Management of Territorial Development, Department of Geography, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 

Zelong, Lian (2018). Digital Preservation of Calw Market Square-Lederstrasse by Means of Automated HDS and Photogrammetric Texture Mapping (Part 4). M.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering, GEOENGINE. Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart. Supervisors: D. Fritsch and J. Balsa-Barreiro.

Owda, Abdalmenem (2017). Digital Preservation of Calw Market Square - Im Zwinger by Means of Automated HDS and Photogrammetric Texture Mapping. M.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering, GEOENGINE. Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart. Supervisors: D. Fritsch and J. Balsa-Barreiro.

Zhai, Ning (2017). Digital Preservation of Calw Market Square-Lederstrasse by Means of Automated HDS and Photogrammetric Texture Mapping (Part 3). M.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering, GEOENGINE. Institute for Photogrammetry,  University of Stuttgart. Supervisors: D. Fritsch and J. Balsa-Barreiro.

Yangteng, Jiang (2016). Digital Preservation of Calw Market Square-Lederstrasse by Means of Automated HDS and Photogrammetric Texture Mapping (Part 2). M.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering, GEOENGINE. Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart. Supervisors: D. Fritsch and J. Balsa-Barreiro.

Wang, Yiwen (2016). Digital Preservation of Calw Market Square-Lederstrasse by Means of Automated HDS and Photogrammetric Texture Mapping (Part 1). M.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering, GEOENGINE. Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart. Supervisors: D. Fritsch and J. Balsa-Barreiro.

Feng, Bo (2016). Digital Preservation of Calw Altburgerstrasse by Means of Automated HDS and Photogrammetric Texture Mapping. M.Sc. in Geomatics Engineering, GEOENGINE. Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Stuttgart. Supervisors: D. Fritsch and J. Balsa-Barreiro.

Invited Talks

J. Balsa-Barreiro (Feb. 14th, 2019). Visualization and analysis of human dynamics (from a spatial dimension). Presented at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Porto (Portugal).

J. Balsa-Barreiro, A. Morales and E. Castelló (Nov. 09th, 2018). Datos, inteligencia artificial y complejidad. Una visión de la sociedad del futuro. Presented at the School of Informatics, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia (Spain).

J. Balsa-Barreiro, A. Morales and E. Castelló (Nov. 08th, 2018). Datos, inteligencia artificial y complejidad. Una visión de la sociedad del futuro. Presented at the Fundación Valenciana de Estudios Avanzados, Valencia (Spain).

J. Balsa-Barreiro, A. Morales and E. Castelló (Nov. 07th, 2018). Human Dynamics: Data, AI and Complexity at Scale. Presented at the IMDEA Networks Institute, Leganés (Spain).

J. Balsa-Barreiro, A. Morales and E. Castelló (Nov. 05th, 2018). Datos, inteligencia artificial y complejidad. Una visión de la sociedad del futuro. Presented at the Institute of Engineering of Spain, Madrid (Spain).

J. Balsa-Barreiro (Apr. 15th, 2016). 3D preservation of the Berlin Brandenburg Gate. Presented at the 30th Berliner Denkmaltag, Berlin (Germany).

J. Balsa-Barreiro. (Mar. 28th, 2016). Proceso de reconstrucción virtual (3D/4D) del patrimonio arquitectónico. Presented at the Institute of Engineering of Spain, Madrid (Spain).

C. Coughneour and J. Balsa-Barreiro (Sep. 06th, 2015). 3D/4D modelling for cultural heritage applications. Presented at the 55th Photogrammetric Week-Tutorial, Stuttgart (Germany).

J. Balsa-Barreiro (Jun. 27th, 2012). La tecnología LiDAR y sus posibles aplicaciones al mundo de la Ingeniería. Presented at the Institute of Engineering of Spain, Madrid (Spain).

Awards

[2019] M. Bakker, D. Piracha, P.  Lu, K. Bejgo, M. Bahrami, Y. Leng, J. Balsa-Barreiro, J. Ricard, A. Morales, V. Singh, B. Bozkaya, S. Balcısoy and A.S. Pentland. Measuring fine-grained multidimensional integration using mobile phone metadata: the case of Syrian refugees in TurkeyHonorable Mention in the Data For Refugees (D4R) Challenge (category: Social Integration).

[2013] J. Balsa-Barreiro -supervised by J.L. Lerma, A. Rovira, L. Duenas -. LIDAR: from cartographic to industrial engineering. Some applications of low-cost geoprocessing with LiDAR data. 2nd position in the 1st Ed. of the IDEAS StarUPV (category: Final Projects 2K13)

[2013] J. Balsa-Barreiro -supervised by J.L. Lerma, A. Rovira, L. Duenas -. LIDAR: from cartographic to industrial engineering. Some applications of low-cost geoprocessing with LiDAR data. Quality Mention in the 4th Ed. of the ESRI Final Studies

[2007] J. Balsa-Barreiro -supervised by R.C. Lois-González-. Analysis and implementation of a GIS for services management in any level of Public Administrations. Particularization and enhancing applications for the Directorate General of Tourism-Turgalicia (Counseling of Innovation and Industry of the Galician Government)Winner of the 16th Ed. of the Manuel Colmeiro Award organized by the Galician School of Public Administration (EGAP) (category: most relevant study on Public Administrations).

[2006] J. Balsa-Barreiro -supervised by J.L. Lerma-. LiDAR Technology (Light Detection and Ranging) and its application to the generation of digital urban models.  Finalist of the 6th Ed. of the Jordi Viñas i Foch Award organized by the Cartographic Institute of Catalonia (category: most relevant study on mapping applications).

[2006] J. Balsa-Barreiro -supervised by J.L. Lerma-. LiDAR Technology (Light Detection and Ranging) and its application to the generation of digital urban models.  Finalist of the 1st Ed. of the Padre Tosca Award organized by the Cartographic Institute of Valencia (category: most relevant study on mapping applications).

Other profiles

[2017-2018] Lecturer in the Department of Geography, University of Santiago de Compostela 

[2016-2017] Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Transport Planning and Systems (IVT), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology 

[2015-2016] EU experienced researcher at the Institute for Photogrammetry (IFP), University of Stuttgart 

[2012-2014] Collaborator at the Photogrammetry and Laser Scanning research group (GIFLE), Polytechnic University of Valencia 

Additional News Coverage

[2019] Fundación Telefónica, Innovadores - La Razón (1) (2) (3) (4), El País, [2018] Polytechnic University of Valencia (1) (2), Mundo Cloud, ICAI, Fepsu, [2014] University of Oviedo, WWF/Adena, [2013] Fundación Mapfre, El Correo Gallego, [2012] A Nosa Costa (1) (2), El Correo GallegoVanguard,  El Nuevo SigloLa Línea de Fuego, Alainet [2011] El Correo Gallego, A Nosa Costa, Blog IDEE, [2007] La Voz de Galicia, El Correo Gallego.

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