Scaling Maps at Facebook

Dr. Yin Wang, Tech Lead of Maps at Facebook
Tuesday, November 1

Abstract: Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected. Maps are indispensable to our mission. In the past few years, our maps team managed to support our growth with an incredibly small team size. This talk introduces three projects to represent our work. The first is polygon index service that is the backbone of our location infrastructure, which was the topic of the 2013 SIGSPATIAL Cup competition. The second is OSM map service using RocksDB backend, which is a hack-a-month project. The third extracts map data from satellite imagery using deep learning, which supports our mission, Store Visit ads product, and external humanitarian mapping efforts.

Biography: Yin Wang obtained his Ph.D from the EECS Department at the University of Michigan. Afterwards, he spent five years at HP Labs working in the systems area as well as on machine learning in the geospatial domain. After HP Labs, Yin joined Facebook as a software engineer, where he worked for infrastructure, AI group, and location & entities. At location & entities, Yin started the maps data team, and is now leading efforts in location infrastructure.

A Big Data System for Things That Move

Prof. Balaji Prabhakar, Stanford University and Chief Scientist at Urban Engines
Wednesday, November 2

Abstract: The world consists of many interesting things that move: people go to work, home, school, and shop in public transit systems, cars and taxis; goods move on roads, over water or by air each day; and food travels a long distance to meet its consumer. Thus, massive movement processes are underway in the world every day and it is critical to ensure their safe, timely and efficient operation. Towards this end, low-cost sensing and acquisition of the movement data is being achieved: from GPS devices, RFID and barcode scanners, to smart commuter cards and smartphones, snapshots of the movement process are becoming available.

In this talk, I will present a system for stitching together these snapshots and reconstructing urban mobility at a very fine-grained level. The system provides an interactive dashboard and a querying engine for answering questions such as: what is the crowding at a train station? where’re packages held up and how can their delivery be sped up? how can the available supply of transport capacity be better used to address daily demand? I will also describe how we can influence movement processes using “nudge engines”, engines which incentivize commuters to shift their travel patterns using monetary incentives and personalized offers.

Biography: Bio: Balaji Prabhakar is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University, and Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Urban Engines which was recently acquired by Google. His research interests are in cloud computing, Internet algorithms and, since 2008, in societal networks, especially transportation networks. He has been awarded the Alfred Sloan Fellowship, the Erlang Prize, the Rollo Davidson Prize, and has delivered the Lunteren Lectures. He is the inaugural recipient of the IEEE Innovation in Social Infrastructure Award which recognizes "significant technological achievements and contributions to the establishment, development and proliferation of innovative societal infrastructure systems. He is an IEEE Fellow and serves on the Future Urban Mobility Initiative of the World Economic Forum.