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Professor Scott Orford

Professor Scott Orford

Professor in Spatial Analysis and GIS

+44 (0)29 2087 5272
Room 2.81, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


My research interests are in GIS and social geography, particularly the statistical and geographical modelling of socio-economic processes using techniques that are sensitive to spatial context. I organised and hosted the 29th Annual GISRUK Conference in April 2021. I am an expert in mapping, spatial analysis and statistical modelling using multi-level modelling and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR). I am also an expert in meta-data, data-integration and the search and discovery of socio-economic data. I am Director of Data of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and Data Integration Co-ordinator of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) and I lead on the WISERD Data Portal project which is a web-based application that enhances a researcher’s ability to search, discover and access socio-economic research data with the aim of encouraging the re-use and re-purposing of existing data. I am the academic lead on the Understanding Welsh Places website project in collaboration with the Carnegie UK Trust, Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) and the Welsh Government.

I research housing and housing market modelling and the importance of space and location in understanding housing market dynamics and house price determination. I have continuously published in this area since my PhD, building an international reputation in investigating spatial structure and spatial variables in house price models. I have also worked on projects in a variety of social science areas such as public health, population studies and electoral studies and voting behaviour. I have an interest in the role of accessibility in understanding socio-economic processes, particularly across different spatial scales and geographical contexts. For instance, I was part of the interdisciplinary CHALICE project (funded by National Institute for Health Research) that investigated the impact of changing accessibility to alcohol outlets to alcohol related harm on population health.

My work makes extensive use of secondary data including administrative data, linked-data in safe settings and new forms of data. I have published work in a variety of books, policy reports and international academic journals. I have undertaken joint policy research with the Welsh Assembly Government and research funded by the ESRC, AHRC, HEFCW, NIHR, the JRF and the Electoral Commission.



  • PhD., School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol (1997)
  • BSc (Hons) Geography, Department of Geography, University of Lancaster (1993)

Professional memberships

Scott Orford is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society / Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG)

Academic positions

  • Professor (2019 - Present)
  • Reader in GIS and Spatial Analysis, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University (2014 - 2019)
  • Senior Lecturer in GIS and Spatial Analysis, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University (2009 - 2014)
  • WISERD Data Integration Co-ordinator (2008-2011)
  • Lecturer in GIS and Spatial Analysis, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University (2000 - 2008)
  • Computer Officer, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol (1996 - 2000)
  • PhD. Student, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol (1994 - 1997)
  • ESRC Funded Research Assistant : Geography of Local Revenue Raising, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol (1993 - 1994)

Committees and reviewing

  • External Examiner MSc Applied GIS, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
  • Editor of Urban Studies journal (Sage Publishing)






















I teach quantitative research methods including GIS, mapping, spatial analysis, statistics and data presentation at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I also teach on the dissertation module and supervise Master's dissertation students. I am Director of Postgraduate Studies which means I Chair the monthly Postgraduate Board of Studies, have a key role in the Staff Student Panel meetings, School Examination Boards, Learning and Teaching Strategy Group and Staff Meetings.

Current projects

Understanding Welsh Places - Phase 2, Funded by The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust for 9 months January 2020 – September 2020 (£20K)

Understanding Welsh Places, Funded by The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust / Welsh Government for 9 months January 2019 – September 2019 (£60k)

WISERD Data infrastructure and data integration as part of the Prof Ian Jones et al., WISERD Civil Society: Changing perspectives on Civic Stratification and Civil Repair, ESRC Centres and Large Grants Competition. For 60 months October 2019-September 2024 (£7.9M) (ES/S012435/1)

UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) with Prof Ken Gibb et al., Funded by the ESRC / AHRC / Joseph Rowntree Foundation for 60 months (2018)

Past projects

WISERD/CivilSociety: Devolution, Social and Economic Change and the Local and Regional Landscapes of Civil Society (WISERD II). with Prof Ian Jones et al., Funded by the ESRC Centres and Large Grants Competition for 60 months (2014)

A New Literary Geography: Establishing a Digital Literary Atlas for Wales and its Borderlands with Prof Jon Anderson, Prof Kirsti Bohata. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for 2 years (2016)

Developing a Mapping Interface for UK Census data: scoping out project, ESRC and UK Data Service Innovation Fund Competition for 3 months (2014)

Centre for Administrative Data Research and Evaluation (CADRE) - an ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre (with Prof David Ford (PI), Prof Ian Jones, Prof Ronan Lyons (Swansea), Rhys Davies, Dr Kerina Jones (Swansea), Prof Kevin Hayes (Swansea), Prof David Blackaby (Swansea), Prof Chris Taylor, Prof Martin Innes, Prof Judith Philips (Swansea), Prof Paul Burton, Prof Andy Pithouse, Prof Pete Mackie) Funded by the ESRC (2013).

Morphometric analysis of the Built Environment in UK Biobank (with Professor Chris Webster (PI), Dr Scott Orford, Mr Chinmoy Sarkar, Dr John Gallacher) Funded by the UK BioBank (2012).

Change in alcohol outlet density and alcohol-related harm to population health (with Prof David Fone, Prof Chris Webster, Prof Ronan Lyons, Prof Frank Dunstan, Dr Sarah Rodgers, Dr Shin Lee, Dr Naru Shiode, Dr Scott Orford) Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (2011).

Developing a data discovery and sharing infrastructure for quantitative and qualitative socio-economic data via the WISERD GeoPortal; (with Dr Richard Berry (Glamorgan), Prof Gary Higgs (Glamorgan), Dr Rich Fry (Swansea), Angela Evans (Welsh Government)), Funded by the ESRC (2012).

Supporting undergraduate teaching in quantitative geography: making the connections between schools, universities and the workplace (with Dr Richard Harris, Prof Christopher Brunsdon, Dr Claire Jarvis, Dr Nicholas Tate, Dr Christopher Keylock, Dr Alex Singleton, Dr Catherine Souch), Funded by the ESRC (2012).

A survey for the future of UKBORDERS 2011-2016: Report and Recommendations, Funded by EDINA (2011).

Data collection and analysis - May 2011 elections and Parliamentary Voting System referendum (with Prof Colin Rawlings, Prof Mike Thrasher, Prof David Denver), Funded by the Electoral Commission (2011).

Evaluation of the 2006-2011 Census Programme (with Drinkwater, S., and Davies, R). Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), (2010).

Young People and Housing: identifying policy challenges and solutions for 2020 (with Clapham, D., and Mackie, P.) Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, (2009).

Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) (with Huw Beynon et. al.). Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) / Higher Education Funding Council For Wales (HEFCW), (2008).

Modelling residential living space for individual properties using digital infrastructure and remote sensing data: a Cardiff pilot study. Funded by the Royal Geographical Society - Institute of British Geography (RGS-IBG) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) small grant programme, (2007).

Scoping study to identify quantitative methods capacity building needs in Wales (with Moore, L., Lynch, R., Maio, G., Moore, G., Robinson, A., Taylor, C., and Whitfield, K). Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) / Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), (2006).

The Role of The Housing System in Rural Wales (with P. Milbourne, and B. Edwards). Funded by the National Assembly for Wales, (2003).

Age Balanced Communities in Rural Wales (with Newidiem and Menter a Business). Funded by the National Assembly for Wales, (2002).


I am interesting in supervising PhD students in the following areas:

  • Housing market modelling using spatial analysis methods
  • Housing research and new forms of data
  • Data Modelling and the Built Environment
  • Developing accessibility measures in socio-economic models and processes
  • Qualitative and mixed-method GIS

Past projects

Recently Supervised PhD Students:

  • Co-Supervisor (50%) for Christine Mady: “When the Void Begins to Matter: The Dynamics of Temporary Open Urban Spaces: the Beirut Context”, (Awarded 2010)
  • Co-Supervisor (40%) for Nezar Kafafy: “Green Space in an Arid City: a case study of Cairo” (Awarded 2010)
  • Co-Supervisor (50%) for Yang Xiao: “Urban Morphology and the Housing Market”, (Awarded 2012)
  • Co-Supervisor (50%) for Yamen Beitawi: “Housing and Quality of Life: Implications of the three qualities of housing in Amman, Jordan”, (Awarded 2013)
  • Supervised (100%) for Jonathon Radcliffe:“Visualizing Rural Statistics for Policy Making”  (Awarded 2015)
  • Co-Supervisor (25%) for Edith England: “From selective rights to universal conditionality: How abandonment abjectification and activation create responsibilisation under the housing (Wales) act 2014. (Awarded 2021)