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World leaders in geographic information science speaking at UB conference

University’s status as an academic GIS leader helped attract event

By Grove Potter

Release Date: July 31, 2017

“In addition to showcasing UB’s leadership in geographic information sciences, this conference also spotlights how UB’s international students make an impact both locally and globally. Partnerships such as CPGIS foster long-term and mutually beneficial relationships between UB and its international partners.”
Stephen Dunnett, UB vice provost for international education

BUFFALO, N.Y. — In 1992, University at Buffalo graduate students brought top geographic information scientists to Western New York for what would become the first inaugural International Conference on Geoinformatics.

The conference led to the formation of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS).

Now, 25 years later, as UB continues to play a leading role advancing geographic information science worldwide, the conference returns to Western New York from Aug. 2-4, giving leading scientists a forum to discuss the latest trends in GIS.

“We have eight world-class scholars coming to speak,” said Ling Bian, PhD, director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) at UB and professor of geography in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bian is organizing the conference with fellow UB faculty members Le Wang, PhD, professor of geography, and Li Yin, PhD, associate professor of urban and regional planning in the School of Architecture and Planning; and Laura Mangan at the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

GIS is the field of research that combines maps with data. It includes disciplines such as geography, information science, computer science and more. Since the 1970s, UB has been a leading institution in GIS research and education.

In 1988, UB’s Department of Geography was chosen as one of three sites nationally for the NCGIA, an independent research consortium founded in the same year with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The designation helped attract to UB faculty and students from around the world, including the founding members of the CPGIS, which has evolved into a globally influential GIS organization that publishes its own peer-reviewed journal. Many CPGIS members are now leaders in academia, business and government agencies.

“In addition to showcasing UB’s leadership in geographic information sciences, this conference also spotlights how UB’s international students make an impact both locally and globally. Partnerships such as CPGIS foster long-term and mutually beneficial relationships between UB and its international partners,” said Stephen Dunnett, UB vice provost for international education.

In a nod to the first International Conference on Geoinformatics, Dunnett will open the conference, just as he did 25 years ago when the CPGIS was formed.

The eight keynote speakers at this year’s conference include members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the U.K. Royal Society, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

The conference’s keynote speakers are:

  • Luc Anselin, University of Chicago and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
  • Michael Batty, University College London and a fellow of The Royal Society in the U.K.
  • Jing M. Chen, University of Toronto and a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada.
  • Jianya Gong, Wuhan University and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • Michael Goodchild, University of California, Santa Barbara, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
  • Huadong Guo, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • Deren Li, Wuhan University and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
  • Anthony Yeh, University of Hong Kong and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The conference is open to the public, and registration is required at the conference website.

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