Michael Goodchild, a professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara and an internationally respected pioneer in computer-based geographical information systems, has been chosen to give the 2003 UCSB Faculty Research Lecture.
The honor is the most prestigious that the university faculty bestows on one of its own.
Goodchild's talk -- "Bits of Geography" -- will be given at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 30 in the Engineering II Pavilion at UCSB. Admission is free and open to the public.
"Professor Goodchild's national prominence and professional status bring honor to the university community, and the university is pleased to recognize him with its highest honor," said Shirley Lim, a professor of English at UCSB, chair of the Committee on the Faculty Research Lecturer Award, and the 2002 recipient of the award.
A native of England, Goodchild earned a Ph.D. in geography in 1969 at McMaster University in Canada. Soon after, he began his research in the emerging field of geographic information science, a name he coined to describe the new discipline. He came to UCSB in 1988 to develop and head the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA).
Goodchild has almost 400 published works in his specialty, which involves developing computerized maps and geographic systems. "Since 1997, he has published four edited volumes, 26 peer-reviewed journal articles, 26 book chapters, and 29 other publications," Lim said.
Goodchild has served as both director and chair of the NCGIA, director of the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science, and chair of the Department of Geography. He has also served as associate director of the Alexandria Project, a multifaceted research group at UCSB. Among his many professional honors are inclusion in the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. He was named University Consortium for Geographic Information Science Educator of the Year in 2002 and received an Award of Distinction for Exceptional Scholarly Contribution to Cartography from the Canadian Cartographic Association.
As one of the leaders in his science, he is frequently invited as a visiting professor or researcher to universities around the world. Such invitations have taken him all over the United States, England, and Australia.
Goodchild said he plans to share the recognition with his colleagues in the Department of Geography.
"I am very happy that the honor has come to geography," he said. "It is an opportunity to share what I do as a geographer, but also to give some idea what other geographers are doing on campus as well."
Goodchild said he plans to spend much of his talk discussing the Digital Earth Project, an effort to represent the entire planet through digital technology.