• UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Moreno de Alboran Advances to First ITA Southwest Regionals Singles Championship in Program History https://t.co/gFomRfFLBB
    5 hours 5 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos Fall 1-0 at Cal State Fullerton https://t.co/PGG96WtNIF
    7 hours 41 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    A UCSB biologist examines the benefits & drawbacks of virtual & augmented reality in teaching environmental science. https://t.co/uB40WL1q0O
    8 hours 20 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    .@UCSB_Volleyball makes it three wins for the week after sweeping CSUN Saturday night! RECAP >>>… https://t.co/Y0rCoOnBi6
    1 day 5 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    .@UCSBMensSoccer takes on UC Davis in a battle for first tonight at Harder Stadium! Tune in here:… https://t.co/Zn3WPNjEok
    1 day 8 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    UCSB Beats PAC-12's UCLA By 14 Points https://t.co/HGdLRkF1op
    1 day 11 hours ago
  • UCSBLibrary twitter avatar
    RT @Marikhasmanyan: Reppin @UCSBLibrary with @ForestSways and @Stahlmatt at #ArchivesBazaar if you're in the area stop by for a chat and gr…
    1 day 15 hours ago
  • UCSBLibrary twitter avatar
    RT @ForestSways: Come visit @UCSBLibrary archives table at #ArchivesBazaar https://t.co/tYLQmkTjDh
    1 day 16 hours ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    CA Assemblymember visited #UCSB’s food pantry after adopting a $7.5 million budget to combat food insecurity. https://t.co/tlWK9TZVIL
    1 day 17 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    No. 10 UCSB Drops Road Match to No. 8 Long Beach State, 10-6 https://t.co/vGlvB1TN23
    2 days 2 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Da Silveira and Dubavets Stay Afloat and Advance to Round of 16 https://t.co/ZSxtqldlOq
    2 days 3 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    .@UCSB_Volleyball gets revenge, knocks off LBSU in four behind 26K-17D double-double from Lindsey Ruddins. RECAP >>… https://t.co/MVhhyi4I4J
    2 days 5 hours ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Moreno de Alboran Shines in Day Two of ITA Southwest Regionals https://t.co/R1amVJQr0B
    2 days 5 hours ago
  • ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    RT @sbseasons: Rhiannon Giddens Comes to Campbell Hall! 10/26 https://t.co/FyWnr2pSH7 @Sbseasons #seasonsmagazine #sb @artsandlectures @Rh
    2 days 11 hours ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    #GauchoAlum Navjot Brar ’16 is a founder of UCSB Startup Weekends and business analyst at Carpe Data.… https://t.co/TZeKVCz0P3
    2 days 17 hours ago

The Transformation of Geography

Michael Goodchild receives the Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography for his role in the creation of geographical information
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 11:30
Santa Barbara, CA

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Digital maps and map apps have become so ubiquitous — think CoPilot, GPS, MapQuest and Map Factory — that many of us would be lost without them. The technology we now take for granted can be credited, in large part, to the vision and creativity of geographers who imagined its potential.

Take UC Santa Barbara geographer Michael Goodchild, for example; he helped transform the discipline and move it into the 21st century. In recognition of his accomplishments, the American Association of Geographers has presented Goodchild with the Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography. The award celebrates work that has demonstrated originality, creativity and significant intellectual breakthroughs in the field.

“Computers make it so much easier to edit maps,” said Goodchild, a professor emeritus in UCSB’s Department of Geography. “Various tasks like map projections tend to be complex and mathematical, which makes them easy to deliver through a computer.

“A paper map is not terribly easy to analyze and something as simple as measuring the area of a city is actually quite a difficult task when performed by hand, but with a computer, it’s easy,” Goodchild continued. “For overlaying maps, instead of having to redraft a map as a transparency and then overlay it, you can overlay it digitally and then easily compute things like the areas of overlap.”

For more than 25 years, UCSB has been instrumental in building a science behind geographic information systems (GIS). In 1992, a seminal paper by Goodchild helped transform GIS software from technology to science. Later his innovative work pioneered crowdsourcing as a way of gathering geographic information in much the same way that the navigation app Waze uses community-based traffic reports to provide the best route.

“The concept is that ordinary citizens help supply information to make maps by collecting geographic information,” Goodchild said. “At the time, I coined the phrase ‘volunteered geographic information.’”

Goodchild was also instrumental in creating a digital map library. “The whole process of going online, searching for geographic information, examining it, retrieving it and using it — which has now become very common — was a project that I, along with my colleagues, initiated in the early 1990s,” he said.

“Throughout his career, Mike had substantial influence on the nature and accessibility of GIS technology,” said Dan Montello, chair of UCSB’s Department of Geography. “But he and his work were more important for the creative intellectual avenues they paved, the fascinating problems he imagined and communicated involving the nature and use of geographic information, and the appealing and understandable way he did what he did.”

Contact Info: 

Julie Cohen
(805) 893-7220