Biography: Dr. Michael Goodchild is among the world’s foremost experts in GIScience. He founded the University of California, Santa Barbara Center for Spatial Studies, a research Center that focuses on spatial thinking and intelligence, geoinformatics, geographic information science and geographic information systems.
At the same time, he held the title of research professor and proved to be quite popular with his students. “Give this guy a raise!” and “This guy rocks my socks” have been common phrases to find throughout his student evaluations. He retired in June 2012, having published more than 15 books and 500 articles and serving on the editorial boards of more than ten journals and book series. But retirement was short lived. Arizona State University (ASU) lured Dr. Goodchild, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara out of retirement to help launch its Spatial Analysis Research Center (SPARC). At SPARC, he will focus on strategic spatial science initiatives and mentoring faculty and graduate students.
Goodchild is recognized as a living legend in the geospatial world, and he has many accolades to support this title, including being a recipient of the Founder’s Gold Medal for his contributions to geographical information science; an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the National Academy of Sciences; Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Canada; Foreign Member of the Royal Society; and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He was awarded the Prix Vautrin Lud, considered to be the Nobel Prize in the field of geography and was inducted into the Geospatial World Forum Hall of Fame for visionaries, pioneers and founding fathers of geospatial technologies. He has also been elected to the British Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy, that includes scientists like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and over 60 Nobel Laureates.
Considering his love of GIS, it is not surprising that Goodchild does not consider his vast array of honors to be his greatest achievement. He has been quoted as saying, “The greatest victory was in convincing people that GIS was more than simply a computer application. It is a science. It has some fundamental questions and some fundamental discoveries and principles and laws. It constitutes a very important branch of science; one that deserves a great deal of attention.” WWW.GEOSPATIALWORLD.NET January/February 2017.
Abstract: GISystems have strong and longstanding roots in Geography, stemming from early developments in the 1960s and 1970s. But as the uses and sophistication of geospatial technology have grown and spread across virtually all areas of the academy, reducing Geography’s claim to ownership, that relationship to Geography has evolved in new directions. The critiques of the early 1990s have led to research into the societal context of GISystems that remains largely centered in Geography; techniques for the analysis of data embedded in space and time remain strongly associated with Geography; and rigorous principles have been discovered under the umbrella of GIScience that are widely recognized in Geography. Today, new opportunities are being created by the growth of data science, by new sensors, and by new areas of application, suggesting that the relationship between Geography and GIScience will continue to evolve in interesting and exciting ways.