Spatial Analysis and Modeling

Spatial analysis and modeling is at the heart of Geographic Information Science. My research focuses on both theoretical aspects of spatial analysis (e.g. refining existing algorithms or developing new ones) as well as on more applied aspect (e.g. how well particular approaches address the challenges of particular data sets). Within this broader field I’m particularly interested in issues of scale and resolution, error propagation modeling, and spatial-temporal analysis.

Spatial Data Quality

A solid understanding of spatial data quality is fundamental to any application of GIS. My research focuses on the positional error of spatial data, spatial data quality standards, and error propagation modeling. Applications such as geocoding and positioning technologies are of particular interest.


Geocoding has become very widely used and is arguably the most commercially successful application of GIS. My research focuses on geocoding quality (including positional accuracy and completeness), the effects of geocoding quality on spatial analysis and the development of more robust address models, such as address points.

Geospatial Privacy

The widespread availability of spatial data and the GIS tools to work with them have raised concerns over geospatial privacy. My research addresses two aspects of geospatial privacy: 1) reverse geocoding, a technique used to obtain an address from latitude/longitude coordinate; and 2) geographic masking, a technique used to limit the ability of reverse geocoding by introducing noise into the coordinates of published data.

Environmental Health

GIS has been widely used in the environmental health field. My research investigates the reliability of spatial-analytical techniques in environmental health, including geocoding of address locations, GIS-based environmental exposure assessment, and the robustness of cluster detection techniques. I also have interests in the analysis of spatial accessibility of health services, and well as the application of GIS to environmental justice issues.

Terrain Analysis / Hydrology

Digital elevation data is commonly used in a GIS environment for the automated analysis of hydrological parameters. My research focuses on the effects of DEM resolution on analysis, applications of LIDAR data, and the accuracy of terrain derivatives.

Crime and GIS

GIS is widely used in the criminal justice field. Crime data is relatively unique and typically easily available, and therefore presents unique opportunities. My research focuses on the use of spatial analysis techniques in criminal justice, including crime hotspot analysis, determining residency restrictions for sex offenders and the reliability of geocoding crime incidents.

Positioning Technologies

Several different positioning technologies have emerged in recent years, with GPS being the most established one. My research focuses mostly on low-cost positioning technologies with widespread implementation. I’m particularly interested in the newly developed high-sensitivity GPS chipsets, the performance of the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), the WiFi Positioning System (WPS) as a supplement to GPS and the performance of Assisted-GPS used in cell phones.

Natural Hazards

The analysis of natural hazards often requires extensive use of GIS. I’m particularly interested in the exposure to Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes, the effects of coastal flooding, and GIS-based modeling of exposure to hazards and community vulnerability.

International – Brazil, Canada, Philippines

I’ve been involved in several international projects, mostly funded through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Most recently I was co-director of the Sister Watersheds project in Brazil from 2003 to 2008.