Waldo-Tobler GIScience Prize

Waldo-Tobler GIScience Prize 2023 laureate: SARA FABRIKANT

for her outstanding and sustained contributions to the discipline worthy of inspiring young scientists in Geoinformatics or Geographic Information Science, and for having accomplished significant advances in research and education.

Sara Fabrikant currently is full professor for Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich.

After having earned her PhD in Geography from UC Boulder, she held a variety of positions e.g. at UC Santa Barbara, the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard and at San Diego State University. Prof Fabrikant is highly regarded for her contributions in cartography and geovisualization and dedication to the field of (geo)visual analytics. She has developed concepts and effective methods to construct attractive and meaningful map displays through the conceptualization and development of highly interactive human‐computer interfaces for addressing pressing societal and environmental problems.

Quoting from a referee’s assessment: ‘Sara Fabrikant has been influential globally within academia but also locally through education and in policy settings within the university and beyond. Her contributions to research have been outstanding and so, too, have her contributions to education – not only at higher education levels but also at and within elementary schools (e.g. talks during Geography Awareness Week). Her educational achievements are through course developments, invited lectures, outreach but also working with students who have received substantial awards. Based on all of these accomplishments, Fabrikant is uniquely positioned to inspire young scientists in the field of Geoinformatics and Geographic Information Science.’ 

Prof Fabrikant accepted the award stating 'I am honored and grateful to be selected for this award: Waldo Tobler was an inspiration during my doctoral studies, highly appreciated as a mentor during my time at UCSB, and he also holds an honorary doctorate at my alma mater, the University of Zurich. '

Through this Award the Austrian Academy of Sciences recognizes an outstanding career of excellence and innovation, at par with the previous recipients of the Waldo-Tobler GIScience Prize: Luc Anselin, Michael Batty, Helena Mitasova, Thomas Poiker and David Mark.

Waldo-Tobler GIScience Prize 2022 laureate: LUC ANSELIN

for his outstanding and sustained contributions to the discipline worthy of inspiring young scientists in Geoinformatics or Geographic Information Science, and for having accomplished significant advances in research and education.

Prof Luc Anselin is currently Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and Director, Center for Spatial Data Science - The University of Chicago.

Having held prior appointments at Ohio State University, UC Santa Barbara, West Virgina University, UT Dallas and Arizona State University, Prof Anselin is recognized worldwide as having established the field of Spatial Econometrics. He led the implementation of its models and methods in software tools like GeoDa - designed to facilitate new insights from data analysis by exploring and modeling spatial patterns - and collaborated on other widely adopted tools like PySAL.

These innovations and achievements have been recognized through numerous awards e.g. by the Regional Science Association and the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, in 2008 he was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and in 2011 fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

Prof Anselin accepted the award stating 'I am deeply honored to be selected for this award associated with the late Waldo Tobler. Waldo was a former colleague and friend of mine who influenced my thinking in important ways during my formative years.' Current scientists in their disciplines will recognize the common denominator in spatial analytics, spatial autocorrelation and thus the foundations of spatial data science

Through this Award the Austrian Academy of Sciences recognizes an outstanding career of excellence and innovation. Luc Anselin gave his Waldo-Tobler lecture on March 13, 2023.

Previous recipients of the Waldo-Tobler GIScience Prize:

2019: Michael Batty

2018: Helena Mitasova

2017: Thomas Poiker

2016: David Mark

Young Researcher Award

YRA 2023 laureate: YUHAO KANG

for his outstanding publication: Yuhao Kang, Song Gao & Robert E. Roth (2019) Transferring multiscale map styles using generative adversarial networks, International Journal of Cartography, 5:2-3, 115-141, DOI: 10.1080/23729333.2019.1615729

Yuhao Kang obtained his Ph.D. degree in Cartography/GIScience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, supervised by Prof. Song Gao. Starting in August 2023, he will be joining the University of South Carolina as an assistant professor in GIScience. Yuhao is also a research affiliate at the MIT Senseable City Lab and previously worked as a research associate at Google X. His research interest is Human-centered Geospatial Data Science, with a focus on developing geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) algorithms that advance our understanding of human experience (including perception, emotion, and creativity) at place and address ethical concerns (e.g., bias, geoprivacy) in geospatial data science to support decision-making in urban environments. Yuhao actively contributes to the GIScience community. He founded the GISphere project, which aims to promote global GIS education. He has also served as a board members for the AAG GISS/CyberGIS/Cartography groups, as well as CPGIS.

“It is my great honor to receive this award. I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to some of the past recipients who have served as my mentors, provided invaluable guidance for my research, and had a significant impact on my work. I am look forward to contributing more to the GIScience community, with the ultimate goal of using Geospatial Data Science to benefit both society and humans.”

YRA 2022 laureate: WEIMING HUANG

for his outstanding combination of geovisualization and semantics, which are a novelty in the field of GIScience.

Weiming Huang obtained his PhD in Geographical Information Science at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University in January 2020, under the supervisions of Prof. dr. Lars Harrie and Dr. Ali Mansourian. He was also a visiting scholar at the University of California, Santa Barbara, sponsored by Prof. Werner Kuhn and Prof. Krzysztof Janowicz. He is currently a Wallenberg Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. During his PhD studies, he mainly studied geospatial data integration and visualisation with Semantic Web technologies. He is also the recipient of the EuroSDR award for the best PhD thesis related to geoinformation science. His research interests mainly include geospatial semantic web, information integration, geovisualisation, spatial data mining, and spatial representation learning.


Previous recipients of the Young Researcher Award:

2022: Weiming Huang

2020: Laura Knoth

2019: Franz-Benjamin Mocnik and Yingjie Hu

2018: Auriol Degbelo and Wei Luo

2017: Chen Min and Pablo Cabrera Barona

2016: Song Gao und Xingjian Liu

2015: Filip Biljecki