Kate Beard invited to be a Fellow of UCGIS

April 3rd, 2017 10:18 AM

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) will be awarding Fellow status to Kate Beard at its upcoming May 2017 Symposium in Arlington, Virginia.  Dr. Beard, Professor of Spatial Informatics in the School of Computing and Information Science at the University of Maine serves as the director of the Maine venue of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), a position she has held since 2006.  Dr. Beard is recognized for the breadth and quality of her research work, her insightful achievements, and her ability to mobilize and lead teams of researchers and students in achieving the advancement of geographic information science. She joins NCGIA-Maine colleagues Harlan Onsrud and Max Egenhofer  in the cadre of Fellows.

The UCGIS Fellows Program was created in 2010 to celebrate the extraordinary record of achievements of individuals in a variety of spatial disciplines and communities of practice that use spatial information. Fellows are individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of geographic information science education and research.  They are selected by a review committee comprised of the current UCGIS Fellows and members of the UCGIS Board of Directors.

Presentation by David Maidment

April 3rd, 2017 10:12 AM

NCGIA is pleased to welcome David Maidment for a talk entitled:

“From magnifying glass to microscope: the new National Water Model”


In August 2016 the National Weather Service launched the new National Water Model, which continually forecasts the flow in 2.7 million stream reaches covering 3.2 million miles of rivers and streams of the continental United States.  From atmosphere to the oceans, from coast to coast, water is now forecast just like weather – at local scale, and in near real-time.  The seminar will describe how the National Water Model came about, what it does, and what it may mean for the future of water resources science and management in the United States.

David R. Maidment is the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has been on the faculty since 1981.  He is a surface water hydrologist, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2016 for development of geographic information systems applied to hydrologic processes.

Spatial and More Seminar Series

October 19th, 2016 8:54 AM

October 19: 12:00 336 Boardman Hall

Chris Bennet, PhD student in Spatial Information Science and Engineering

Evaluating and Alleviating Cognitive Map Decay for Older Adult Navigators through the use of Virtual Reality Simulation

Abstract. The aging process is associated with changes to various tasks of daily life for older adults, e.g. driving and walking. This is particularly challenging in rural areas where public transportation is often non-existent. The current research explored how age affects navigation ability through use of virtual reality simulations. Particularly, these research studies focus on the decay of cognitive maps (mental representations of space) for older adult navigators over time. In each study, participants were required to learn and sketch cognitive maps of various virtual environments at several time intervals (in-lab and after 1-day, 1-week, and 2-weeks). Results consistently show that older adult performance was lower than the younger adult group and also revealed declines of cognitive map accuracy over the time delay periods. Results also demonstrate the efficacy of immersive virtual reality as an effective research tool. Based on these findings, compensatory augmentations (navigational aids) are currently being developed and tested. This research provides evidence for cognitive map decay, implications of potential solutions, and enriches the understanding of navigation and age-related concerns.


November 2: 12:00 336 Boardman Hall

Stacy Doore, PhD student in Spatial Information Science and Engineering


Spatial Preposition Use in Indoor Scene Descriptions

Abstract. In order to provide accurate automated scene description and navigation directions for indoor space, human beings need intelligent systems to provide an effective cognitive model. Information provided by the structure and use of spatial prepositions is critical to the development of accurate and effective cognitive models. The use and choice of spatial prepositions in natural language is extremely varied, presenting difficulties for natural language systems attempting to provide descriptions of indoor scenes and wayfinding directions. The goal of the present study is to better understand how English language speakers use spatial prepositions to communicate spatial relationships within virtual environment (VE) indoor scenes. This talk will present findings from a series of experiments that investigate spatial preposition use and the influence of scale, topology, orientation and distance within indoor scene.


November 19  12:00 336 Boardman Hall

Cyndy Loftin, Associate Professor and Unit Leader, Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs): Applying quantitative approaches and expert opinion to identify conservation areas and evaluate vulnerability


Abstract. The PARCA project is a national initiative to map important amphibian and reptile habitats based on knowledge of species’ distributions and habitat associations. We applied PARCA guidelines with species distribution modeling via the Maximum Entropy algorithm to model habitat suitability for northeastern herpetofauna of conservation significance. Our modeled PARCAs combined habitat suitability models based on known species occurrences and important abiotic variables with species richness and landscape integrity estimates. We evaluated our models by comparing predicted with observed data, identified gaps in species occurrence and richness datasets affecting model outcomes, consulted with state herpetologists to understand how our spatial application of the PARCA criteria captured quality habitat for modeled species, and evaluated representation of PARCAs in the network of current conservation lands. Our efforts can inform conservation of priority landscapes for northeastern herpetofauna, including assessment of the long-term vulnerability and climate resiliency of these habitats.


November 30 12:00 336 Boardman Hall

Anne Knowles, Professor of History

Seeking Space and Place in the Holocaust

Abstract. The Holocaust has become a new focus of spatial historical research, both theoretical and empirical. The wealth of bureaucratic records and plans makes it relatively easy to map Nazi actions, the establishment and demise of camps and ghettos, and Nazi spatial visions for the Reich. Although interviews with Holocaust survivors contain many kinds of spatial information, much of it is poorly suited to GIS and other modes of conventional geographical analysis and representation. This presentation will explain the issues of bridging the gap between perpetrator and victim histories in the Holocaust, and describe the modes of textual analysis that may enable spatial interpretation of victims’ experiences.




Presentation by Mark Scott Solutions Engineer with ESRI

September 21st, 2016 9:08 AM

September 21, 12:00 in 336 Boardman Hall

Esri a world leader in GIS Technology and Services, has been pioneering GIS software development since 1969. Mark Scott will discuss the current state of ArcGIS, their WebGIS platform, used by over 75% of the Fortune 500 companies, and what it’s like to work for Esri. Mark will deliver a short presentation, demonstrations, followed by time for Q&A.

Mark Scott joined Esri in 1997 and has been supporting Account Managers, Business Partners, and the user community, in the promotion and implementation of the ArcGIS platform.  Mark is a graduate of the University of Maine, 1984, with a BS in Surveying Engineering.

Seeking Research Assistants for Project in Spatial Reasoning

March 22nd, 2016 2:14 PM

In anticipation of NSF funding for the project “Empowering Multi-Conceptual Spatial Reasoning with a Repository of Qualitative and Quantitative Spatial Ontologies”, Professor Torsten Hahmann is looking for two graduate students (at the Master or PhD level in Spatial Information Science and Engineering or in Computer Science) to work with him on this project. The students will be offered research assistantships for a minimum of 2 years. For more information, visit www.spatial.maine.edu/~torsten/projects/QQSOR-students.shtml


NCGIA- Maine has strong representation at COSIT

January 7th, 2016 12:17 PM

Several faculty and students from NCGIA- Maine presented at COSIT  held this year in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Max Egenhofer, current Ph.D. student Joshua Lewis, M.S. student Shirly Stephen, and former student Mark Plummer were authors on the paper titled “Swiss Canton Regions: A Model for Complex Objects in Geographic Partitions.” This paper explores the ability to construct queries that go beyond the simple topological queries to more complex representation where separations, holes, and self-adjacency matter.

Upward Bound Math-Science student Jordan Barrett, now attending Syracuse University for Mathematics and Physics and Max Egenhofer collaborated the  pape “From Metric to Topology: Determining Relation in Discrete Spaces.” This paper presented a set of metrics that can uniquely identify simple topological relations between pixelized objects where the boundary is considered to be the outer set of pixels.

Ph.D. student Christopher Dorr, Reinhard Moratz, and Longin Jan Latecki from Temple University collaborated on the paper “Shape Similarity Based on the Qualitative Spatial Reasoning Calculus eOPRA.” The paper investigated the use of qualitative spatial representations (QSR) about relative direction and distance for shape representation.

Professor Torsten Hahmman and Lynn Usery of the U.S. Geological Survey collaborated on a paper is entitled “What is in a Contour Map? A Region-based Logical Formalization of Contour Semantics.” This paper analyses and formalizes contour semantics in a first-order logic ontology that forms the basis for enabling computational common sense reasoning about contour information.

PhD candidate Stacy Doore presented her research on “Spatial Preposition Specification for Improved Scene Descriptions” at the Doctoral Colloquium session. Her research investigates usage and preferences for spatial prepositions in describing different indoor scene settings.

UMaine designated as as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Geospatial Sciences.

January 7th, 2016 11:57 AM

The University of Maine was one of 17 academic institutions  recognized by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS)  as a Center of Academic Excellence in GIScience (CAE GS).

The designation reflects a long standing dedication to teaching the breadth and depth of theory and real-world applications of geospatial sciences  across the campus. A major goal of the  CAE GS Program is to grow the current and future geospatial sciences workforce  and make it second to none.

Harlan Onsrud received the award on behalf of the University from  NGA Director Robert Cardillo at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

Two representatives from NGA and two from USGS will serve as subject matter experts to work with the university.

NCGIA- Maine hosts GIScience Young Scholars Institute in Bar Harbor

January 7th, 2016 11:41 AM

Twenty-Year Anniversary of the International Early Career Scholars Institutes in GIScience – 2015 Vespucci Institute

Over 50 GIScience researchers convened in Bar Harbor, Maine in June to celebrate a 20 year anniversary of the original Early Career Scholars Institute in GIScience in Bar Harbor.

Attendees at 2015 GIScience Young Scholars Institute

Attendees at 2015 GIScience Young Scholars Institute


Attendees from original Young Scholars Institute in Berlin

Attendees from original Young Scholars Institute in Wolf Neck , Maine

Attendees from original Young Scholars Institute in Wolf Neck , Maine

Harlan Onsrud presents at UCGIS symposium

June 5th, 2014 9:40 AM

Professor Onsrud presented Tracking Everyone Everywhere All the Time: Protecting Individual Privacy within Ubiquitous Observation Societies at the annul UCGIIS Symposium in Pasadena California, May


Dr. Kate Beard-Tisdale is awarded the 2014 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award

June 5th, 2014 9:30 AM

Kate Beard-Tisdale, Professor, School of Computing and Information Science and Director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis at the University of Maine is awarded the 2014 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award.

This award is presented annually to a faculty member whose internationally-recognized research, scholarship, and creative activity distinguish the University of Maine as the State’s flagship university, and their research contributes knowledge to issues of local, national, and international significance.

Full story at http://umaine.edu/news/blog/2014/04/24/top-faculty-awards-2/.