Grand Challenges in Geospatial Science Research

The  Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF/SBE) seeks to frame innovative research for the year 2020 and beyond that enhances fundamental knowledge and benefits society. NSF/SBE invited individuals and groups to contribute white papers in which authors were asked to outline grand challenge questions that are both foundational and transformative. At the conclusion of the submission period on October 15, 2010, 244 unique papers were received covering the full range of the SBE sciences.

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) submitted the following white paper on spatial dynamics and CyberGIS. The UCGIS Winter Meeting:  Place-Based Geospatial Summit will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Washington, DC on February 3rd and 4th, 2011. For registration and the agenda, click here.

 

Spatial Dynamics and CyberGIS for NSF SBE 2020

Lead Author: Yuan, May

Abstract: University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) advocates that spatial dynamics and cyberGIS be identified as two grand research challenges for SBE 2020. Spatial dynamics and cyberGIS ask fundamental questions about the complexity, dynamics, and synthesis of social, behavioral, and economic systems. Making connections across space and time enables knowledge building beyond disciplinary boundaries to understand how new findings in one discipline relate to another for a holistic understanding of human dimensions. Expanding upon the spatial emphasis in geographic information science research, spatial dynamics research investigates cognitive and methodological advances to conceptualize, represent, analyze, and model the integrative spatiotemporal characteristics and processes of global systems. CyberGIS research enables a synthesis framework leveraging GIS and cyberinfrastructure to build a collaborative cybercommons of distributed benchmark datasets, computational testbeds, and knowledge webs for social, behavioral, and economic sciences. The fact that social network media is expanding rapidly and being accessed by a broad spectrum of society, and new generations of digital natives are stepping up to take center stage, gives unprecedented opportunities to allow real-time or near-real time spatially referenced data for SBE research. Grand research challenges of spatial dynamics and cyberGIS, both individually and more effectively together, are essential to understand spatial connections of activities, events, and processes across scales and dimensions for a cyber SBE knowledge enterprise with capabilities for SBE forecasting and predictions, and even nowcasting enabled by sensor networks, cell phone signals, or twitters.

For full text of the article, click here.

 

Other geospatial-related white papers submitted to NSF SBE 2020:

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