Convergent GIScience Priorities workshop

 28-29 October 2019


Background: Conveyance of GIScience and geospatial technologies is increasingly valued for critical questions of where in real world data and applications that influence individual and community health, vibrancy, and resilience. Complex problem solving in these domains involves prioritization in such areas as machine learning and expert knowledge, replicability and reproducibility (R&R), cloud and local infrastructure, commercial and open software, multiuser and individual workflows, and data quality versus privacy. Furthermore, as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and other unstaffed technologies disrupt traditional modes, scales, and sources of heterogeneous geospatial data collection activities, the GIScience (or emerging geospatial data science) community bears an increased responsibility to ethically pursue a range of research activities that in harmony best support human quality of life. Motivation for a University of Arkansas-hosted workshop that addresses the above is one of the outcomes of the “Replicability and Reproducibility in Geospatial Research: A SPARC Workshop” ( held 11-12 Feb 2019 in Tempe, AZ. Recommendations from "Fostering the Culture of Convergence in Research" (, a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine workshop held 23-24 Oct 2018 in Washington, D.C., provide motivational context beyond GIScience. 

Objective: A focused workshop will bring together approximately ten key researchers and leaders in GIScience, geospatial data science, UAS, health and medical geography, biogeography, etc. in late 2019 to address convergent GIScience (or geospatial data science) priorities. These individuals will be in addition to key University of Arkansas participants who are working in relevant areas of inquiry. For some participants the workshop will be held in conjunction with the Fall 2019 Arkansas GIS Users Forum. 

Organizing committee at University of Arkansas: 

  • Daniel Sui, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation 
  • Jackson Cothren, Professor of Geography and Director of Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) 
  • Jason A. Tullis, Professor of Geography, CAST 

Dates and overall agenda: 

  • Sunday, 27 Oct: workshop guests travel to Fayetteville, stay in Carnall Hall; informal welcome and dinner 
  • Monday, 28 Oct: GIScience workshop on campus; will include tour of CAST, Reception at TheatreSquared 
  • Tuesday, 29 Oct: Wrap up workshop discussion and future plans in the morning, then transition to a hike and (for some) travel to Eureka Springs for Arkansas GIS Users Forum 
  • Wednesday, 30 Oct: Opening plenary talk by Mike Goodchild at Arkansas GIS Users forum