Making Discoveries that Make a Difference
GeoInt Symosium @ San Antonio, Texas
Jun 4 – Jun 7 all-day

Members of the department and college administration and faculty will attend 2017 GeoInt Symposium in San Antonio, Texas.

Join us at the largest gathering in the nation of geospatial intelligence. We will be at booth 920.

GGS Welcome Back Party
Sep 7 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
USGIF Fall 2017 Career Panel @ Exploratory Hall, 2nd Floor Lounge
Nov 14 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is hosting a career panel!

Local GIS managers, career advisors, GIScientists from the federal and private sector with hiring experience will inform you about their careers, organizations, and what they look for in job or internship applicants. So, come and get great advice about how to launch or reinvigorate your geospatial career.

Heather FitzGerald, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
Ian Harvy, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
Rob Miller, Hawkeye 360
Justin Franz, United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF)

This career panel is sponsored by USGIF’s Young Professional Group with professionals from local and national agencies working in our fields.

GIS Day @ Center for the Arts
Nov 15 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Join the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science at our annual GIS Day event.

This is an opportunity for students to show off work to peers, colleagues, professors, and the many others that attend our GIS Day Event. In an effort to reward and stimulate the presentation of research, we hold an annual poster contest with $$MONEY$$ prizes for the winners. The GGS department will even print your poster for you!

This year’s competition is open to 3 categories of posters:

  • Undergraduate Individual Poster
  • Undergraduate Group Poster
  • Graduate Individual Poster

Posters must include a geographic theme, but we welcome students from all disciplines engaged in spatial research. Contact Dr. Leslie ( by October 27th to compete. All welcome at the showcase.

Fairfax County Hackathon on Transportation and Mobility @ Refraction (8th Floor)
Nov 16 – Nov 17 all-day

Fairfax County and VDOT have put together a two-day hackathon on transportation and mobility. Teams are invited to use publically available datasets to solve pressing transportation issues.

View details

Fall 2017 Mapathon @ Exploratory Hall rm 2310
Nov 17 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Mason Mappers is hosting our bi-annual Mapathon. Join in on the humanitarian event to map much-needed areas of the world. As always, there will be pizza!


First Day of Classes – Spring 2018
Jan 22 all-day
GGS Colloquium Speaker: Matthias Schubert @ Exploratory Hall, RM 3301
Sep 12 @ 4:30 pm – 6:20 pm



Smart cities offer more and more real-time information
provided by sensor networks and traffic cameras. This information can be
very valuable for transportation planing and analysing user behaviour.
For instance, knowing which parking spots are currently available close
to my destination is very valuable in order to reduce the travel time
and thus, maximize the resource usage and minimize the traffic load. The
future development of this information is usually uncertain (i.e.
non-deterministic). However, algorithms for routing applications should
consider that new information will become available during travelling
along the computed path. In order to exploit the provided information to
a full extend, it is not sufficient to compute a static route or travel
plan because the optimality of the plan might degrade as the state of
the environment might consistently change.
In order to plan transportation and understand observed trajectories in
smart environments, it is necessary to compute action policies instead
of static routes. A policy provides the most promising action for all
situations and in particular, the encountered situations. Analogously,
it makes sense to understand human behaviour based on the sequence of
decisions in the encountered situations. To compute and analyse
policies, the field of reinforcement learning already provides a rich
set of tools.

Matthias Schubert’s Bio:

Matthias Schubert is a professor for Computer Science at the LMU
Munich. He is one of the founders of the Data Science Lab @LMU Munich
and a member of the Munich Competence Center for Machine Learning. His
research interests comprise spatial information systems, representation
learning and artificial intelligence in non-deterministic environments.

Michael Ann Lane (Hexagon Geospatial) – “The Future of Big Geospatial Data Analysis” @ Exploratory Hall, Room 3301
Sep 26 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

With the proliferation of location-aware mobile devices and the emergence of everyday analytics, geospatial technology now spans every market, crosses national boundaries, and affects every trending issue. There is no doubt that cloud-based solutions are increasing in demand, requiring next generation, customizable technology to harness multisource data and transform it into focused solutions to be consumed by users of every level. The M.App Portfolio platform is designed to create smart, lightweight, customized market applications that address unique business and industry problems by combining geospatial analytics with cloud technology, as well as enterprise-level deployment environments. These applications, known as Hexagon Smart M.Apps, link sophisticated analytics and spatial models to geospatially relevant information, conveying data about solutions through intuitive, customizable, interactive and innovative displays. In this presentation, you will see several Smart M.Apps in action to better understand how this platform is changing the way we visualize, interpret, and interact with spatial information. Learn how Hexagon Geospatial has teamed with the World Antiquities Coalition to use Smart M.App technology to track missing and stolen cultural artifacts. See how the Green Space Analyzer provides a new way for decision makers to influence policy. Understand how a Smart M.App helps count endangered species in Africa. See how Smart M.Apps address the problems of refugee camps and can be used in country-wide census. Hexagon Geospatial’s technology provides the ability to address the challenge of linking business information with multisource multi-sensor data, in near real-time to answer questions and make decisions about our dynamically changing Earth.

David DiBiase (ESRI) – “What will Become of GIS People in Industry 4.0?” @ Exploratory Hall, Room 3301
Sep 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

“Industry 4.0” is shorthand for what the World Economic Forum calls “the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” The invention of the steam engine and construction of railroads brought the first industrial revolution in the 18th century. A second industrial revolution began in the 19th century with the advent of mass production. Digital computers heralded a third industrial revolution beginning in the 1960s. Today, the drivers of Industry 4.0 include “a ubiquitous and mobile internet, smaller, cheaper, and more powerful sensors, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.” Industry 4.0 is manifest in an Internet of Things that’s connecting billions of devices, and is likely to attract trillions in spending, in the coming decade. Many IoT devices “know where they are can act on their locational knowledge.” Foresman’s and Luscombe’s proposed Second Law of Geography claims that spatially enabled things have increased financial and functional utility. This increased utility, they argue, creates the basis for a spatially enabled economy.

However, other thought leaders worry that the Fourth Industrial Revolution may threaten many of today’s workers with “technological unemployment.” Not just the IoT, but international finance, social media, other human activities generate an unprecedented and ever-increasing volume, velocity and variety of data. Some foresee that human analysts and their employers will rely increasingly on machine learning and artificial intelligence to cope with the data deluge. Many already do. A body of research by economists, tech leaders, and forward-looking historians anticipates fundamental disruption of traditional employment by increasingly capable machines. This presentation will consider the implications of the IoT, and broader trends in data-driven discovery, for GIS work and workforce development.

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