Dr. Gaurav Sinha

Research Interests

My research interests fall under the rubric of the fascinating, interdisciplinary field of Geographic Information Science (GISc). My primary research interest is in representation of the semantics of geographic information, with a general focus on how Geographic Information(GI) can benefit people in engaging with and understanding better their environment. One of my focus areas is the domain of landscape semantics representation and information retrieval. I will always be working on advancing my earlier work on automated extraction and semantic characterization of cognitively salient topographic features. This is due to my background in earth science and my fascination with philosophy and cognitive science.

Given my broad ranging interests in GIScience, I am interested in exploring the application of geospatial semantics and ontology to several domains familiar to me such as landscape modeling, hydrological analysis, climate change modeling (and perception), and urban forestry. The utility of this kind of research goes beyond academic curioisty, as knowledge representation is crucial not just for machine based information retrieval but also in advancing human understanding of complex domains of knowledge. These mutually compatible goals will continue to drive my research agenda for the foreseeable future.

A good example of how my general interest in the ontological and epistemological basis of geographic information allowed me to connect to various interesting knowledge domains was my engagement as a Co-PI with several other researchers from US and Tanzania on an NSF funded project Linking Local Knowledge and Local Institutions for the Study of Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change: Participatory GIS in Northern Tanzania. For this project, we used participatory GIS as the framework for data collection, community engagement, and information dissemination. This project was committed to a mixed-methods framework for integrating expert and local knowledge into a spatio-temporal representation model for understanding climate change impacts and related livelihood adaptation strategies. Inspired by this project, I now want to explore the semantic (dis)similarity between scientific and common sense conceptualizations of climate change impacts.

Another exciting new reearch domain that I have reignited interest in the last year is the Geo-Health domain. I have formed a strong colaboration with and submitted several grants with Dr. Brian Ragan and Dr. Cheryl Howe, who specialize in physical activity measurement and quantification research. As part of our collaborative efforts we have been analyzing the geographic dimensions of physical activity. Our goal is to understand how people's physical activity are linked to their everyday natural environment and their social and personal life. Geospatial analysis and geographic contextualization of health data is key to the success of our collaborative projects. Currently, we collect data using a miniature GPS and accelerometer units that subjects carry on person for a few days. I am now designing a spatiotemporal ontology and data models for physical activity data modeling and analysis.

Other research topics that I have worked on and continue to explore include societal roots and impacts of geographic information, spatial thinking and reasoning, spatial statistics, and spatial multi-criteria analysis.

View my CV

Funded Research Projects

Co-PI (2009-2012): Linking local knowledge and local institutions for the study of adaptive capacity to climate change: Participatory GIS in northern Tanzania. Funded by U.S. National Science Foundation (US NSF) for $571,859.WebsiteNewsfeed 2010 Newsfeed 2012

Co-PI (2016-2017): Mathematical modeling and spatial reasoning (Modspar): Developing advanced teacher capacity for high school mathematics . Ohio Department of Higher Education.($175,598).

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Ferrier M, Sinha G, Outrich M (2016). Media deserts: Mapping the changing media ecosystem. (Forthcoming) In: L Friedland, M Lloyd (eds.), The Communication Crisis in America and How to Fix It, Palgrave-McMillan.

Sinha G, Kronenfeld BJ, Brunskill JC (2015). Toward democratization of geographic information: GIS, remote Sensing and GNSS applications in everyday life. In: P. Thenkabail (ed.), Remote Sensing Handbook (Volume I): Data Characterization, Classification, and Accuracies, CRC Press, 423-444. DOI: 10.1201/b19294-28 Preprint

Farnsworth II JL, McElhiney D, David S, Sinha G, Ragan B(2014). Objective functional assessment following a head injury using Movement and Activity in Physical Space (MAPS) scores. Journal of Athletic Training, 49(4),568–575. DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.3.07

Sinha G, Mark DM, Kolas D, Varanka D, Romero BE, Feng C-C, Usery LE, Libermann J, Sorokine A (2014). An ontology design pattern for surface water features. 8th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2014, LNCS 8728,, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 187–203. DOI: 10.1007%2F978-3-319-11593-1_13 Preprint

Sinha G, Ragan BG, Howe C, Kronenfeld BJ (2014). Spatiotemporal modelling of physical activity for understanding function, disability and health. Workshop on Analysis of Movement Data (AMD), 8th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2014, Vienna, Austria, September 23, 2014. Paper

Sinha G, Silavisesrith W (2012). Multicriteria Generalization (MCG): A decision-making framework for formalizing multiscale environmental data reduction. International Journal of Geographic Information Science, 26(5), 899-922. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2011.618132

Milillo TM, Sinha G, Gardella JA Jr. (2012). Use of geostatistics for remediation planning to transcend urban political boundaries. Environmental Pollution, 170, 52-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.06.006

Wangui EE , Smucker TA, Wisner B, Lovell E, Mascarenhas, A, Maingi S, Weiner D, Munna A, Sinha G, Bwenge C, Meena H, Munishi P (2012). Integrated development, risk management and community-Based climate change adaptation in a mountain-plains system in northern Tanzania. Revue de géographie alpine/Journal of Alpine Research [Online], 100-1 | 2012. DOI: 10.4000/rga.1701

Sinha G, Mark DM (2010). Cognition-based extraction and modelling of topographic eminences. Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization, 45(2), 105-112. DOI: 10.3138/carto.45.2.105

Sinha G, Mark DM (2010). Toward a foundational ontology of the landscape. Geographic Information Science, 6th International Conference, GIScience 2010, Extended Abstracts, Zürich, Switzerland, September 14-17, 2010.Paper

Gardella JA Jr., Milillo TM, Sinha G, Oh G, Manns DC, Coffey E (2009). Linking advanced public service learning and community participation with environmental analytical chemistry: Lessons from case studies in western New York. In: T Rice, D Relawask (eds.), Civic Service: Service-Learning with State and Local Government Partners, John Wiley & Sons, 98-122. Book Preprint

Chang, YS, Sinha G (2007). A Visual Basic program for ridge axis picking on DEM data using the profile-recognition and polygon-breaking algorithm. Computers & Geosciences, 33(2), 229-237.DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2006.06.007

Gardella JA Jr., Milillo TM, Sinha G, Oh G, Manns DC, Coffey E (2007). Linking community service, learning, and environmental analytical chemistry. Analytical Chemistry, 2007, 79(3), 810-818.DOI: 10.1021/ac0718694

Rogerson PA, Sinha G, Han D (2006). Recent changes in spatial patterns of prostate cancer incidence and mortality. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 30(2S), 50-59.DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.09.006

Mark DM, Sinha G (2006). Ontology of landforms: Delimitation and classification of topographic eminences. In: M Raubal, H Miller, A Frank, M Goodchild (eds.), 4th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2006, Extended Abstracts, Münster, Germany, September 20-23, 2006. Paper

Sinha G, Mark DM (2005). Measuring similarity of geospatial lifelines for use in environmental health studies. Journal of Geographical Systems: Geographical Information, Analysis, Theory, and Decision, 7(1), 115-136.DOI: 10.1007/s10109-005-0153-8

Sinha G, Silavisesrith W, Craig J, Flewelling D M (2004). Multicriteria Line Simplification for Analytic Element Method for Groundwater Modeling. Accuracy 2004: The 6th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Portland, Maine, USA, June 28-July 1, 2004. Paper

Sinha G, Cosme S, Oh G, Manns DC, Milillo TM, Roberts A, Gardella JA Jr. (2004). Interactive community evaluation of surface soil contaminants in the Lewiston Porter schools using public participation and GIS Methods. 3rd Annual Public Participation GIS Conference, Madison, WI, USA, July 18-20, 2004.Paper

Sinha G, Flewelling DM (2002). A framework for multicriteria line generalization to support scientific and engineering modeling. In 2nd International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2002, Extended Abstracts,, Boulder, Colorado, USA, September 25-28, 2002.Paper

Selected Presentations

Sinha G, Ferrier M, Outrich M (2016). Mapping and modeling media deserts in the US. Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), San Francisco, CA, USA, March 29 - April 2, 2016. Abstract

Sinha G, Mark DM (2015). How to create an ontology of entity types from topographic standards, (Focus: Topographic eminences and convexities). GeoVocampDC 2015, USGS, Reston, Virginia, USA, November 30 - December 2, 2015.

Ferrier M, Outrich M, Sinha G (2015). Media deserts: Using GIS technologies to map the Ohio media ecosystem. 2015 Ohio GIS Conference, Columbus, OH, USA, September 21-23, 2015. Abstract

Sinha G (2015). Promoting spatial thinking in K-12 education through geospatial technologies. Colloquium Speaker, Patton College of Education, Ohio University , Athens, OH, USA, March 27, 2015. Abstract

Sinha G, Mark DM, Kolas D, Varanka D, Romero BE, Feng C-C, Usery LE, Libermann J, Sorokine A (2014). An ontology design pattern for surface water features. 8th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2014 , Vienna, Austria, September 24-26, 2014. DOI: 10.1007%2F978-3-319-11593-1_13 Download Preprint

Sinha G, Mark DM (2015). Toward a unified terrain ontology. Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), Chicago, IL, USA, April 21-25, 2015. Abstract

Sinha G (2014). Linked Topographic Data. Annual Meeting of the Association of the American Geographers (AAG), Tampa, FL, USA, April 8-12, 2014. Abstract

Mark DM, Sinha G (2014). Conceptualizing the horizon. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Tampa, FL, USA, April 8-12, 2014. Abstract

Sinha G, Ragan BG, Howe C, Kronenfeld BJ (2014). Spatiotemporal modelling of physical activity for understanding function, disability and health. Workshop on Analysis of Movement Data (AMD), 8th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2014, Vienna, Austria, September 23, 2014. Download paper

Mark DM, Sinha G (2013). Surface water: How water sits in (on) terrain?. GeoVocampDC 2013 / 6th Annual SOCoP Workshop, NSF, Washington DC, USA, November 18-19, 2013.

Sinha G (2013). Using principles of geospatial ontology to explore scientific and “naïve” conceptualizations of the landscape . Colloquium Speaker, Department of Geography, Ohio University , Athens, OH, USA, April 26, 2013. Abstract

Sinha G, Lovell EJ, Jones SJ, Velempeni K(2013). Local knowledge and climate change adaptation project (LKCCAP): Issues in geographic representation. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Los Angeles, CA, USA, April 9-13, 2013. Abstract

Kraynik B, Sinha G (2013). Identifying potential flood risk areas using GIS and hydrological modeling tools. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Los Angeles, CA, USA, April 9-13, 2013. Abstract

Mark DM, Sinha G (2012). Surface networks and the ontology of topography? GeoVocamp 2012 / 5th Annual SOCoP Workshop, USGS, Reston, Virginia, USA, November 29-30, 2012.

Sinha G (2012). Are we ready for epistemology in GIScience 2.0? University Consortium for Geographic Information Science 2012 Symposium, Washington DC, May 30 - June 1, 2012.Abstract

Dyer J, Sinha G (2012). A new relative moisture demand index to assess field sites. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), New York, USA, April 9-13, 2012. Abstract

Sinha G, Lovell EJ (2011). Representing Masaai pastoralism in space-time to explore climate change adaptation strategies. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Seattle, WA, USA, April 12-16, 2011.Abstract

Sinha G (2010). Mountains, hills, & ... hilly mountains? Exploring linguistic, cognitive and computational strategies for landscape representation. Invited speaker, International GIS Day & Geography Awareness Week at Appalachain State University, November 18, 2010, Boone, NC.

Battaglia M, Sinha G (2010). A critical comparison of conceptual and measurement models of urban forests. 33rd Annual Applied Geography Conference, Forth Worth, Texas, October 20-23, 2010.Abstract

Sinha G, Mark DM (2010). Toward a foundational ontology of the landscape. 6th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2010, Zürich, Switzerland, September 14-17, 2010.Paper

Sinha G (2010). An object-field ontology for topographic eminences. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Washington DC, USA, April 14-18, 2010.Abstract

Sinha G, Mark DM (2009). Ontology of topographic eminences for the National Map. UCGIS/USGS Specialist Meeting: Ontology for the National Map, Washington DC, USA, February 3-4, 2009.Paper

Sinha G (2009). Toward A formal model of topographic eminences. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Las Vegas, USA, March 21-27, 2009.Abstract