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; one of my focus areas is the domain of topographic features. This is due to my background in earth science and my deep interest in philosophy and cognitive science as inspirations for conducting my research as a GIScientist. I will always be working on advancing my earlier work on automated extraction and semantic characterization of cognitively salient topographic features.

My interest in geospatial semantics and ontology has already begun to extend to other domains such as landscape modeling, hydrological analysis, climate change modeling (and perception), and urban forestry. My interest is exploring the fundamental assertions of these domain and deriving knowledge representation techniques to help disambiguate (to the extent possible) the varuious ontological commitments that may be at play. 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 allows me to connect to various interesting knowledge domains is my current 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. We are using participatory GIS as the framework for data collection, community engagement, and information dissemination. Apart from working on multimedia participatory GIS design, my research on this project will yield 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. One of my cherished goals on this project is to develop representation models or ontologies to explore the semantic (dis)similarity between scientific and common sense conceptualizations of climate change impacts.

An 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, who specializes 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 patients' physical activity are linked to their everyday natural environment and their social and personal life. Geospatial analysis is a fundamental to all our analyses. Currently, we collect data using a micro-GPS and accelerometer that subjects carry on person for a few days. I have also been conducting extensive experiments with GPS units and will be developing spatial uncertainty assessment models for spatiotemporal trajectory analysis.

Other research topics that I have worked on and continue to explore include terrain analysis, spatial statistics, multi-criteria analysis, and cartographic generalization.

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. (PI: Thomas Smucker, Ohio University). Funded by U.S. National Science Foundation (US NSF) for $571,859.WebsiteNewsfeed

New Research Projects

Spatiotemporal modeling and analysis for assessing movement and activity in physical space (MAPS).(

Geographic representation of local knowledge and livelihood strategies for adapting to climate change in rural Tanzania.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Sinha G, Silavisesrith W (2012). Multicriteria Generalization (MCG): A Decision-Making Framework for Formalizing Multiscale Environmental Data Reduction. International Journal of Geographic Information Science. Vol 26(5), pp. 899-922. Link

Milillo T M, Sinha G, Gardella J A Jr. (2012). Use of Geostatistics for Remediation Planning to Transcend Urban Political Boundaries. Environmental Pollution, Vol 170, pp. 52-62. Link

Wangui E E , Smucker T A, 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. Link

Sinha G, Mark D M (2010). Cognition-Based Extraction and Modelling of Topographic Eminences. Cartographica: The International Journal for Geographic Information and Geovisualization, Vol. 45(2), pp. 105-112. Link

Sinha G, Mark D M (2010). Toward a Foundational Ontology of the Landscape. In S I Fabrikant, T Reichenbacher, M Kreveld and Christoph Schlieder (eds.), Geographic Information Science, 6th International Conference, GIScience 2010, Extended Abstracts, Zürich, Switzerland, September 14-17, 2010.Paper

Gardella J A, Milillo T M,Sinha G, Oh G, Manns D C, 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 and D Relawask (eds.), Service Learning and Government Partners,, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 98-122.Book Chapter

Gardella J A, Milillo T M, Sinha G, Oh G, Manns D C, Coffey E (2007). Linking Community Service, Learning, and Environmental Analytical Chemistry. Analytical Chemistry, 2007, Vol. 79(3), pp. 810-818.Link

Chang, Y S, Sinha G (2007). A Visual Basic Program for Ridge Axis Picking on DEM Data Using the Profile-Recognition and Polygon-Breaking Algorithm. Computers & Geosciences, Vol. 33(2), pp. 229-237.Link

Rogerson P A, Sinha G, Han D (2006). Recent Changes in Spatial Patterns of Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 30(2S), pp. 50-59.Link

Mark D M, Sinha G (2006). Ontology of Landforms: Delimitation and Classification of Topographic Eminences. In M Raubal, H Miller, A Frank, and M Goodchild (eds.), Geographic Information Science, 4th International Conference, GIScience 2006, Extended Abstracts, Münster, Germany, September 20-23, 2006. Paper

Sinha G, Mark D M (2005). Measuring Similarity of Geospatial Lifelines for Use in Environmental Health Studies. Journal of Geographical Systems: Geographical Information, Analysis, Theory, and Decision. Vol. 7(1), pp. 115-136.Link

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, June 28-July 1, 2004. Paper

Sinha G, Cosme S, Oh G, Manns D C, Milillo T M, Roberts, A, Gardella J A 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, July 18-20, 2004.Paper

Sinha G, Flewelling D M (2002). A Framework for Multicriteria Line Generalization to Support Scientific and Engineering Modeling. In Geographic Information Science, 2nd International Conference, GIScience 2002, Extended Abstracts,, Boulder, Colorado.Paper

Recent Presentations

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 (2011). A New Relative Moisture Demand Index To Assess Field Sites.Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), New York, April 9-13, 2012.Abstract

Sinha G, Lovell Eric (2011). Representing Masaai Pastoralism in Space-Time to Explore Climate Change Adaptation Strategies.Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Seattle, 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 D M (2010). Toward a Foundational Ontology of the Landscape. Geographic Information Science, 6th International Conference, 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

Dyer J, Sinha G (2010). Using Spatial Multi-attribute Analysis to Develop a Field-based Relative Moisture Index. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Washington DC, USA, April 14-18, 2010.Abstract

Sinha G, Mark D M (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

Sinha G (2008). Topographic Eminences: An Object Based Approach to Topographic Analysis. Colloqium Speaker, Department of Geography, Ohio University, Athens, OH, February 2008.

Sinha G (2008). Detection and Delineation of Topographic Eminences. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Boston, USA, April 13-19, 2008.Abstract

Sinha G, Mark D M (2007). Extraction, Characterization and Classification of Topographic Eminences. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), San Francisco, USA, April 16-20, 2007.Abstract

Mark D M, Sinha G (2006). Ontology of Landforms: Delimitation and Classification of Topographic Eminences. Geographic Information Science, 4th International Conference, GIScience 2006, Münster, Germany, September 20 - 23, 2006.Paper

Sinha G (2005). Natural Language Based Extraction of Topographic Features from Digital Terrain Databases. Doctoral Colloquium, Conference on Spatial Information Theory, COSIT 2005, Ellicottville, NY, USA. Sep 15 – 18, 2005.