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 their physicl and cultural environments. My main focus area is landscape ontology and semantics, and using such knowledge to support landscape information retrieval through automated extraction and semantic characterization of terrain features.

Other topical areas I pursue research on and/or advise graduate students on include: terrain analysis, participatory GIS, GI and society, spatial multicriteria analysis, spatial statistics, spatial literacy and spatial thinking, and spatiotemporal ontology and data modeling of human activities and activity spaces.

View my CV

Ongoing Collaborations

Landscape Ontology. My long standing research agenda revolves around landscape ontology and semantic modeling. My main collaborator is Dr. David Mark, who also has been my mentor since my graduate education days. Other collaborators hail from several universities, and senior researchers from the USGS Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS). This research agenda is my primary focus and hass several interesting dimensions that I will continue to explore for the rest of my career!

Spatial Literacy, Reasoning and Expertise. My newest collaboration has emerged with Dr. Greg Foley from the Patton College of Education on the topic of spatial literacy and spatial thinking. I am a Co-PI with him on a grant funded by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, which is designed to prepare high-school mathematics teachers for teaching mathematical modeling and spatial reasoning concepts to their students. We have also submitted in Fall 2016 a grant proposal to NSF for organizing a conference on spatial literacy, spatial reasoning and spatial thinking.

Transportation Network Safety Analysis. I have another new collaboration with transportation engineers Dr. Bhaven Naik and Dr. Issam Khoury from Civil Engineering, and Dr. Glenn Matlack from Plant Biology. We have acquired a small Phase 1 grant from Ohio DOT to study impact of tree canopy on road pavement quality and safety. My role as Co-PI is to help with the overall geospatial data collection and analysis. In the long-term, we would like to devise new projects requiring new types of geospatial technology applications for maximizing road safety and efficiency of transportation networks.

PASE. I have developed an active collaboration with Dr. Cheryl Howe. We collaborate on projects and studies related to physical activity measurement and quantification of children's activities in schoolyards during recess. Currently, we are collecting data using a miniature GPS and accelerometer units that subjects carry on person for a few days. Given my interests and expertise, for this project, I am primarily interested in designing a spatiotemporal ontology for physical activity data modeling and uncertainty analysis.

Media Deserts. I have been working with Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Associate Professor of Journalism, on the Media Deserts Project, which seeks to map and analyze areas in the US lacking access to local news and the related impacts on local culture, politics, and governance. We have just acquired our first collaborative grant from the Democracy fund, and have already presented our work at confereneces and published a book chapter from our collaboration.

LKCCAP. From 2009 to 2014, I was 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.

Funded Research Projects

Co-PI (2016-2017): New Measures (Media Deserts) Research Project . Democracy Fund/ Duke University.($25,000).

Co-PI (2016-17): The Effects of Tree Canopy on Pavement Condition, Safety and Maintenance. Ohio Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration.($72,803).

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).

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

Peer-Reviewed Publications


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Sinha G, Smucker TA, Lovell EJ, Velempeni K, Miller S, Weiner D, Wangui EE (2016). The pedagogical benefits of participatory GIS for geographic education. Journal of GeographyDOI: 10.1080/00221341.2016.1215488Preprint

Ferrier M, Sinha G, Outrich M (2016). Media deserts: Mapping the changing media ecosystem. In: L Friedland, M Lloyd (eds.), The Communication Crisis in America and How to Fix It, Palgrave-McMillan, 215-232. DOI: Preprint

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/b19294-28Preprint

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

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, 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: 10.1080/13658816.2011.618132Preprint

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.2012.06.006Preprint

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.45.2.105Preprint

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.2006.06.007Preprint

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.2005.09.006Preprint

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/s10109-005-0153-8Preprint


Short Papers in Conference/Workshop Proceedings

Sinha G, Howe C (2016). An ontology design pattern for semantic modelling of children’s physical activities in school playgrounds. Workshop on Analysis of Movement Data (AMD), 9th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2016, Vienna, Austria, September 23, 2014. Paper

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, 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

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, 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, Howe C (2016). An ontology design pattern for semantic modelling of children’s physical activities in school playgrounds. Workshop on Analysis of Movement Data (AMD), 9th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2016, Vienna, Austria, September 23, 2014. Paper

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 Full Paper

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. Short 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.Short 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.Short 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