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Dr. Gaurav Sinha, Associate Professor
Clippinger 105A
740.593.0304 or 740.743.7188

Office Hours: Wednesday and Friday 12:00-2:00 or by appointment

Ph.D., U. at Buffalo–SUNY, 2007

My research interests fall under the rubric of the interdisciplinary field of Geographic Information Science (GISc). I am a broadly trained geographer and GIScientist with research experience in several topics including topographic ontologies, terrain analysis, cartographic generalization, participatory GIS, multicriteria analysis, and spatiotemporal data modeling of human mobility patterns. Currently, my time is divided between three research projects through which I explore: i) the physical and social dimensions of conceptualizations of topographic landforms and other natural landscape features, ii) the intertwined relationship between the situated, local and external, formal knowledge of climate change and impact of such knowledge on adaptation practices (for an NSF funded project based in Tanzania), and iii) GIS and GPS based spatiotemporal modeling for relating people’s daily activities to their health (with colleagues in Athletic Training and Physical Therapy).

This diversity of topics is essential because of the nature of my research—I want to understand the cognitive dissonance arising due to incompatibility between scientific theories and our intuitive, common sense notions of geophysical phenomena. Cultural, linguistic, and institutional factors and scientific paradigms all affect our geographic conceptualizations, even of supposedly objective physical landscape features such as mountains and rivers. Thus, my interpretation of GIScience is that it must be not just multi-disciplinary, but also multi-perspective; it must relate human condition to human experience; and GIScience must resist prescriptive, inflexible modes of knowledge representation and analysis. After all, geographic information is near ubiquitous, and geospatial technologies are becoming embedded in our daily lives. The science of geographic information must be similarly dynamic and support both nomothetic and idiographic approaches to geographic knowledge and geographic information.

Courses Taught:
  • GEOG 2680: Introduction to GIS & Mapping Sciences
  • GEOG 4730/5730: Principles of Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 4760/4760: Geographic Information Analysis
  • GEOG 4740/5740: GIS Design and Application Development
  • GEOG 6730: Seminar in GIScience


Representative 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. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2011.618132.


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, 52-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.06.006.


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. DOI: 10.3138/carto.45.2.105.


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


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. DOI: 10.1016/j.cageo.2006.06.007.

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. DOI: 10.1007/s10109-005-0153-8.

Link to complete CV.

Selected Student Projects:

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

Eric Lovell, Samantha Jones, Kgosi Velempeni (& Gaurav Sinha), 2013.  Local knowledge and climate change adaptation project (LKCCAP): Issues in geographic representation. Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Los Angeles, April 9-13, 2013.

Matthew Jackson, Matt Mendel, Li Lin (& Gaurav Sinha and Brian Ragan), 2013. Accuracy of GPS units in stationary and dynamic modes. National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) 64th Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia, Las Vegas, NV, USA, June 24-27, 2013.

Eric Lovell, 2011. Ground Truthing Climate Change: A Mixed Method Approach to Pastoral Knowledge, Water Access, and Climate Uncertainty. MA Thesis, Department of Geography, Ohio University.

Michael Battaglia (& Gaurav Sinha), 2010. A Critical Comparison of Conceptual and Measurement Models of Urban Forests. 33rd Annual Applied Geography Conference, Forth Worth, Texas, October 20-23, 2010.