Previous medal awardees

2018 James Smith medal awardee: Zhao Xi

Dr. Zhao Xi, from the Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan University, China is a specialist on uncertainty and accuracy in spatial information. She defended her PhD thesis ‘Random sets to model uncertainty in remotely sensed objects’, supervised by prof. Alfred Stein, in 2012 at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. In it she addressed spatial and spatio-temporal uncertainty with applications in vegetation and flood level monitoring at various scale levels. Her work is of a great originality, as she has been able to give a new content to spatial and spatio-temporal uncertainty. By means of her research she provided probabilistic support to the concepts of uncertainty in spatial and spatio-temporal objects. This gave a better understanding and a more solid foundation to their uncertainty. It all fits into a more general development from a pixel-based towards an object-based approach in remote sensing studies. After her PhD research she worked on the dynamics and uncertainty of the Antarctic ice extent. This work is still on-going and is highly relevant for sustainable development goals.

So far, Zhao Xi published 41 peer-reviewed papers, among which 24 were SCI/EI indexed. Recently, she compiled a special issue of Spatial Statistics on Regional Economy and Development: A Viewpoint and Application, together with Prof. Yong Ge from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing. This all is an astonishing achievement for the short period that she has been active as a scientist.

2016 Peter Burrough medal awardee: Peter Atkinson

Professor Peter Atkinson, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster University, has produced world leading research in remote sensing image analysis, geostatistics, and epidemiology. Early in his career, Peter’s research included sub-pixel land-cover mapping, artificial neural networks, and generalised linear modeling. In the early 2000s, he shifted his focus to examine scale effects and uncertainties associated with the remote sensing of diseases, analyzing the distribution and transmission of Malaria in Africa, and investigating access to health care. More recently, Peter has extended his research to downscaling in remote sensing, disease transmission, and characterising land surface phenology. Examples of Peter’s publications addressing spatial uncertainty include, “Issues of scale and uncertainty in the global remote sensing of disease” (Advances in Parasitology, with A. J. Graham), “Non-stationary approaches for mapping terrain and assessing prediction uncertainty” (Transactions in GIS, with C. D. Lloyd), “Geographical information science: geostatistics and uncertainty” (Progress in Physical Geography), and “Assessing uncertainty in estimates with ordinary and indicator kriging” (Computers & Geosciences, with C. D. Lloyd). Along with Giles Foody, Peter co-edited the frequently cited text Uncertainty in Remote Sensing and GIS. Peter is an elected Fellow of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society and has served on the editorial boards of Computers and Geosciences and Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. Peter was a member of the scientific program committee for several Spatial Accuracy Symposia and presented an invited keynote address at the 2008 Spatial Accuracy Symposium in Shanghai titled, “Uncertainty in super-resolution mapping and the design of an inter-comparison study” (International Journal of Remote Sensing, 2009). The title of his Burrough Award Keynote address at the 2016 Spatial Accuracy Symposium is, “Spatio-temporal sub-pixel mapping of time-series images.” Peter Atkinson’s research in the area of spatial uncertainty applied to remote sensing, geostatistics, and epidemiology has improved the ways in which spatial data and methods are employed to solve critical real-world problems. Peter’s accomplishments are exemplary of the award selection criteria established to honor the career and contributions of Peter Burrough. Peter Burrough’s legacy continues not only through being the namesake of the Burrough Medal, but also through new research and publications building upon the foundations of his work. The recently published third edition of Burrough, McDonnell, and Lloyd’s Principals of Geographical Information Systems (see particularly Chapter 13 on spatial uncertainty and error propagation) is a prominent example of Peter Burrough’s ongoing influence.


2014 James Smith medal awardee: Enkee Yoo

Dr. Yoo’s work focuses on the statistical modeling of uncertainty in spatial scale problems, and uncertainty propagation in geographical analysis. Her study of spatial stochastic simulation and development of supporting source code during her doctoral studies provide her with the means to identify and conceptualize uncertainty problems. She has conducted uncertainty assessment and modelling in various fields, including landscape ecology, remote sensing, and public health/urban planning. In addition, a number of her on-going research projects involve uncertainty/error modelling as one of their major research aims.

2012 Peter Burrough medal awardee: Michael F. Goodchild

Professor Michael F. Goodchild has made long-standing contributions to theory and practice addressing accuracy and uncertainty issues in georeferenced data. He was an attendee at the very first Accuracy 1994 conference, a keynote speaker at the Accuracy 1996 and 2008 conferences, serving on both conferences’ Scientific Committees, and has been publishing about spatial data accuracy since 1980. Professor Goodchild is an elected member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Canada and of the (British) Royal Society, and an elected Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He is a recipient of the Lauréat Prix International de Géographie Vautrin Lud —the highest honor given in the field of geography—and is a past chair of the United States National Research Council’s Mapping Science Committee, and of the Advisory Committee on Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation.

Professor Goodchild has served as editor of two journals and on the editorial boards of ten other journals and book series, and has published more than 15 books and 400 articles. Contributing yet again to the spatial accuracy literature, Professor Goodchild’s inaugural Peter Burrough lecture was entitled “The accuracy of volunteered geographic information.”