Big Data is an exciting new development, with major impacts in many areas and strong responses from educators. Its significance for science is less clear. In this presentation I define Big Data, relate it to other contemporary trends in science, and focus specifically on its significance for spatial information and the spatial sciences. I discuss the quality issue and methods for "hardening" Big Data, the nature of spatial prediction, and the possibility of real-time spatial science.
Professor Michael F. Goodchild is Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Until his retirement in June 2012 he was Jack and Laura Dangermond Professor of Geography, and Director of UCSB's Center for Spatial Studies. For many years he has led the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis consortium consisting of UCSB, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Maine.
Professor Goodchild is widely recognized as the leader of geographic information science and is an influential figure across research communities, GIS industries, and government agencies. Since the 1990's, he and his colleagues have mobilized a broad research community to focus on key issues in spatial science. The outcome has been phenomenal advances in GIScience that have had a profound influence on research in many disciplines. As a world-renowned scholar, Professor Goodchild has published 15 books, more than 500 articles, and obtained more than $55 million in research grants.
Mike received his BA degree from Cambridge University in physics in 1965 and his PhD in geography from McMaster University in 1969, and has received five honorary doctorates. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy; and he also received the Prix Vautrin Lud. He was editor of several flagship journals in geography, including Geographical Analysis and the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. He serves on the editorial boards of ten other journals and book series. He chaired the National Research Council's Mapping Science Committee and the Advisory Committee on Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation. His research interests center on geographic information science, spatial analysis, and uncertainty in geographic data.