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College of Arts & Sciences

Gaurav Sinha

Gaurav Sinha, shown along lakeshore with city in background

Associate Professor

Clippinger 105A

Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Friday, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., or by appointment

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B.Sc., Geological Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, India, (1996-1999)

M.A.,  Geography, University at Buffalo–SUNY, (2000 – 2005)

Ph.D., Geography, University at Buffalo–SUNY, (2000 – 2007)


  • Geospatial ontology
  • Topographic modeling and terrain analysis
  • Spatial Thinking
  • GIS & Society


My education and research has been in the interdisciplinary field of Geographic Information Science (GISc). I am a broadly trained Geographer and GIScientist with research publications in several topics including geospatial ontologies, terrain analysis, cartographic generalization, participatory GIS (PPGIS), multicriteria analysis, geostatistical analysis, and spatiotemporal data modeling. The commonality across all my research projects is my deep interest in how geographic information is generated and represented in computational systems. I now spend a majority of my time on researching conceptualizations of topographic features and the design of topographic ontologies with several collaborators from academia and the USGS.

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 2680: Introduction to GIS & Mapping Sciences
  • GEOG 4730/5730: Principles of Geographic Information Systems
  • GEOG 4760/5760: Geographic Information Analysis
  • GEOG 4740/5740: GIS Design and Application Development
  • GEOG 6730: Seminar in GIScience

Representative Publications

Sinha G, Arundel S, Stewart K, Mark DM, Hahmann T, Romero BE, Sorokine A, Usery LE, McKenzie G (2017). A reference landform ontology for automated delineation of depression landforms from DEMs. Proceedings of Workshops and Posters at the 13th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2017), L’Aquila, Italy, September 4-8, 2017.

Milillo TM, Sinha G, Gardella JA Jr. (2017). Determining site-specific background level with geostatistics for remediation of heavy metals in neighborhood soils. AIMS Environmental Science, 4(2), 323-347.

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 Geography.

Sinha G, Kronenfeld BJ, Brunskill JC (2015). Toward democratization of geographic information: GIS, remote sensing and GNSS applications in everyday life. In: P S Thenkabail (ed.), Remote Sensing Handbook (Volume I): Data Characterization, Classification, and Accuracies. CRC Press, 423-444.

Sinha G, Mark DM, Kolas D, Varanka D, Romero BE, Feng C-C, Usery LE, Liebermann J, Sorokine A (2014). An ontology design pattern for surface water features. In:  M Duckham, E Pebesma, K Stewart, A Frank (eds.): 8th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, GIScience 2014, LNCS 8728, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, 187–203.

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.

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