Fotheringham selected for National Academy of Sciences committee on mapping science


Megan Martin

Stewart Fotheringham, University Foundation professor of computational spatial science in Arizona State University's School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and distinguished scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, was recently selected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Mapping Science Committee.

This specialized committee will organize and oversee National Research Council studies that provide independent advice to society and to government at all levels on geospatial science, technology and policy, according to the National Academy of Sciences. 

A leading expert in the utilization of spatial data, Fotheringham’s research covers a variety of areas from health geography to transportation to migration analysis — information that will prove beneficial to the committee’s work.

“Maps have always provided incredibly efficient means of communicating knowledge about our environment,” said Fotheringham. “This has become even more evident in the current era where we now have the ability to measure and track our locations through our cellphones, cameras and in-vehicle GPS receivers. This did not happen 30 years ago, so this is a really exciting time to be involved in mapping science.”

The work being completed by Fotheringham and the committee, composed of nine experts from across the nation, will not only impact work being done here on land but also in space. The committee is slated to tackle the task of integrating GPS satellites for the United States with those of the European Space Agency’s Galileo system and China’s BeiDou satellites, improving our ability to accurately and continuously record locations and interact with our environment.

Fotheringham was elected to the National Academy of Science in 2013 and joined ASU as professor and distinguished scientist in 2014.