Call For Position Papers

Call for Position Papers

Conceptualizing a Geospatial Software Institute (GSI)
Workshop 2: Geospatial Use Cases and Core Technical Capabilities 

Dates: July 15-17, 2018 Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Access to and interaction with diverse and rapidly growing geospatial big data collected from numerous sources are increasingly fundamental to discovery and innovation in a large number of science domains. The geospatial software is hence being widely developed and used by numerous research and education communities to transform data with geo and spatial references into knowledge, insights, and intelligence. However, many scientific enterprises suffer due to a lack of rigor and best practices in geospatial software development and associated capabilities.

NSF has thus funded a project to conceptualize a Geospatial Software Institute (GSI) that would create bridges across many geospatial domains by establishing a long-term hub of excellence in geospatial software infrastructure that can serve diverse research and education communities. Input from pertinent communities of geospatial software users and developers is critical to conceptualizing such an institute. The conceptualization project is seeking such input, primarily through a succession of three workshops and multiple surveys. The first workshop, focused on connecting big data with geospatial discovery and innovation, was held in January 2018 at the University of Southern California ( This workshop brought together fifty thought leaders representing diverse research and education communities who helped identify a set of key science domains (e.g., biosciences, environmental science and engineering, hydrology, polar sciences, social sciences, and the nexus of food, energy, and water) that the potential GSI could serve together to enable convergence research and education.

The second workshop is intended to build on the success of the first workshop with three foci: (a) gaining an in-depth understanding of which scientific problems could greatly benefit from advances in geospatial software that operates on large-scale, data-intensive, and/or computationally-intensive infrastructures; (b) identifying a suite of core technical capabilities that are necessary for geospatial big data transformation and associated scientific problem solving; and (c) beginning to plan how an institute could lead the communities to develop and benefit from those capabilities. Therefore, the second workshop will engage both scientists and technologists in related fields. You are encouraged to submit a position paper that addresses one or more aspects of the aforementioned foci.

Specifically, if you have an interesting use case or scientific problem that requires computation- and/or data-intensive geospatial software that you believe GSI should focus on, you should make a case for it in your position paper. What are the most important scientific problems, which could be revolutionized by advances in geospatial software that could only be made possible by an NSF software institute? In other words, which geospatial software advances are needed but will not conceivably be provided by a private entity or individual researchers to solve these problems? How could better geospatial software make a difference? Please be as specific as possible.

Likewise, if you have expertise in geospatial software tools, methods, or frameworks that you feel should be included in the GSI software infrastructure, you should make a case for this in your position paper. What capabilities are required, currently exist, or need to be developed in geospatial software and related infrastructure to help transform and synthesize geospatial data for cutting-edge scientific research and education? What are the scientific domains will be impacted by the development of such capabilities and how? What current activities might develop those capabilities? What additional community skills and resources are needed? Include specific details whenever possible.


To foster active participation, we invite submissions of position papers of approximately 500 words addressing one or more of the workshop foci, along with a 2-page resume or bio-sketch of the author who will attend. The position paper may not exceed 2 pages and should conform to the following formatting requirements: 1) Times New Roman font type at a size of 11 points or larger; and 2) margins of at least one inch on all sides. The organizing committee will review each submission and for those that are selected, will extend an invitation to attend.

Submissions should be sent via []. The deadline for submission is June 1, 2018, and you can expect to hear back from the committee by June 8, 2018. Contributors of accepted position papers will be invited to present their work at the meeting, possibly through relatively short, very focused talks. All accepted position papers will also be published on the workshop website, and attendees will be asked to read all position papers in advance of the workshop. If your position paper is selected, you will receive NSF travel support to attend the workshop.

CookieSettings CookieSettings