Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting
Sat., April 17, 2010
Washington, DC, USA
12:40-2:20 p.m., Marriott Hotel, Virginia Suite B
Dawn Wright (Oregon State U.)
Chaowei Yang (George Mason U.)
Grand challenges are not merely routine research questions or research priorities, but questions and directives that: (1) are extremely hard to do, yet are do-able; (2) produce outcomes potentially affecting millions, if not hundreds of millions of people; (3) require multiple research projects across many subdisciplines in order to be satisfactorily addressed; (4) consist of well-defined metrics such that, through creativity and commitment, can be realistically met and one knows the end has been reached. (5) capture the popular imagination, and thus political support.
Emerging technologies and societal trends ensure that no set of grand challenges will stand frozen in time. Hence what are the grand challenges of GIScience, especially in the 10-15 years since the earliest deliberations were made via NSF-funded workshops and University Consortium for Geographic Science (UCGIS) agenda-setting? This panel will discuss fundamental scientific questions and forward momentum that will drive the field through the next decade. It serves also as an important discussion in advance of a planned NSF-funded workshop on the same theme, to which the geography/GIScience/information technology community will be invited.
Each panelist spoke on what they see as gaps in our current understanding of
GIScience, existing research challenges that will persist (such as scale),
and/or research questions that should be addressed in light of prior
books, papers, workshops, etc. It is hoped that this effort contributes
in the long run to important documents/publications marking ~10 years of
development, a revisioning, decadal assessment of sorts, as well as a forward