A Promising Future of Computing for Geospatial Technologies

Dr. Lindi Liao
President & Chief Scientist, COM.Geo
COM.Geo Conference General Chair

The explosion of the power and sophistication of computing applications in the past few years has revolutionized the way we live and work. This marked trend is of especial significance for geospatial computing, which directly relates to the very foundations of our society and essentially embraces all the diversification of its activities. Geospatial information, already important in many scientific and engineering disciplines, is increasingly becoming an integral component in consumer-driven technologies. How to further improve or enhance geospatial information processing, organizing, analysis, and visualization? Especially, handling rising flood of digital data from many difference sources puts serious technical and scientific challenges.
With rapid progress of information processing and multiple disciplines, there are more and more promising computing technologies, which could be employed to solve these problems. At present, cloud computing, mobile computing, visual computing / GPU computing, business intelligence, and social computing have been playing key roles in geospatial applications. Some latest computing advancements, such as big data computing, heterogeneous computing, Internet of Things (IoT) / sensor computing, and bio-computing, have great potentials for the effective realization of information processing in the geospatial environment.
This talk highlights the impacts of these current and prospective computing technologies on the future of the geo-world. Our consideration is intended to bring fresh thoughts to explore new directions for geospatial research and development. The talk also provides a vision of the ".geo" term and a combined outlook for both computer and geospatial communities, i.e., how computing technology is changing the landscape of geospatial applications and how diverse geospatial information processing requires the change of various computing technologies.

Dr. Liao has 20 years of in-depth technical experience in both computer science & Geographic Information System (GIS) and nearly 10 years of management experience in government, industry, and academia. Since 2002, she has worked for the U.S. federal government agencies (DOT/FHWA, FAA, etc.) on PC-clustered highway driving simulator systems, 3D graphics & visualization, virtual reality, GIS, air traffic, multi-core architectures, heterogeneous computing, etc. She ever worked at ESRI and developed the earliest version of Stereo Viewer for ArcGIS in 2001. In 1996, she pioneered the product development of the PC-based high-resolution quad-buffered 3D stereographic accelerators with 3D Labs' chips. Dr. Liao has authorized many publications and two professional books on GPU-based research and OpenGL programming. She has been invited to give the talks by the federal governments, universities, and leading industries. She was an adjunct professor at George Mason University. She is a member of ACM and IEEE. She received a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Computer Science from George Washington University and Purdue University, respectively.

Dr. Liao has broad interests in various computing technologies, such as GPU computing, mobile computing, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), heterogeneous computing, big data computing, etc. As a key COM.Geo initiator, she, with the team, is striving to explore the latest computing technologies for multidisciplinary research and application in geospatial areas. >>