Professor Michael F. Goodchild delivered a seminar on Movement and Mobility as part of the series “How To Build Smart Society”, followed by a visit to the Department of Geography on 26th March 2019. The seminar was co-organized by the International Office, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Department of Geography and the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies. As we learned in the talk, geographical information sciences and technologies are of utmost relevance to daily mobility in ways that many people take for granted.

Professor Goodchild, considered by many as the “father of geographic information science (GISc)”, is Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also Distinguished Chair Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Research Professor at Arizona State University with a number of other affiliate, adjunct and honorary positions at universities around the world. His career has been dedicated to geographical information science and uncertainty in geographic data, and he has been deemed a leading expert in this research field.

In the lecture, Professor Goodchild addressed the role of movement and mobility in the development of GIS and related technologies. The advancement in geographic information science allowed geographers to explore a suite of new research questions and to remedy knowledge gaps. With improvement of micro-scale data on individual movement, current issues such as mobility impairment and the integration of multiple travel modes can be better understood. He also raised some of the challenges stemming from an increasing reliance on technological solutions, namely safety and privacy concerns. Our academic staff, research students and a considerable number of undergraduate students attended the talk and learned a great deal.