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Gary Hunter


Gary Hunter has led the world in recognizing and managing uncertainty in spatial data. He has helped us understand how to use non-perfect data in making good decisions. Such work is a major component of his 136 book chapters, journal articles and conference papers. Among these are three papers that won URISA’s Horwood Critique Prize for the best proceedings paper. No other person has won this coveted prize more than once, except his co-author on two of these papers. He also has one runner-up paper.

  • 1999 “New Tools for Handling Spatial Data Quality: Moving from Academic Concepts to Reality”.
  • 1995 “A New Model for Handling Vector Data Uncertainty in Geographic Information Systems” (with MF Goodchild).
  • 1993 “Managing Uncertainty in Spatial Databases: Putting Theory into Practice” (with MF Goodchild).
  • 1992 (runnerup) “Techniques for Assessing the Impact of Processing Erors in Spatial Databases”.

Gary has been actively developing interest and expertise in colleagues around the world on spatial data accuracy and related issues, and his papers on the subject have appeared in leading international publications such as the “URISA Journal”, the “International Journal of GIS”, “Transactions in GIS” and “Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing”. He has participated in numerous international meetings in a dozen countries, often as the keynote speaker, and has helped organize over three dozen international conferences. He has been a visiting scholar to the NCGIA at UC-Santa Barbara and the Center for Geo-Information at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. 

Gary Hunter also has been instrumental in shaping the face of GIS education and guiding the development of future GIS professionals in Australia. His career has spanned more than 35 years, and has been focused in the fields of surveying, mapping and GIS. Following 17 years in industry, for almost twenty years now he has made an impact on the lives of university students after being appointed to the first GIS teaching position at his university. He has done significant work in the use of web, computer-based, and multimedia tools for teaching GIS, and he has also published papers and won awards for this work. His interest in education extends beyond college students; he led the development of the AURISA GIS in Schools competition in Australia and New Zealand that has now operated annually for 10 years.

Gary has been extremely active within both URISA and AURISA (now part of the Spatial Sciences Institute), and served as the President of AURISA in 1996. During his tenure with AURISA he added new publications and workshops that brought new intellectural and financial strength to that organization. He won the Gerald McCalden Prize for best paper at two AURISA conferences, and was recognised by AURISA as the outstanding academic in GIS in Austalia in 1993. He was awarded Life Membership of AURISA in 1999 and became an Honorary Fellow of the Spatial Sciences Institute in 2004. Gary serves on the Editorial Boards of several international journals (section editor for the URISA Journal since 2000), and as a manuscript reviewer for over a dozen publications. Most recently Gary served as invited editor for the two special editions of the URISA Journal on Exemplary Systems in Government. He has also served as a jury member on the Horwood Critique prize panel and is now in his tenth year as a member of the URISA ESIG judging panel.

Gary Hunter is Associate Professor and Reader in the Department of Geomatics at the University of Melbourne. He holds a Bachelor of Surveying degree, a Masters of Surveying Science, and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. He has also acted as a consultant to industry of the implementation and use of GIS technologies in a wide variety of subject areas. He is currently supervising, and has successfully supervised, over two dozen post-graduate students. 

And in what little spare time Gary has left, you can find him playing the guitar, sea kayaking or oil painting.

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