School of Geography, Geology and the Environment

Pete Fisher Unit

Pete Fisher Unit for GIScience

Geographic Information and Data Science

Information technology has radically transformed our daily life, society, and our understanding of the world. From crowdsourcing to remote sensing, from GPS tracking to Web mapping, methodological development and continuous study of key issues in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) are crucial to understanding the current geospatial revolution, and support the spatial turn in the humanities and social sciences.

The Fisher Laboratory is a centre of excellence for multi-disciplinary research focused on the development, teaching, use, and critique of GIScience and geographic Data Science methods. Members are drawn from both the Critical and Creative Geographies and the Environmental Science research groups to provide a vibrant, open, and reflective environment for collaboration and discussion.

Core research topics include: Uncertainty in GIS, Spatio-temporal modelling, Spatial statistics, GeoComputation, Geographic Information Visualization. Volunteered Geographic Information and Pedagogies of GIScience.


  • Dr Kirsten Barrett Remote Sensing, Wildfire, Boreal forests, Carbon Dynamics, Disturbance-recovery Cycles
  • Dr Stefano De Sabbata Information Geographies, Internet Geographies, Critical GIS, Volunteered Geographic Information, Geocomputation, Geographic Information Retrieval, Location-Based Services
  • Dr Claire Jarvis GIScience, Storyboards, The “twitterscape”, GPS Tracking, Spatial Literacy, Sensory GIS, Visualisation of Networks, Spatial Analysis, Visualisation (2D & 3D), Mediascape
  • Dr Nicholas Tate Surface Characterisation and Modelling of Scale, Spatial Data Uncertainty, GIScience Pedagogy, Applications of GIS

PhD Topics

  • Geographies of gazetteers and their implications in GIScience
  • Critical analysis of Open Data and Volunteer Geographic Information
  • Study of information inequalities: urban/rural divides in access, participation, and representation on the internet
  • Modelling uncertainty using type n fuzzy sets
  • Mathematical modelling of spatio-temporal data
  • Scale-based simplification of topography
  • Activity theory applied to GIScience pedagogy
  • Modifiable Temporal Unit Problem
  • Assessment of Geographic Relevance in location-based services
  • Mapping vulnerability to extreme weather events in the UK
  • Spatial characterisation of meteorological variables within the urban environment

Professor Peter Fisher

The Unit is dedicated to the memory of Professor Peter Fisher, who held a personal chair in the Department of Geography, University of Leicester. Pete’s career was truly exceptional for many reasons not least because he was one of the people at the helm of what became known as Geographical Information Science (GISience) as it emerged out of a diverse range of disciplines such as computational and automated cartography in the early 1990s. Pete’s research is best known for his extensive work on uncertainty, especially fuzzy sets. Pete was also editor of the disciplinary journal, the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, from 1994 to 2007.

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