The GEOAI Initiative

The worlds of artificial intelligence (AI) and geospatial data and technology have become intertwined in countless ways. AI – to include Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), and Computer Vision (CV) – has found a home in its application to all manner of geospatial data such as satellite, airborne, and ground collected imagery, drone-collected data, telemetry data, and crowd-sourced features, as well as location-enabled and geospatially-aware data feeds collected by countless other kinds of sensors, the Internet of Things, and increasingly now, robots. The collision of Geo and AI has resulted in the world of GeoAI which has spawned the rapid evolution of tools, techniques, scientific insights, and ethical consideration by industry, academe, governments, and the social sector.

In order to further build community and accelerate innovation while actively considering the ethical dimension of this fast growing field, the American Geographical Society has launched the GeoAI Initiative.

Our goal is to convene thinkers, innovators, researchers, practitioners, educators, students, policy makers, and concerned citizens around this complex set of issues to shine a light on both the opportunities and perils posed by this exciting field.

We will do this with podcasts, blog posts, virtual sessions, networking opportunities, and after global pandemic subsides, an ongoing series of face to face events. All AGS members are invited to recommend content and activities. And, all organizations are invited to become involved in the activity as sponsors, both big and small. Anyone interested can email us at

Episode One:

Meet the Advisory Board

Anne is the Founder and CEO of Radiant Earth Foundation, a non-profit aggregating the world’s open Earth imagery, providing access and education on its use for global development. Analyzing imagery and mapping data, Anne’s passion for mapping has become enmeshed with her commitment to uplifting communities around the world. Her efforts provide geospatial analytics to inform decision-making on empowering communities struggling with social, economic, and environmental challenges. 

Anne has 30 years of remote sensing experience in both the government and private sectors. Before Radiant Earth Foundation, she was the President and CEO of two commercial remote sensing companies and also directed remote sensing and GIS programs for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Geography from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.


Bryan is the Director of Data and AI within IT Modernization Centers of Excellence at the US General Services Administration (GSA). He is also the Founder of Data XD, the world’s fastest-growing cross-domain community of practice for data analysts. An intuitive technology leader, Lane understands technology performance through data collection and analysis. Prior to his public service at GSA, Bryan spent nearly a decade leveraging geospatial data and emerging technology to mitigate the effects of roadside bombs on the battlefield. He has led half-a-dozen technology evaluations for the federal government in areas such as remote sensing, advanced automation, data management, and advanced analytics. Currently, he advises federal agencies on establishing mature data governance and management practices, formulating savvy methods for leveraging data as a strategic asset. 

Bryan has worked in the commercial geospatial industry as well as the defense and national security industry. He received his B.S. in Economics from George Mason University. He is also a writer, public speaker, and a professional cage fighter.


Wenwen leads the CyberInfrastructure and Computation Intelligence Lab in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. She has shaped the frontiers of academic GeoAI research, blending her work in geographic information systems with a focus on cyberinfrastructure, big data, semantic interoperability, spatial information retrieval, distributed geospatial information processing, and spatio-temporal reasoning – which she has applied to many disciplines, from polar science and climatology, to public health, hydrology and urban studies. 

Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Open Geospatial Consortium and more. In 2015, Wenwen was the recipient of NSF’s most prestigious award for junior faculty, the NSF CAREER Award.  She has received her B.S. in Computer Science from Beijing Normal University, her M.S. in Signal and Information Processing from the Chinese Academy of Science, and her Ph.D. in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences from George Mason University.


Abe is the Co-CEO at Black Cape, a data tech company. Still, he finds time to continue hands on technical leadership as Lead Engineer, where he architects, designs, and develops machine learning capabilities that detect patterns and unknown relationships in complex data related to geolocation and human behavior. Hi is an award-winning technology leader and data scientist. His innovative ideas have not only been praised but featured in leading publications such as Wired Magazine, Business Week, Network World, CNET News, Trajectory Magazine, and the Geospatial Intelligence Forum. He has also presented talks at Harvard Business School, MIT, General Electric, the Nielsen Company, National Defense University, and more. 

Before his current role, Abe was the Chief Technology Officer at HumanGeo Group, a Big Data analysis company as well as an Engineer for Google, where he worked on the integration of search and geospatial technologies such as Google Maps. He has served his country in both the U.S. Air Force as a cryptologist and in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Leader. He received his B.S. in German and Arabic from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point and his M.S. in Information Systems and Software Engineering from George Mason University.