David Mark (scientist)

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David Mark
David Mark, December 2012
Born October 7, 1947
Residence Buffalo, New York
Nationality Canada
Fields GIScience
Spatial cognition
Institutions Simon Fraser University
University of Ottawa
University of British Columbia
University of Western Ontario
University at Buffalo
Alma mater University of British Columbia
Simon Fraser University
Thesis  (1977)
Doctoral advisor Thomas K. Poiker

David Mark is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography at the University at Buffalo, USA.

David Mark has made several contributions to research and education in Geographic Information Science (GIScience). His current research interests are in human spatial cognition and language.

Education and Professional career[edit]

He worked at three universities between 1976 and 1978: Simon Fraser University, University of Ottawa, and University of British Columbia. He was an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Western Ontario from 1978 to 1981. In 1981, he moved to the Department of Geography at the University at Buffalo as an Assistant Professor. Mark became to Associate Professor in 1983 and to the rank of Professor in 1987. In 2007, he was conferred with the title of SUNY Distinguished Professor.[1]


2004 UCGIS Researcher of the Year[2]
2007 SUNY Distinguished Professor[1]
2009 UCGIS Educator of the Year[3]
2010 UCGIS Elected Fellow[4]
2013 Robert T. Aangeenbrug Distinguished Career Award (AAG GIS Specialty Group)
2016 Outstanding Alumni Award - Academic Achievement (Simon Fraser University) [5]

Contributions to Geographic Information Science[edit]

David Mark is a scientist, specializing in the field of Geographic Information Science (GIScience). He has authored or coauthored more than 230 scholarly papers which have been cited over 10,000 times.[6] He researches cognitive and linguistic foundations of how geographic information is conceptualized and used. In the 1970s and 1980s, he pioneered methods for representing topography for digital computers, including the earliest methods for the Triangular Irregular Network data model. He is credited for a popular water flow routing GIS algorithm, which specifies how to eliminate spurious pits from digital elevation models.[7] In 1990, David Mark organized with Andrew U. Frank the NATO Advanced Study Institute in Las Navas del Marquez (Spain).[8] This meeting was the origin of research in spatial cognition and linguistics for the field of GIScience. Mark has co-authored several widely cited papers on geographic categorization, geographic reasoning, and the ontology of geographic features. In the early 2000s, Mark and Andrew Turk created the area of study called "Ethnophysiography" to study how language and culture are related to people's naïve conceptualizations of the physical landscape.[9] He continues to work on most of these topics, with special focus currently on establishing a foundational ontology of the landscape.


  1. ^ a b "SUNY Distinguished Professor 2007". 
  2. ^ "2004 UCGIS Research Award". 
  3. ^ "2009 UCGIS Education Award". 
  4. ^ "UCGIS Elected Fellow". 
  5. ^ "Outstanding Alumni Award". 
  6. ^ Kronenfeld, Barry (2010). Warf, Barney, ed. "Mark, David M. (1947-)". Encyclopedia of Geography. Sage Publications: 1856–1857. doi:10.4135/9781412939591. ISBN 9781412956970. 
  7. ^ Mark, David (1984). "Automated detection of drainage networks from digital elevation models". Cartographica. 21 (2–3): 168–178. doi:10.3138/10LM-4435-6310-251R. 
  8. ^ Mark, David; Frank, Andrew. Cognitive and Linguistic Aspects of Geographic Space. Kluver Academic Publishers. 
  9. ^ "Ethnophysiography". The Ethnophysiography Project. Archived from the original on 2013-09-24.