Contact info

212C GG Building
Phone Number:
Research Interests:

GIScience; Urban and Transportation Systems, Network Science, Location-based Social Media Data, Public Health

  • Ph.D , University at Buffalo, State University of New York
  • MSc., ITC, the Netherlands
  • B.S., WTUSM (Wuhan Univ.), China
Of note:

2017. Visiting Guest Professor, University of Vienna. May-July, 2017
2012. Study in a 2nd Discipline (public health) Fellow. University of Georgia. GIS Technologies for Health Research.
2011. Visiting Guest Professor, Tsinghua University, China. June- December, 2011
2004, 2011. Sarah Moss Fellowship Award. University of Georgia.
2010. "Transactions in GIS" Best Paper Award (co-authored with Woo Jang). UCGIS summer assembly, June 15-16, 2010.  Hilton Head, SC.
2005. ESRI-UCGIS Young Scholar Award. University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS).
2004. Nominee (representing SUNY at Buffalo) of Outstanding Dissertation in Social Science and Education for the 2004 NAGS (Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools)’s Outstanding Dissertation Award.
2004. J. Warren Nystrom Award Finalist. Association of American Geographers.
2002. Best Paper Award, GIS Specialty Group Student Paper Competition, AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles,
1993. Best paper award, East China Urban Planning Young Scholar Paper Competition. Shanghai, China.

Selected Publications:


Liu, G. X. Yao, Z. Luo, S. Kang, W. Long, Q. Fan, P. Gao. 2019. Agglomeration Centrality to examine spatial scaling law in cities. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 77 (). (in print and available on-line)

Rickless, D. Yao, X. Orland, B.  Welch-Devine, M. (2019). Assessing social vulnerability through a local lens: An integrated geovisual approach. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. (in print and available on-line) . 

Fan, Q., X.Yao, Spatio-temporal Analysis and Data Mining of the 2014-2016 Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in West Africa. (2019) In Y. Lu., & E. Delmelle (Eds.), Geospatial Technologies for Urban Health. Springer. (accepted)

Yao, X., Huang, H., Jiang, B., & Krisp, J. M. (2019). Representation and analytical models for location-based big data. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 1-7.

Tian, Y., Yao, X., & Chen, L. (2019). Analysis of spatial and seasonal distributions of air pollutants by incorporating urban morphological characteristics. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 75 : 35-48.

Wei, X., & Yao, X. A. (2018). A Conceptual Framework for Representation of Location-based Social Media Activities. In 10th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2018). Melbourne, Australia: Schloss Dagstuhl-Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik. doi:10.4230/LIPIcs.GISCIENCE.2018.62

Xi, D. Q. Fan, X.A. Yao, W. Jiang, D. Duan. (2016). A visual salience model for wayfinding in 3D virtual urban environments. Applied Geography. 75: 176-187.

Sahoo K, G.L. Hawkins, X.A.Yao, K.Samples, S. Mani. (2016). GIS-based biomass assessment and supply logistics system for a sustainable biorefinery: A case study with cotton stalks in the Southeastern US. Applied Energy. 182:260-273. 

Wei, X. and X.Yao. (2015). 3D model construction in an urban environment from sparse LiDAR points and aerial photos – a statistical approach. Geomatica. 69(3).

Brown, C. and X. Yao. (2015). Development of a Nationwide Road Change Database for the U.S. in the Post–Recession Years (2008–2012). Chapter 10. In Francis Harvey and Yee Leung (eds) Spatial Data Handling 2015. Springer.

Chen, A., Yao, X. A., Sun, R., & Chen, L. (2014). Effect of urban green patterns on surface urban cool islands and its seasonal variations. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 13(4):646-654

Wei, X. and X.Yao. (2014). A Hybrid GWR-Based Height Estimation Method for Building Detection in Urban Environments. ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences 2(2):23-29.

Wei, X. and X.Yao. 2014. Random Walking Value for Ranking Spatial Characteristics in Road Networks. Geographical Analysis 46(4):411-434.

Jang, W. and X.Yao. 2014. Track Ethnically Divided Commuting Patterns Over Time – Method and a Case Study of Metropolitan Atlanta. Professional Geographers. 66(2):274-283.

Yao, X. and S. Zhang. 2014.Social-spatial structure of Beijing: a spatial-temporal analysis.  International Journal of Society System Science. 6(1):18-33.

Shen, Z., X.Yao, M. Kawakami, P. Chen, M. Koujin. 2012. Integration of MAS and GIS using Netlogo. In Z.Shen (eds) Geospatial Techniques in Urban Planning, Advances in Geographic Information Science. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pp.369-388.

Jang, W. and X. Yao. 2011. Interpolating Spatial Interaction Data. Transactions in GIS. 15(4):541-555

Coleman, J.B., X. Yao, T. Jordan, and M. Madden., 2011. Holes in the Ocean: Filling Voids in Bathymetric Lidar Data. Computers and Geosciences. 37(4):474-484

Shen, Z., X.Yao, M. Kawakami, P.Chen., 2011. Simulating spatial market share patterns for impacts analysis of large-scale shopping center on downtown revitalization. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. 38(1):142-162.

Kim, H. and X. Yao., 2010. Pycnophylactic interpolation revisited: integration with dasymetric method. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 31(21):5657-5671.

Yao, X. , 2010. Modeling and analyzing cities as spatio-temporal places. In B.Jiang and X.Yao (eds) Geospatial Analysis and Modelling of Urban Structure and Dynamics. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. pp.311-328.

Yao, X. and Jiang, B., 2009. Geospatial Modeling of Urban Environments Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. 36(5):769-771.

Thill, J.C. Kretzschmar, W.A., Casas, I. and Yao, X. , 2006. Detecting geographic and socio-economic associations in English dialect features with self-organising maps In Agarwal, P. and Skupin, A. (Eds) Self-Organising Maps: Applications in Geographic Information Science, Wiley.

Yao, X. and L. Zou., 2008. Interoperable Internet Mapping - An Open Source Approach. Cartography and Geographic Information Science. 35(4):279-293.

Yao, X. and J.C. Thill, 2007. Neuro-Fuzzy Modeling of Context-Contingent Proximity Relations. Geographical Analysis: An International Journal of Theoretical Geography. 39(2):169-194.

Yao, X., 2007. Examining Potential Demand of Public Transit for Commuting Trips Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems. 31(5):535-550

Jiang, B. and Yao, X. , 2006. Location-Based Services and GIS in Perspective. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 30(6): 712-725.

Yao, X. and Thill, J.C. , 2006. Spatial Queries With Qualitative Locations In Spatial Information Systems. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 30(4):485-502.

Yao, X. and Thill, J.C., 2005. How Far Is Too Far – A Statistical Approach To Proximity Modeling. Transactions in GIS. Vol. 9(2): 157-178.

Yao, X. and B.Jiang, 2005. Visualization of Qualitative Locations. Cartography and Geographic Information Science. 32(4):219-229.

Thill, J.C. and Yao, X., 1999. Urban Land Management in Transitional Countries: A Decision Support Prototype for Shanghai. In J.C. Thill (ed) Spatial Multicriteria Decision Making and Analysis: A Geographic Information Sciences Approach, Brookfield, VT: Ashgate. pp. 175-197.


Jiang, B. and X. Yao (eds), 2010. Jiang, B. and X. Yao. (eds) 2010. Geospatial Analysis and Modelling of Urban Structure and Dynamics. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. ISBN: 9048185718.

Dang, A. and X.Yao.  Spatial Analysis Techniques and Applications in Planning. Tsinghua University Press. (Textbook in Chinese) (In Press)

Guest Edited Journal Volumes

Yao, X. H. Huang, J. Krisp, B. Jiang. 2018. Representation and Analytical Models for Location-based Social Media Data and Tracking Data. Special Issue International Journal of Geographical Information Science.

Yao, X. and B. Jiang, M. Madden, Y. Liu. (2016). New Insights Gained from Location-based Social Media Data. Special Issue Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems.

Yao, X. and B. Jiang. 2009. Geospatial Modeling of Urban Environments. Special Issue in Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. 36(5).