Does this sound familiar?

The stages of the creative process. Encountered in every paper, or thesis. Does this sounds familiar?


Our latest grant in the UMaine News

For more information, check this link

GSN Lab shows demos at the UMaine Open University Day

Today, UMaine celebrated the research at UMaine with an Open University Day during the 150 year anniversary Homecoming celebrations, open to the public. We demo-ed the live soil moisture sensor network from the blueberry barrens as well as a field based temperature network, and had a good turnout of visitors. Thank you everyone for participating!


New publication “Emerging Technological Trends likely to Affect GIScience in the Next 20 Years”

In July 2015, Silvia Nittel, Lars Bodum, Keith Clarke, Michael Gould, Paulo Raposo, Jayant Sharma, and Maria Vasardani served as members of the “Emerging Technological Trends likely to Affect GIScience in the Next 20 Years” panel, which was part of the Twenty Year Anniversary of the International Early-Career Scholars Summer Institutes in Geographic Information Vespucci Institute in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2015. In this book chapter, the panelists summarize their findings about major technological developments that potentially will required novel research in GIScience.

Find the paper here.

New publication “Real-time Sensor Data Streams”

We published a new article in the SIGSPATIAL Newsletter, Vol 7(2), July 2015. The article is a gentle introduction to real-time sensor data streams and efficient data management technologies.

Find the .pdf here.


S. Nittel, 2015, “Real-time Sensor Data Streams“, SIGSPATIAL Newsletter, Special Issue “Geosensor Networks”, Vol 7(2), pp. 22-28.

Our project “From Streams to Fields” has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

Our project, entitled “III: Small: From Real-Time Sensor Data Streams to Continuous Field Data Models: Formal Foundations and Computational Challenges,”(PI: Silvia Nittel, Co-PI: Max Egenhofer) was funded by the National Science Foundation. The award has started Sep. 01, 2015.

See the announcement here.

Project Scope:

Massive sensor data streams are created from the automatic collection of sensor data in high frequency and in near real-time today. This project aims to advance the analytical potential of live-streamed data, historical data streams, and model simulations by creating an overarching representation in the form of the field data model with a set of operators that establish the field algebra.

A field is best explained as, for example, a magnetic field; the magnetic force can be determined for each point in a magnetic field and the field is therefore considered to be continuous. Similarly, environmental phenomena such as air pollution or flooding are considered to be continuous in space and time although they are sampled at limited, discrete time-space locations with sensors. This project develops the field algebra which is an intuitive, yet mathematically defined formalism to represent real-world phenomena as fields and to express analytical needs as canonical operations over fields. The field model represents phenomena as continuous entities again, and the implementation hides the fact that their spatio-temporal continuity is calculated on the-fly based on real-time measurements streams.

Extending sensor data streams to fields is transformative, as rarely a domain scientist is interested in the readings of individual sensors. Allowing scientists to work with high-level abstractions will significantly enhance their analytical tasks such as finding insights about changes, trends, or unexpected events happening in the real world. The project will integrate fields and data streams mathematically so that mappings between both are well-defined. The field data model is complemented by the development of an innovative computational framework for synthesizing and analyzing fields based on very large numbers of high throughput, real-time sensor data streams, and for creating continuous representations on-the-fly. This framework provides novel algorithms to assure that the field operators can absorb the throughput of very large numbers of sensor data streams, yet still compute complex analytical results in near real-time. This project will benefit our society by enabling us to react to situations such as extreme weather events, environmental disasters or chemical accidents immediately, and organize response effort based on accurate and timely information; this will help to protect the public interests better.

More information and results will be made available on the project website (

Welcome to new grad students in the Geosensor Networks Lab!

I would like to welcome three new graduate students in the Geosensor Networks Lab!

Joel Whitney pursues a Master of Science in Spatial Information Science and Engineering; he recently earned a  B.S. in Ecology from UMaine, and has been a field manager for Cherryfield Farms for several years (our blueberry expert!)

Joel Whitney

Joel Whitney

Oghenetega (or Tega) Dibie has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of Maine, and also pursues a Master of Science in Spatial Information Science and Engineering.

Tega Dibie

Tega Dibie

David Fedorchak pursues a PhD in Spatial Information Science and Engineering; he received a M.S. of Spatial Information Science and Engineering in 2000, and has 20 years of work experience in military sensor applications.

David Fedorchak

David Fedorchak


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