Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Directory of People

Bo Zhao

Bo Zhao photo
Assistant Professor
Discipline: Geography, Environmental Sciences, and Marine Resource Management
Office: Strand 347
Phone: 541-737-3497
Email: zhao2@oregonstate.edu
Vita or Résumé


Web GIS, Location Based Social Media, Location Spoofing
Exclusive Interview - Message in a Map
Report on "Terra" - The Great Escape"

Research Interests

My research mainly focuses on the intentionality, use pattern, and social implication of maps, geovisualization, and other forms of geospatial technologies. Confronted with the increasing convergence of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and geospatial technologies, I aim to develop an in-depth perspective of these emerging geospatial technologies and explore how they interact with society and natural environment. I seek thereby to raise public awareness of the multifaceted impacts of geospatial technologies on society. To fulfill this mission, I have analyzed multiple forms of geospatial big data; investigated their characteristics like crowdsourcing, openness, uncertainty, etc.; and described these geographic phenomenon with geo-narratives rather than merely geovisualization. More recently, I have been working on spoofing - a unique intentional behavior performed while generating online locational information, satellite imagery, and even geographic knowledge in general.  My study on spoofing, aligned with today’s prevalent discussion on “fake news”, develops a critical, post-truth perspective on observing the value of maps, geovisualization, and other types of geospatial technologies.

Current Research

  • Storymap.js - a javascript library for digital storytelling with web maps 
  • NeoCarto - a geovisual ananlytical platform
  • GeeViz - Geovisual Analytical Toolkit for Google Earth Engine


  • Non-resident Research Fellow, Harvard University, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, 2018
  • PostDoc, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government (also affiliated to Center for Geographic Analysis), 2016
  • Ph.D.  The Ohio State University, Geography, 2015
  • M.S.  Nanjing University, Cartography and GIS, 2008
  • B.S.  Nanjing University, GIS, 2006




  • X. Chun, B. Zhao. Satellite Image Spoofing: Creating Remote Sensing Dataset with Generative Adversarial Networks (Short Paper). In LIPIcs-Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (Vol. 114). Schloss Dagstuhl-Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik: doi: 10.4230/LIPIcs.GISCIENCE.2018.67
  • Y. Fan, S. Chen, B. Zhao, S. Yu, H. Ji, C. Jiang. Monitoring tidal flat dynamics affected by human activities along an eroded coast in the Yellow River Delta, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 190 (7): doi: 10.1007/s10661-018-6747-7.
  • B. Zhao, X. Huang, D. Sui. (forthcoming) Place spoofing: A case study of the xenophilic copycat community in Beijing, China. The Professional Geographer
  • B. Zhao, S. Zhang. Rethinking spatial data quality: Pokémon Go as a case study of location spoofing. The Professional Geographer: 10.1080/00330124.2018.1479973 
  • Y. Fan, S. Chen, B. Zhao, S. Pan, C. Jiang and H. Ji. Shoreline dynamics of the active Yellow River delta since the implementation of Water-sediment regulation scheme: A remote-sensing and statistics-based approach. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science: 10.1016/j.ecss.2017.11.035


  • D. Sui, B. Zhao, H. Kong. The Development of Copycat Towns in China: An Initial Analysis of Their Economic, Social, and Environmental Implications. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. WP17DS1
  • B. Zhao and Q. Chen. Location Spoofing in a Location-Based Game: A Case Study of Pokémon Go. Lecture Notes Geoinformation, Cartography, Michael P. Peterson (Ed.): Advances in Cartography and GIScience. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-57336-6_2
  • B. Zhao and D. Z. Sui. True lies in geospatial big data: detecting location spoofing in social media. Annals of GIS: 1-14. doi: 10.1080/19475683.2017.1280536


  • B. Zhao, D.Z. Sui and Z. Li. Visualizing the gay community in Beijing with location-based social media. Environment and Planning A. doi:10.1177/0308518X16685885.
  • B. Zhao. Study on the Effects of Human Intention on Spatial Data Quality. International Conference on GIScience Short Paper Proceedings, 1(1). doi: 10.21433/B31180p357ks. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/80p357ks
  • J.C. Liu and B. Zhao. Who speaks for climate change in China? Evidence from Weibo. Climatic Change. doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1883-y
  • Y. Li, J Qiu and B. Zhao. Quantifying urban ecological governance: A suite of indices characterizes the ecological planning implications of rapid coastal urbanization. Ecological Indicators. 72 (2017): 225-233


  • D.Z. Sui and B. Zhao. GIS as Media through the GeoWeb. In Mediated Geographies and Geographies of Media, eds. S.P. Mains, J. Cupples, and C. Lukinbeal. Springer. Berlin.191-208.
  • X. Chen, B. Zhao, and E. Blackard. Unveiling Perceptions of Food Safety Scandals in China: An Exploratory Study with Search Engine. Global Media Journal.
  • S.J. Kay, B. Zhao, and D.Z. Sui. Can Social Media Clear the Air? A Case Study of the Air Pollution Problem. The Professional Geographer, 67:3:351-363.


  • B. Zhao and D.Z. Sui. True Lies in Big Data: Detecting Location Spoofing based on Geographic Knowledge. In Workshops on Big Data and Urban Informatics, ed. P. Thakuriah. Chicago, IL.


  • D.Z. Sui, Z.W. Xu and B. Zhao. Networks in Geography. In R. Alhajj and J. Rokne, Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining (ESNAM) Berlin, Springer.
  • L.J. Zhang, B. Zhao and D.H. Jiang. Research on the Conversion from CAD to GIS Data. Geomatics Technology and Equipment, 14-17. (In Chinese)


  • Z.Y. Chen, M.C. Li and B. Zhao. Geo-Interface - Connecting the Real World with Cyberspace. Science of surveying and mapping, 34. (In Chinese)


  • B. Zhao, M.C. Li and Z.X. Jiang. Using GeoRSS to Syndicate the Spatiotemporal Information. Geospatial Information Technology and Applications, Proc. SPIE 6754, 675428.


  • B. Zhao, X.M. Huang and G.P. Wu. OGC Web Services Based on Ajax Engine. Geospatial Information Technology, Proc. SPIE 6421, 64210R.
  • X.M. Huang and B. Zhao. SVG based Remote Sensing Visualization. Remotely Sensed Data and Information,Proc. SPIE 6419, 64191N.
  • B. Zhao. An Introduction to UMN MapServer. Software World, 20:48~49. (In Chinese)


  • B. Zhao and J.Z. TAN. A Research on Linear Elements Smoothing in the MapInfo. Bulletin of Surveying and Mapping, 6:25~27. (In Chinese)
  • B. Zhao and J.S. MA. Design of XML based Geo Data Model. Geomatics Technology and Equipment, 1:9~12. (In Chinese)
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