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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Geography

Faculty & Staff Directory

Zhenlong Li

Assistant Professor
Department of Geography
University of South Carolina

Phone Number: 803-777-4590
Office: Callcott 320
Curriculum vitae: Download PDF


Dr. Zhenlong Li joined the Department of Geography as an Assistant Professor in 2015 after receiving his Ph.D. in Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences from the George Mason University (GMU). Dr. Li has a B.S. (2006) in GIS from Wuhan University and an M.S. (2010) in Earth System Science from GMU. He served as a GIS engineer in Heilongjiang Bureau of Surveying and Mapping from 2010 to 2012. Currently, Dr. Li is serving on the Editorial Board of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Association of American Geographers(AAG) Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group.


Dr. Li’s primary research field is GIScience with a focus on spatial computing, big data analytics, and geospatial cyberinfrastructure/cyberGIS. By synthesizing cutting-edge computing technologies, geospatial methods, and spatiotemporal principles, his research aims to accelerate spatial information extraction and advance knowledge discovery to support domain applications such as climate analysis, disaster management, human dynamics, and public health. For example, how to synthesize very large datasets in order to quickly identify the spatial relationships between two climate variables (a computational problem)? How to find spatial and temporal patterns of human activities during disasters in large datasets that are notoriously ‘dirty’ and biased as a population sample (e.g., Twitter data)? He has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, most of which have appeared in top journals in GIScience and other related fields such as International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, International Journal of Digital Earth, and Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

More can be found at Dr. Li’s homepage and lab website.

Representative Publications 

Li Z., Wang C., Emrich C., Guo D.  A novel approach to leveraging social media for rapid flood mapping: a case study of the 2015 South Carolina floods, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, DOI: 10.1080/15230406.2016.1271356 (available online now)

Li Z., Hodgson M., Li W. A general-purpose framework for large-scale Lidar data processing, International Journal of Digital Earth, DOI: 10.1080/17538947.2016.1269842 (available online now)

Martin Y., Li Z., Cutter S. 2017. Leveraging Twitter to gauge evacuation compliance: spatiotemporal analysis of Hurricane Matthew, PloS ONE, 12(7), e0181701.

Li Z., Huang Q., Carbone G., Hu F. 2017. A High Performance Query Analytical Framework for Supporting Data-intensive Climate Studies, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 62(3), 210-221

Yang C., Huang Q., Li Z., Liu K., Hu F. 2017. Big Data and cloud computing: innovation opportunities and challenges, International Journal of Digital Earth DOI:10.1080/17538947.2016.1239771, 10(1),1-41.

Li, Z., Hu, F., Schnase, J. L., Duffy, D. Q., Lee, T., Bowen, M. K., Yang, C.  2016. A Spatiotemporal Indexing Approach for Efficient Processing of Big Array-based Climate Data with MapReduce. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 31(1)

Huang Q., Li Z., Li J. 2016. Mining Frequent Trajectory Patterns from Online Footprints, Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on GeoStreaming, October 31, 2016, San Francisco, California, USA.

Li Z., Yang C., Yu M., Liu K., Sun M. 2015. Enabling Big Geoscience Data Analytics with a Cloud-based, MapReduce-enabled and Service-oriented Workflow Framework, PLOS ONE, 10(3), e0116781.

Xia J, Yang C, Liu K, Li Z,Sun M, Yu M, 2015. Forming a global monitoring mechanism and a spatiotemporal performance model for geospatial services, International Journal of Geographic Information Science, DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2014.968783