Pror Ian Masser receives GSDI Global Citizen Award

Ian MasserEmeritus Professor Ian Masser received the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Global Citizen Award in 2016, only the fourth time this award has been made since the founding of GSDI. “This is the greatest moment in my life,” Masser said, “I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard the news.”

Global Citizen AwardProf Masser’s acceptance speech, which will be online shortly from our website - ‘Looking back on SDI developments with an eye to the future’ - draws upon his own experiences over the last 30 years and will reconsider the four Brave New GIS Worlds scenarios of future developments put forward in 1996 in the light of subsequent events, with particular reference to the diffusion of SDIs that has taken place throughout the world and the impacts of technological innovation and the development of the GIS industry on society as a whole.






The GSDI Association occasionally recognizes globally an individual who has provided exemplary thought leadership and substantive worldwide contributions in promoting informed and responsible use of geographic information and geospatial technologies for the benefit of society and fostering spatial data infrastructure developments that support sustainable social, economic, and environmental systems integrated from local to global scales. The recipient, if any, is selected by past recipients of the award and the GSDI Association executive committee which consists of its past president, president, and president-elect. Professor Masser is only the fourth person to be nominated for the award.

Educated in geography and town planning at Liverpool University, he held senior positions at the University of Liverpool, the State University of Utrecht, the University of Sheffield and the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Nearly half his time was spent in Sheffield where he was Professor of Town Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield for nearly 20 years. During a career that spans more than 60 years, Ian has visited more than fifty countries in all five continents. Born in York and, like a true Yorkshireman, he notes with some pleasure that most of the costs of his travels were born by government bodies and universities.

Further information

Emeritus Professor Ian Masser retired from the position of Professor of Urban Planning and Management at ITC in the University of Twente in the Netherlands in September 2002. He was the Founder Chairman of the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe (AGILE) from 1998 to 1999, President of the European Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information (EUROGI) from 1999 to 2003, and the first President of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association from September 2002 to February 2004.

He was the National Coordinator of the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Regional Research Laboratory initiative from1986 to 1991and co-directed the European Science Foundation’s GISDATA scientific programme from 1992 to 1997. His publications include twenty books and more than 300 contributions to conference proceedings, books and scientific journals.

Prof Masser has held visiting positions at universities in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Switzerland and the United States and at government research centres in Korea and Malaysia. He has also acted as advisor to a large number of national and international agencies including the European Commission, Eurostat, OECD, UNCRD and the World Bank.

Download Prof Masser's acceptance speech here (PDF).

View or download the video of Prof Masser's speech here (

See the Global Citizen Award Certificate here (PDF).


Ian Masser at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +44 129885232
Secretary General of the GSDI Association, Roger Longhorn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +32 59435396