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Guoray Cai

Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology

Associate Professor of Geography

Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

Penn State University

Biographical Information

Dr. Guoray Cai is an Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University, with affiliate appointments in Geography as well as in Computer Science and Engineering.   He is the founding director of the Spatial Information and Intelligence Laboratory, which is housed in the College of IST.   He is also a member of GeoVISTA center and Center for Human-Computer Interaction.   Dr. Cai conducts research in the areas of information retrieval, geographical information science, human-computer interaction and communication, and visual mediation of collaborative work.   He has published papers in the international journals such as Proceedings of IEEE, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Transactions in GIS, Geoinformatics, Environment and Planning B, and international journal of NETWORKS.  He is a member of ACM, IEEE, and ASPRS.



Dr. Cai’s personal Website:

Dr. Cai’s Research group:

I am always looking for motivated graduate students to work with me on various projects

How to apply: Contact Dr. Guoray Cai ( with a letter of interest by email for consideration. You must have completed graduate school application and follow the guidelines of the graduate program of IST ( Deadline for graduate school applications is December 15, 2013.


Contact Information for Guoray Cai


Phone: (814) 865-4448



Ph.D., Information Science, University of Pittsburgh. 1999

M. A., Geography, West Virginia University, 1993

M. E., Electrical Engineering, Tianjin University, China. 1986

B. E., Electrical Engineering, Tianjin University, China, 1983


Research and Teaching

Cai's research includes geographical information systems, geocollaboration, human-computer interaction, information retrieval, and spoken-dialogue systems. His recent work involves developing visually-mediated multimodal interactions techniques for enabling geocollaborative crisis management.


Dr. Cai teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of relational databases, spatial databases, and geographical information science, visual analytics, and .


Active Research Projects


NSF / ITR: DAVE_G: Dialogue-Assisted Visual Environment for Geographic Information.

For more details, please download a flyer and a video clip of our prototype


NSF /DGP:  GeoCollaborative Crisis Management

Download a video of GCCM prototype


Recent Publications

Cai, G., Yu, B., and Chen, D., 2013, "Modeling and Communicating the Conceptual Intent of Geo-Analytical Tasks for Human-GIS Interaction," Transactions in GIS, vol. 17, pp.

Cai, G. and Yu, B., 2012, “Event-based Awareness Promotion Through Reasoning on Activity Dependencies,“ The 10th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Intelligence and Computing (PiCom-2012), Changzhou, China, Dec. 17-20, 2012

Yu, B. and Cai, G, 2012, “Coordination of emergency response operation via event-based awareness mechanisms,” ISCRAM’2012 - The 9th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, April 22-25, 2012 Vancouver, Canada.

Cai, G. 2011, “Relevance Ranking in geographical information retrieval.” ACM SIGSPATIAL Letters, vol.3, issue 2, pp. 33-36.

Cai, G. an Yu, B., 2010, “Using Intentions and Plans of Mobile Activities to Guide Geospatial Web Service Composition.”  Proceedings of 2010 IEEE Asia-Pacific Services Computing Conference, December 6 - 10, 2010, Hangzhou, China.  pp. 141-148.

G. Cai and B. Yu, "Spatial annotation technology for public deliberation," Transactions in GIS, vol. 13, pp. 123-146, 2009.

B. Yu and G. Cai, 2009, "Facilitating Participatory Decision-Making in Local Communities through Map-Based Online Discussion," in The Fourth International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T 2009), University Park, PA.

Cai, G. 2008 “Modeling Contextual Knowledge for Adaptive Geographic Visualization” Proceedings of the International Conference on Virtual Geographic Environment, Hongkong, China, January 7-8, 2008

Fuhrmann, S., MacEachren, A. M., Cai, G., (2008) “Geoinformation technologies to support collaborative emergency management,” Hsinchun Chen, Lawrence Brandt, Valerie Gregg, Roland Traunmüller, Sharon Dawes, Eduard Hovy, Ann Macintosh, and Catherine A. Larson, (Eds.), Digital Government: Advanced Research and Case Studies, Springer.  Pp. 395-420

Yu, B. and Cai, G. (2007) “A query-aware document ranking method for geographic information retrieval”, in Proceedings of the 4th ACM workshop on Geographical information retrieval, ACM: Lisbon, Portugal. pp.49-54.

Cai, G. 2007,“Formalizing Analytical Discourse in Visual Analytics,” Proceedings of VAST’2007 – IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology, Sacramento, CA, Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 2007

Cai, G. (2007) "Contextualization of geospatial database semantics for mediating human-GIS dialogues." GeoInformatica 11(2) pp.217-237

MacEachren, A. M. and Cai, G. (2006) "Supporting Group Work in Crisis Management: Visually mediated human-GIS-human dialogue." Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. 33(3), pp. 435-456.

Cai, G., Sharma, R., MacEachren, A.M., and Brewer, I. (2006) “Human-GIS Interaction Issues in Crisis Response”. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management. (special issue on GIS in Crisis management) 6(4), pp. 388-407.

MacEachren, A. M., G. Cai, Brewer, I., and Chen, J. (2006) "Supporting map-based geocollaboration through natural interfaces to large-screen display." Cartographic Perspectives54(1), pp. 4-22

Cai, G. and Xue, Y. (2006) “Activity-oriented Context-aware Adaptation Assisting Mobile Geo-spatial Activities.”  ACM IUI’2006 – International Conference on Intelligent User Interface, Sydney, Australia, January 29 – February 1, 2006.

Cai, G. and MacEachren, A. (2005) "Supporting effective human interactions with geographic information during crisis response." GeoMatica 59(4): 415-25.

Cai, G. (2005) “Extending distributed GIS to support geocollaborative crisis managementGeographical Information Science. (Special issue on distributed GIS) 11(1): 4-14.

Cai, G., Wang, H., MacEachren, A.M., and Fuhrmann, S. (2005) 'Natural Conversational Interfaces to Geospatial Databases'. Transactions in GIS, 9(2), pp.199-221.

MacEachren, A M, Cai, G, Sharma, R, Brewer, I and Rauschert, I (2005) “Enabling collaborative geoinformation access and decision-making through a natural, multimodal interface”. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 19(3): 293-317

MacEachren, A.M., Gahegan, M., Pike, W., Brewer, I., Cai, G., Lengerich, E., and Hardisty, F. (2004) 'Geovisualization for knowledge construction and decision support IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications. 24(1) pp.13 - 17.

Cai, G. (2004) “Visualization for Geographical Information RetrievalNew Technology in Library and Information Services Special issue on information visualization. 2004(10): 14-23.

Sharma, R., Yeasin, M., Krahnstoever, N., Rauschert, Cai, G., Brewer, I., MacEachren, A., and Sengupta, K. (2003) 'Speech-Gesture Driven Multimodal Interfaces for Crisis Management'. Proceedings of the IEEE. 91(9) pp.1327-1354. (special issue on human-computer multimodal interface)

Cai, G, Wang, H, MacEachren, A.M. (2003) “Communicating vague spatial concepts in human-GIS interactions: a collaborative dialogue approach”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2825: Spatial information theory - Foundations of Geographic Information Science; COSIT 2003 Proceedings, Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland. September 24-28, 2003. pp. 287 - 300

Cai, G. (2002) “GeoVIBE: A Visual Interface for Geographical Information in Digital Libraries,” Lecture Notes on Computer Science 2539: Visual Interfaces for Digital Libraries (Springer Verlag) pp. 171-187

Cai, G. (2002) “GeoVSM: An Integrated Retrieval Model For Geographical Information,” Lecture Notes on Computer Science 2478: Geographical Information Science: Second International Conference on GIScience, Boulder, Colorado, September 25-28, 2002.  pp. 65-79.

Rauschert, I, Agrawal, P, Fuhrmann, S, Brewer, I, Sharma, R, Cai, G, et al. (2002) “Designing a user-centered, multimodal GIS interface to support emergency management”. In: Proceedings of the tenth ACM international symposium on Advances in geographic information systems. Chen S-C and Voisard A. (eds.) McLean, VA: ACM, 2002: 119-124. 05. Edited by Kantor P, Muresan G, Roberts F, al. e. Atlanta, Georgia, Springer, 2005, pp 429-435.

Cai, G. 2002, "A GIS Approach to the spatial assessment of telecommunications infrastructure," Networks and Spatial Economics, (special issue on Geographical Information Science). vol. 2, pp. 35-63.

Cai G. and Sun Y., 1989, "The Minimum Augmentation of Any Graph to a K-edge-connected Graph". NETWORKS, Vol.19 (1989), no. 1, pp.151-172

Cai G. and Sun Y., 1986, "The Minimum Augmentation of Any Connected Graph To a K-edge-connected Graph". Proceedings of IEEE 1986 International Symposium on Circuits and Systems. Held in San Jose, CA, May, 1986. pp.984-987.