Dr Michael Evans Martin

PhD (SFU), MA (UBC), BSc(Hons) (Queen’s U)


I joined the School of Environment as a Lecturer in Geography in November 2018. Before coming to Auckland, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University, Canada (2016-18). In addition to these academic positions I have served as founder of a digital charity named Mapping Across Borders and briefly as co-founder of a Geospatial AI startup. I received my PhD in 2017 from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Canada.

Research | Current

My research is focused on developing and investigating new avenues for geographic information science (GIScience). GIScience has recently been transformed through the inclusion of big data and social media. New dimensions of spatial inquiry including qualitative GIS and GeoAI are now able to pose questions that were previously not possible, including:

  • How are the social dimensions of Obesity expressed through social media and can this data augment traditional data collection?
  • What would a geographic artificial intelligence accomplish?
  • How well does digital location data explain who you are? Can activity tracking differentiate and predict who you might be and where you will go?


GIScience is a pragmatic discipline, and as such these questions are explored using empirical databases collected from a multitude of data sources, geospatial algorithms, and interrogated using the traditions of critical GIS. Maps are not value-neutral and algorithms reflect their creators, so as new capabilities are uncovered they are understood through their contexts in society.

Teaching | Current

GISC 140 – Geographic Information and Spatial Thinking (contributor)

GISC 242 – Spatial Analysis for Human Environments (contributor)

GISC 342 – Geographic Programming and Development (contributor)

Areas of expertise

  • GIScience, Qualitative GIS, GeoAI, Digital Volunteerism, Health GIS, Critical GIS

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 4, Room 419
New Zealand