Professor and head of the lab

Jonathan Li

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Fax: 519-746-0658
Phone: 519- 888-4567, ext. 34504
Office: Environment 1-111


Jonathan Li is professor of geomatics at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management and cross-appointed at the Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo. He holds a PhD degree in geomatics engineering from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to joining the University of Waterloo in 2007, he was on the faculty at Ryerson University and the University of Regina (2000-2006). Professor Li’s research interests lie mainly in the areas of remote sensing and geospatial data science. The focus is placed on use of the state-of-the-art Earth observation and mobile mapping systems to derive spatial and attribute information to support effective urban-suburban planning and environmental management activities; to extract geometric information of urban structures for developing theories and models of urban morphology; to detect land use and land cover changes to study spatiotemporal dynamics and consequences of urbanization as a major form of global changes.

Professor Li’s recent research projects are about the development of innovative AI-based algorithms, methods, and software tools for handling large-volume geospatial data; the development of sensor-driven mobile mapping solutions to modeling of roadway environments; the development of remote sensing approaches to understanding urban growth and examining the environmental consequences of urban expansion. He has pioneered methods using mobile laser scanning to extract roadway objects to support developments in intelligent transportation systems and smart cities.

Professor Li is the co-inventor of both EcopiaTech's     image2map AI technology and's point2map AI technology. He is a forerunner in the fields of artificial intelligence, and HD mapping. He is a prolific researcher with more than 400 peer-reviewed research publications at top journals and conferences, holds more than 20 patents and patent applications, and has given over 50 invited talks in both academic and professional organizations. His innovative research and developments have been recognized in various fields with numerous international and national awards and recognition. ​

Professor Li is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) licensed with Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and a Senior Member of IEEE societies of Geosciences and Remote Sensing, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Computational Intelligence. He serves on a number of international and national scientific committees, including as Chair of the Inter-commission Working Group I/Va on Mobile Scanning and Imaging Systems (2012-2016) of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and Chair of Commission on Sensor-driven Mapping (2015-2019) of the International Cartographic Association (ICA). He is Associate Editor of several prestigious journals, including IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, etc.

University of Waterloo

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