Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming)  Tsou

 Human Dynamics is a transdisciplinary research field focusing on the understanding of dynamic patterns, relationships, narratives, changes, and transitions of human activities, behaviors, and communications.

Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou
Professor, Department of Geography,
Director, Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA)
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-4493
current e-mail: mtsou@mail.sdsu.edu
Phone number: (619) 594-0205, Office: Storm Hall 313C

Ming's Picture

C.V. Curriculum Vitae  (HTML-format) with downloadable publications.  

C.V. (PDF version)

Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou
 is a Professor in the Department of Geography, San Diego State University (SDSU), the Director of the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA).  He received a B.S. (1991) from National Taiwan University, an M.A. (1996) from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Ph.D. (2001) from the University of Colorado at Boulder, all in Geography. His research interests are in Human Dynamics, Social Media, Big Data, Visualization, Internet mapping, Web GIS, Mobile GIS, Cartography, and K-12 GIS education. He is co-author of Internet GIS, published in 2003 by Wiley and served on the editorial boards of the Annals of GIS (2008-), Cartography and GIScience (2013-) and the Professional Geographers (2011-). Tsou was the Chair of the Cartographic Specialty Group (2007-2008), the Chair of Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group (2012-2013) in the Association of American Geographers (AAG), and the co-chair of the NASA Earth Science Enterprise Data System Working Group (ESEDWG) Standard Process Group (SPG) from 2004 to 2007.  He has been served on two U.S. National Academy of Science Committees: “Research Priorities for the USGS Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science” (2006-2007) and “Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: A Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps” (2012- 2013). Since 2008, Tsou served as a senior researcher in the GeoTech Center for promoting GIS education in community colleges and high schools over six years ( http://www.geotechcenter.org/). In 2010, Tsou was awarded to a $1.3 million research project funded by National Science Foundation and served as the Principle Investigator (PI) of, "Mapping ideas from Cyberspace to Realspace" (http://mappingideas.sdsu.edu/) research project (2010-2014). This NSF-CDI project integrates GIS, computational linguistics, web search engines, and social media APIs to track and analyze public-accessible websites and tweets for visualizing and analyzing the diffusion of information and ideas in cyberspace. In 2014, Tsou established a new research center, Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (http://humandynamics.sdsu.edu/), a transdisciplinary research area of excellence at San Diego State University to integrate research works from GIScience, Public Health, Social Science, Sociology, and Communication. Tsou is the founding director of the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA) (http://humandynamics.sdsu.edu/).


Doctor of Philosophy, Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2001.
Master of Arts, Geography, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1996.
Bachelors of Science, Geography, National Taiwan University, 1991.


Ph.D. Dissertation Title: (2001, University of Colorado at Boulder)

Dissertation Title: A Dynamic Architecture for Distributing Geographic Information Services on the Internet.

Click here to see the abstract and download the Full dissertation in Word.


2003  Published  Book:

Internet GIS: Distributed Geographic Information Services for the Internet and Wireless Networks, authored by Dr. Zhong-Ren Peng and Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou.  Published by Wiley. 2003.   ( http://map.sdsu.edu/gisbook/ )

Internet GIS book


2013  Edited Special Issue : Mapping Cyberspace and Social Media


 (in Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Volume 40, Issue 2, 2013).

CaGIS special issue




TV-NEWS and Newspaper Interview:

 2014, January 31, ABC10News – San Diego, ‘SDSU researcher: Using Twitter to track the flu could save lives’ 
 2013, November 08, KPBS Interview: Social Media Analysis and the San Diego Mayor's Race.

KPBS Interview

2013, December 12, Health24, ‘Social media will help to monitor disease outbreaks’ 

2013, December 3, U ~ T San Diego,

U-T News flu monitor

‘Researcher to Test If Twitter Can Help Spot Flu Trends’  

2013, November 21, HuffPost, ‘Twittter Could Tell You Where Flu is Ramping Up, Study Suggests’ 

2013, November 19, ScienceDaily, ‘Hashtag Health’ 

2013, November 9,  News Center, ‘Hashtag Health’ 

2012, November 15, KPBS, ‘Using Twitter To Predict Elections—Or The Flu’ Click here to see this video on YouTube 

2011, September. 360 Magazine, ‘Mapping Cyberspace’Mapping cyberspace is one of many ways SDSU faculty are leading innovation and discovery, a key initiative of the Campaign for SDSU. With a unique focus on the teacher-scholar model, SDSU attracts researchers interested in solving the world’s most pressing problems, while showing students how to provide future solutions. Learn more about how SDSU leads innovation and discovery, and how you can help.

2010, November 11. News SDSU Mapping Cyberspace A $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help SDSU researchers create new ways to analyze the spread of information and ideas on the Internet. The multidisciplinary cyber-infrastructure innovation project will map cyberspace by tracking the flow of information and monitoring its movement on the Internet. 

2010.  Bizarre Map Challenge Competition.  http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=72067
Voice of San Diego. 

"SDSU Professor Maps the Future
By MOLLY BETTIGA, Voice Contributing Writer, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005    http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/education/article_fa75f6f6-81e4-51ba-b520-5138358fc9ed.html

KUSI Channel 9 News
KUSI Channel 9 News (Morning News), San Diego, November 30, 2005.
The highlights of CESAR lab and the visualization of San Diego Wildfire 2003 in Google Earth Demo. at San Diego State University. (WMV format).(Click Here to download or view the Video) WMV format  

KUSI Channel 9 News - 2003KUSI-9News, San Diego,  June 20, 2002The introduction of GIS research with Mobile devices, GPS, and remote sensing technologies at the Department of Geography, San Diego State University. (MPEG Movie Format)(Click Here to download or view the Video)  MPEG format.   








1. Mapping Cyberspace to Realspace: Visualizing and Understanding the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Global Diffusion of Ideas and the Semantic Web. NSF, Division of Computer and Network Systems,

NSF Program CDI-Type II. Award # 1028177. 2010 - 2014 + One Year No-Cost Extension (2015), funding: $1.3 millions.


Project Abstract:

The project integrates geographic information systems (GIS), geographic information science (GIScience), computational linguistics (CL), and semantic web (computer-based ontology) technologies to track and analyze public-accessible websites for progressively more defined clusters of words and phrases that characterize actual and potentially developing networks of social processes. Human and natural crises (e.g., epidemics), and hostile social movements (e.g., militia and hate groups) are examined as illustrative exemplars of the utility of such an integrated system. Website pages and web contents with identified clusters of words or phrases will be mapped (by geo-referencing their web addresses, URL, place names, gazetteers, blogs, etc.) over a world map (using GIS tools) with time stamps. The resulting map will provide a visual "information landscape" consisting of hundreds of website locations (using real world coordinate systems) containing related keywords or similar ideas. When integrated with time-series analyses, this map will allow examination of the paths and speed of information dissemination, as well as the evolving varieties of various ideas and their relationships. By creating a Semantic Web Automatic Reasoning and Mapping System (SWARMS) prototype, researchers can visualize the spread of concepts, ideas and news over time and space. Clusters of keywords and phrases will be identified and classified, and references to key ideas, provocative events, and important text sources will be collected. This innovative methodology could be applied in multiple languages and other applications, such as cellular phone text messages and social network messages (such as twitter messages).

Click here to download a THREE-page introduction about this project. 

Mapping website Screenshot 




2. GIS Mapping for Older Adult Services in San Diego




This project attempts to identify gaps in health care services for the older populations of San Diego County. Through the use of a readily available, interactive Geographic Information System (GIS), healthcare agencies will be able to better understand the demographic of current and potential clients, identify which areas lack vital services, collaborate with other service providers, and develop strategies to reach out to underserved populations.


3. The Connectory GIS improvement project.


The Connectory "is an online resource that captures the capabilities and capacities of primary industry and technology companies and their supply chains across the U.S." To improve access to this information, the Connectory has partnered with the Geography department at SDSU for improvements to the current web map interface.




Movies (Mobile GIS applications)

NEW! Location Based Services in iPod Touch (Google Earth)
Demonstration of Location-based Services ( LBS) (Google Earth, Google Map) on iPod Touch

Professor Tsou 

3D Touch Table
This is an interesting demonstration of the touch panel plasma screen which allows us to interact with geospatial data in real time. It takes us one step ahead to visualize, analyze, collaborate and allows us to make better decisions.

Video demonstrating 3D touch panel plasma screen 
Click here to download this video!





Mobile GIS Movie Download (created in 2002)

(WMV format)

 Mobile GIS movie

Mobile GIS Movie WMV (640x480 resolution)

Mobile GIS Movie Download (created in 2002)


mobile GIS movie 2

Mobile GIS Movie MPEG (320x240 resolution)


An old version of Internet GIS overview (in 2004), published on the GIS@development magazine.

Tsou, 2004,  Present Reality and the Future of Internet GIS.  at GIS@development, Vol. 8(7), pp. 29-32.


(Alternative download here)


Tsou, 2005.  Recent Development of Internet GIS at GIS@development:  http://www.gisdevelopment.net/technology/gis/techgis_002pf.htm


An old version of the explanation of cyberspace?

Some of my photos are HERE:

New Photos


Ming's picture- small Dr.  Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou.  Chinese name: 鄒明祥.  Professor.  San Diego State University

 Department of Geography.

 This is one of my favorite stories:  "A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he'd cut in Night City, and still he'd see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void".... written by William Gibson, Neuromancer, 1984.

Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou ( Ming Tsou ) Homepage.