University of Wisconsin–Madison

A-Xing Zhu

Title: Professor of Geography and The Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies


Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1994

Research Areas

Geographical Information Science Environmental Modeling with GIS Physical Geography

Current Research

Theoretical and Methodological Foci:
Mapping spatial variation using "soft knowledge" Watershed system science and GIS-based environmental modeling Spatial data mining and knowledge discovery Uncertainty in GIS and its propagation through environmental models

Application Areas:

Soil survey using GIS, artificial intelligence and fuzzy logic (SOLIM) Wildlife habitat mapping using "soft knowledge" Landslide mapping using GIS, remote sensing and fuzzy logic Best landuse management practice using GIS-based environmental modeling and scenario analysis

Courses Taught

Geography 120: Introduction to Global Physical Environment
Geography 377: Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Geography 577: Environmental Modeling with GIS
Geogrpahy 578: GIS Applications
Geography 579: GIS and Spatial Analysis
Geography 765: Intro. to Geogrphic Inquiry & Analysis
Geography 970: Seminar in GIScience


Editor-in-Chief of Annals of GIS (Taylor & Francis)
Elected Chairman of the Pedometrics Commission of International Union of Soil Science;
Adjunct Professor, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences;

Recent Publications

Zhu, A.X., F. Liu, B. Li, T. Pei, C. Qin, G. Liu, Y. Wang, Y. Chen, X. Ma, F. Qi, C. Zhou, accepted. "Differentiation of soil conditions over flat areas using land surface feedback dynamic patterns extracted from MODIS", Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Pei, T., C. Zhou, A.X. Zhu, B. Li, C. Qin, accepted. "Discovering Clusters in Spatio-temporal Data Using Windowed Nearest-Neighbour Method", International Journal of Geographic Information Science.

Pei, T., A.X. Zhu, C. Zhou, B. Li, C. Qin, accepted. "Detecting Feature from Spatial Point Processes Using Averaging Nearest-neighbor", Computers, Environment and Urban Systems.

Qin, C. A.X. Zhu, X. Shi, T. Pei, B. Li, C. Zhou, Accepted. "The quantification of spatial gradation of slope positions", Geomorphology. Liu, J.,

Zhu, A.X.
, 2009. Mapping with Words: A New Approach to Automated Digital Soil Survey, International Journal of Intelligent Systems 24, 293-311.

Behrens, T., K. Schmidt, A.X. Zhu, T. Scholten, Accepted. "Multi-scale digital terrain analysis and feature selection for digital soil mapping", Geoderma.

Zhu, A.X.
, Yang, L., B.L. Li,C.Z. Qin,T. Pei, B.Y. Liu, Accepted. "Construction of quantitative relationships between soil and environment using fuzzy c-means clustering", Geoderma.

Pei, T., A. Jasra, D.J. Hand, A.X. Zhu, 2008. "DECODE: A new method for discovering clusters of different densities in spatial data", Data Mining and Knowledge Discover. DOI: 10.1007/s10618-008-0120-3.

Yang, F.H., A.X. Zhu, K. Ichii, M.A. White, H. Hashimoto, R.R. Nemani, 2008. "Representativeness Analysis of the Ameriflux Network", Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1029/2007JG000627, 2008. Qi, F.,

Zhu, A-X.
, Pei, T., Qin, C., and Burt, J.E., 2008, Knowledge discovery from are-class resource maps: capturing prototype effects, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 35(4) 223-237.

Zhu, A.X.
, 2008. "Spatial Scale and Neighborhood Size in Spatial Data Processing for Modeling Nature Environment". In: Mount, N. J., Harvey, G. L., Aplin, P. and Priestnall, G., Representing, Modeling and Visualizing the Natural Environment: Innovations in GIS 13, CRC Press, Florida, pp.147-165.

Zhu, A.X.
, L. Yang; B. Li, C. Qin, E. English, J. E. Burt, C.H. Zhou, 2008. "Purposefully sampling for digital soil mapping". In: A.E. Hartemink, A.B. McBratney and M.L. Mendonca Santos (eds.) Digital Soil Mapping with Limited Data, Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 233-245.

Zhu, A.X.
, Burt J E, Smith M, Wang R X, Gao J., 2008. The impact of Neighbourhood Size on Terrain Derivatives and Digital Soil Mapping. In: Q. Zhou, B. Lees G. Tang (eds.) Advances in Digital Terrain Analysis. Springer-Verlag, New York, pp.333-348.

Zhu, A.X., 2008. "Rule based mapping". In: J.P. Wilson and A.S. Fotheringham (eds) The Handbook of Geographic Information Science, Blackwell, Malden, MA, pp. 273-291.

Awards and Honors

Hamel Faculty Fellow Award, UW-Madison Vilas Associates Award, UW-Madison;
The ASPRS Intergraph Award for best paper in spatial data standards, 1998 

Graduate Students and Postdocs

Fei Du (Ph.D) – Dissertation: Spatial Pattern Discovery Using Visual Analytics
Jamon Van Den Hoek (Ph.D) – Dissertation: Influence of Ethnic Variability on Spatial Heterogeneity of Forest Cover Change
Jian Liu (Ph.D) – Dissertation: Towards Mapping Soil Spatial Variation with Satellite-based Observations of Surface Dynamics
Ping Wang (Ph.D) – Dissertation: Detailed Spatial Modeling for Best Landuse Management Practice

Contact Information


Mailing Address:

Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin-Madison
550 North Park Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53706-1404 USA

Phone: (608) 262-0272

Fax: 6082653991