Meiliu Wu

Position title: Dissertator


Advisor: Dr. Qunying Huang

I am a Dissertator in Geography with a minor in Computer Sciences at UW-Madison. I also gained my Master’s degree here majoring in Cartography and Geographic Information Sciences (GIScience) in 2019. During 2019-2021, I worked as a Spatial Big Data Scientist at a start-up company and gained more practical experience in using GIScience techniques to solve real-world problems. The more achievements I gained from my work, the more passionate I became about going further and deeper. That is the reason why I came back to academia and started my PhD career – I enjoy the purity and independence of being a dedicated scholar and conducting research with a collaborative effort. I want to work as a researcher to exchange and implement novel ideas on GIScience, as an educator to spread the beauty of GIScience, and as a humble scholar to explore more possibilities in the power of GIScience.

Currently, my research interests focus on using Geospatial Data Science and GeoAI (e.g., spatially explicit vision-language multi-modal learning, and spatial context prompt engineering) for various geospatial applications, such as human mobility, segregation, and social (in)equity; urban informatics (e.g., mixed land use measurement, urban perception prediction, and city-level image geo-localization in a global scale); and environmental studies and justice (e.g., flood mapping, post-wildfire detection, citizen-sourced application development for rapid disaster response).



  • Ph.D., Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2021 Spring-current, expected 2024 Spring)
    • Dissertation title: A Fundamental Multi-modal Learning Framework with Spatial Knowledge
  • M.S., Cartography & GIScience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (2017-2019)
  • B.S., Geography (GIS & Remote Sensing Emphasis), University of Cincinnati, USA (2015-2017, 2+2 undergraduate program)
  • B.S., GIS & Remote Sensing, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China (2013-2015, 2+2 undergraduate program)
  • Exchange Program, Urban Planning & Surveying, Queensland University of Technology, Brisban, Australia (2015 Fall)


  • Geospatial Data Science
  • GIScience and GeoAI
  • Human Mobility, Segregation, and Social (In)Equity
  • Urban Informatics
  • Environmental Studies and Justice


  • DSFAS-AI: Developing an integrated deep learning model framework for county-level crop yield prediction in support of USDA NASS operation (Project No.WIS04084, National Institute of Food and Agriculture)
  • Spatially explicit multi-modal deep learning for environmental change and challenges in urban environments (Project No.1940091, National Science Foundation)
  • A unified framework for measuring access inequality and environmental (in)justice in a hybrid physical-virtual world (Project No. R01 DA047315, National Institutes of Health)
  • Measuring racial-ethnic and income segregation in US largest cities (Project No. MSN242675, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation)
  • Citizen-sourced social sensing: A case study of developing a cross-platform mobile application for rapid disaster response (Project No. 1940091, National Science Foundation)


  • Geog 574 Geospatial Database Design and Development, Fall 2023 & Fall 2017 (In-person; 40 graduate & undergraduate students); Spring 2019 (Online; 50 graduate students from UW-Madison GIS Professional Programs)
  • Geog 170 Our Digital Globe: An Overview of GIScience and its Technology, Spring 2021 (Online; >250 undergraduate students)
  • Geog 576 Web Interactive Mapping & Geovisualization, Spring 2019 (Online; 50 graduates from UW-Madison GIS Professional Programs)
  • Geog 370 Introduction to Cartography, Fall 2018 (In-person; 80 graduate & undergraduate students)
  • Geog 578 GIS Applications, Spring 2018 (In-person; 40 graduate & undergraduate students)
  • Other responsibilities: developed exams, quizzes, discussions, and assignments; designed and updated syllabuses; coordinated grading with colleagues


Papers in Preparation or Under Review/Revision

*Underlined name is Ph.D. Advisor.

  1. Wu M., Huang Q., 2023. Leveraging ChatGPT-4-V and Spatial-Context Prompts to Build a Vision-Language Geo-Foundation Model for Urban Analytics. International Journal of Geographical Information Science. (Abstract accepted by IJGIS Special Issue on Geo-Foundation Model in Sep, 2023)
  2. Wu M., Huang Q., Gao, S., Lee Y., 2023. Towards spatially-explicit multi-modal learning for understanding urban environments. International Journal of Geographical Information Science. (To be submitted in Dec, 2023)
  3. Wu M., Huang Q., 2023. Towards non-pairwise multi-modal learning informed by Laws of Geography for understanding urban environments. Environmental Science & Technology. (To be submitted in Feb, 2024)
  4. Wu M., Huang Q., Huang X., 2024. Segregated pleasure: Measuring racial-ethnic and income segregation in the entertainment and recreational POIs in US largest cities. Sustainable cities and society. (To be submitted in Apr, 2024)
  5. Wu M., Huang Q., 2024. Citizen-sourced social sensing: A case study of developing a cross-platform mobile application for rapid disaster response. Environmental Modelling and Software. (To be submitted in Jun, 2024)

Papers Under Review/Revision

  1. Wu M., Wong D., Huang Q., 2023. Segregation: what is in a name? A review of segregation measurement and a prospective framework. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. (Under the 2nd review with minor revisions)
  2. Qiu Y., Wu M., Kang Y., Huang Q., 2023. Predicting neighbourhood wealthiness based on street view images and Swin Transformer. Cities. (Under revision)
  3. Tang S., Huang Q., Wu M., 2023. BiAu-Net: Wildfire Burnt Area Detection based on Bi-temporal Sentinel-2 Images and U-Net with attention mechanism. International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. (Under review)

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles, Conference Papers and Book Chapters

Journal Articles

  1. Wu M., Huang Q., Gao S., Zhang Z., 2023. Mixed Land Use Measurement and Mapping with Street View Images and Spatial Context-Aware Prompts via Zero-shot Multimodal Learning. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. DOI:10.1016/j.jag.2023.103591 [PDF]
  2. Wu M., Liu X., Qin Y., Huang Q., 2023. Revealing racial-ethnic segregation with individual experienced segregation indices based on social media data: A case study in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 104 (2023): 102008 – 102021. DOI: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2023.102008 [PDF]
  3. Vongkusolkit J., Peng B., Wu M., Huang Q., Andresen CG., 2023. Near Real-Time Flood Mapping with Weakly Supervised Machine Learning. Remote Sensing. DOI: 10.3390/rs15133263 [PDF]
  4. Liu X., Wu M., Peng B., Huang Q., Graph-based representation for identifying individual travel activities with spatiotemporal trajectories and POI data. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-19441-9 [PDF]
  5. Wu, M. Huang, Q., 2022. Human movement patterns of different racial-ethnic and economic groups in U.S. top 50 populated cities: What can social media tell us about isolation? Annals of GIS, 28 (2):161-183. DOI: 10.1080/19475683.2022.2026471. [PDF]

Refereed Conference Papers (Full-length, equivalent to journal articles)

  1. Wu M., Huang Q., Gao S., 2023. Measuring access inequality in a hybrid physical-virtual world: A case study of racial disparity of healthcare access during CoVID-19. In Proceedings of 2023 30th International Conference on Geoinformatics, Jul 19-21, 2023 London, UK, pg.1-10. DOI: 10.1109/Geoinformatics60313.2023.10247690 [PDF]
  2. Wu M., Huang Q., 2022. IM2City: Image geo-localization via multi-modal learning. In Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on AI for Geographic Knowledge Discovery (GeoAI ’22), ACM SIGSPATIAL 2022, Nov 1-4, Seattle, WA, USA, pg.1-10. DOI: 10.1145/3557918.3565868 [PDF]
  3. Liu X., Huang Q., Li Z., Wu M., 2017. The impact of MTUP: Explore online trajectories for human mobility studies. In Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Prediction of Human Mobility, ACM SIGSPATIAL 2017, Nov 7-10, Redondo Beach, CA, USA, pg.1-9. DOI:10.1145/3152341.3152348 [PDF]

Refereed Conference Papers (Short paper,6 pages)

  1. Wu M.D., Huang Q., Sui T., Wu M., Pixel-wise Wildfire Burn Severity Classification with Bi-temporal Sentinel-2 Data and Deep Learning. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Big Data Technologies (ICBDT 2023) Conference, Sep 22-24, 2023, Qingdao, China, pg.1-6. DOI: 10.1145/3627377.3627433 [PDF]

Refereed Book Chapters

  1. Huang Q., Wu M., 2023. Database Fundamentals. In Xia J., Huang Q., Tu W., and Gui Z., eds. Open GIS. Springer (Under publication)
  2. Huang Q., Wu M., 2023. Relational Databases. In Xia J., Huang Q., Tu W., and Gui Z., eds. Open GIS. Springer (Under publication)

Semi-Refereed (Abstracts only) Conference Papers

  1. Sui T., Huang Q., Wu M., Wu M., “Empowering Urban Wildfire Burnt Area Detection with Deep Learning,” Global Smart Cities Summit cum The 3rd International Conference on Urban Informatics (GSCS & ICUI 2023), Aug 20-23, Hong Kong.
  2. Wu M., Huang Q., Gao S., 2022. “Mixed land use detection via vision-language multi-modal learning,” 2022 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, Dec 12-16, Chicago, IL, USA. ESS Open Archive. DOI: 10.22541/essoar.167252584.47036748/v1.
  3. Huang Q., Peng B., Wu M., Vongkusolkit J., Liu X., Scheele C., 2022. “Big data and GeoAI for natural hazard,” 2022 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, Dec 12-16, Chicago, IL, USA.


  • Mingda Wu. Pixel-wise Wildfire Burn Severity Classification with Bi-temporal Sentinel-2 Data and Deep Learning. 2022/09 – present.
  • Tang Sui. Empowering Urban Wildfire Burnt Area Detection with Deep Learning. 2022/08 – present.
  • Yang Qiu. Using deep learning to predict neighborhood wealthiness based on street view images. 2022/05 – present.
  • Yuehan Qin. Big data mining on social media (tweets) for human mobility using unsupervised machine learning – Latent Dirichlet Allocation Model. 2018/08 – 2019/05


Big Data Mining Engineer, Beijing Digital Union Network Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing, 08/2019 – 01/2021

  • Designed a hybrid positioning system (GPS + Wi-Fi + base station) for a nationwide location-based service with stream data processing frameworks
  • Predicted activity zones based on the trajectories of mobile devices

Big Data Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA, 06/2018 – 08/2018

  • 2018 NASA Ames Internship Symposium: Wu, M., Sorek-Hamer, M., Just, A., Nemani, R. Exploring Diurnal Variations in the Correlation between PM2.5 and Aerosol Optical Depth (Presentation link)
  • Responsibility: Big data analysis and statistical modelling; Satellite image processing; Data visualization using geographic point clouds; UI design using R-Studio Shiny


Session Chair

  • 2023 AAG Annual Meeting
    • AAG 2023 Symposium on Harnessing the Geospatial Data Revolution for Sustainability Solutions: Multimodal Learning with Geospatial Big Data (Link)
    • Symposium on Human Dynamics Research: Exploring Social Inequality and Segregation with Geospatial Big Data (Link)
  • GISphere GISalon International 2023
    • Episode #1: Apply GIS/Cartography/Environment Graduate Programs, Jun 16, 2023 (Link)
    • Episode #2: Apply a Job with GIS/Cartography Major, Sep 14, 2023 (Link)
  • IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2021

Presentation Judge

  • Outstanding Student Presentation Awards (OSPA) program, AGU Fall Meeting, 2022

Student Director

  • AAG Cyber-Infrastructure Specialty Group (CISG), 2023-2024

Manuscript Reviewer

  • International Journal of Geographical Information Science (IJGIS), 2023
  • Scientific Reports, 2022-2023
  • International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 2021-2023
  • Transactions in GIS, 2021-2023
  • IEEE IGARSS Conference, 2020-2023

Graduate Representatives to Faculty/Staff Meetings

  • Department of Geography, UW-Madison, 2022-present

Student Lead of Graduates Social Committee

  • Department of Geography, UW-Madison, 2017-2019


  • 2017 – Present: Member, American Association of Geographers
  • 2021 – Present: Member, The International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences
  • 2021 – Present: Member, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science
  • 2022 – Present: Member, American Geophysical Union
  • 2022 – Present: Member, Association for Computing Machinery


  • 2024 & 2023 AAG Student Travel Award & Grant (Nominated, $500 each year)
  • 2023 University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Symposium Student Paper Award (First Place)
  • 2023 AAG Geographic Information Science and Systems (GISS) Specialty Group Student Honors Paper Award (Second Place)
  • 2023 AAG Cyberinfrastructure Specialty Group (CISG) Robert Raskin Student Competition (First Place)
  • 2022 ACM SIGSPATIAL Student Travel Award & Grant ($1,000)
  • 2022 AAG Spatial Analysis and Modeling (SAM) Student Paper Competition John Odland Award (Second Place)
  • Trewartha/Odebolt Graduate Research Award & Travel Grant ($3,500 in total) – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2021/01 – 2024/05
  • 2021 International Graduate Workshop on GeoInformatics Best Participation Award
  • 2021 28th International Conference on Geoinformatics Best Student Paper Award (Second Place)
  • Dean’s List for Excellent Graduate Students (Top 10%) – University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017 – 2019
  • High Degree Honors in Geography & STEM Research Awards ($1,000) – University of Cincinnati, 2017
  • Undergraduate Global Scholarship ($28,000) – University of Cincinnati, 2016 – 2017
  • National Full-funded Exchange Scholarships ($9,600) – Queensland University of Technology, 2015
  • National Scholarship for Excellent Students (Top 1%) ($1,600) – Ministry of Education of China, 2013 – 2014