Dr Peter Collier
Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3HE
I graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1977 with a BSc in Surveying and Geography. I was awarded a PhD by the University of Aston for a study of land use and soil erosion in Jamaica. I have held a number of travelling fellowships to carry out research on environmental degradation and irrigated agriculture in the Middle East and in 1996 was a Visiting Fellow at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. I also ran a training programme in remote sensing for the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and taught on COMETT programmes at the Universite de Rennes 2, France.
- Remote Sensing applications in environmental monitoring & management
- Historical Cartography
- History of Geography
Current Research Projects
My research interests centre around the application of remote sensing and GIS technologies (including photogrammetry) for environmental monitoring at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. In particular, I am interested in developing applications in areas and at spatial scales where these technologies have not previously been applied. Among the ongoing research is a valuation of the use of terrestrial photography, stereo-micrography and oblique photography for metric purposes. Most of this work involved the use of analytical photogrammetry, but has now being extended to the use of digital photogrammetry. Recent projects have included studies of wing icing and stone weathering.
I also have a research interest in the histories of intellectual and social networks and their influence on the development of academic geography and the mapping sciences, especially where these histories interconnected in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Work to date has included studies of the influence of the networks on the development of surveying teaching at the Royal Geographical Society, on British military mapping during the First World War in Sinai, Palestine and Mesopotamia, on the connection between surveying and intelligence gathering in the Ottoman Empire, and on the development of air survey in the Ordnance Survey between the First and Second World Wars. Research in this area is currently being supported by a grant from the British Academy.
I have served on the advisory panel for Volume Six, the Twentieth Century, of The History of Cartography published by the University of Chicago Press, and have nearly finished writing 24 entries for that volume. In 2010 I was asked to assist the editor, Mark Monmonier by taking on some of the editing of entries. In 2009 I was also asked to join the advisory panel for Volume 5, the Nineteenth Century, and will be expected to supply some entries. In 2007 I was appointed Vice-Chair of the Commission on the History of Cartography of the International Cartographic Association and organised a symposium in Portsmouth in 2008 on “Shifting Boundaries”: History of Cartography in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2007 I was also appointed Deputy Editor of the journal Survey Review, and will take over as editor in mid 2011.
I am also currently involved in a project (with Alastair Pearson, University of Portsmouth, and David Forrest, University of Glasgow) which is studying world topographic mapping. This project aims to identify good practices and to produce a series of studies on different aspects of topographic maps. Work has already been carried out which has looked at the changes in mapping and publication policy in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe
I am currently supervising research on the impact of firewood collection on forest cover in Northern Nigeria and I have recently supervised research in the following areas:
- Use of remote sensing in semi-arid zone agriculture (Israel and Saudi Arabia)
- Use of remote sensing in the coastal zone (Egypt and Southern Britain)
- Use of GIS in historic landscape reconstruction
- Integration of remote sensing and GIS for forest management
- Application of very close-range photogrammetry in stone weathering studies
- Use of GIS for environmental hazard assessment
- Land use and soil erosion in Jamaica
I would be interested in supervising further research in any of these areas or in any other areas related to my own research.