Jensen Ziheng Sun, Ph.D.

Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University
Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MSN 6E1, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030 · (703) 993-6124 ·

motto: Keep learning, keep trusting, keep inventing.
expertise: geospatial cyberinfrastructure
Love my work. Believe all the difficulties can be overcome as long as we have faith. In my leisure, the most wonderful thing is playing with my two angel sweethearts. Like sports and reading. Soccer and thriller detective novels are my favorite. A big fan. Thanks for your visit!


Proposed an estimation model for community venue exposure risk in the COVID-19 pandemic using birthday paradox and binomial distribution.
Proposed a complete framework for efficiently managing AI workflows that integrate hybrid cyberinfrastructure resources.
Proposed a new index, Regular Shape Similarity Index (RSSI) to enhance the feature extraction from images.
Proposed a parameterless automatic classification workflow to release people from parameter tuning.
Proposed a location-based service to deliver various types of geospatial information from disparate sources to users in an one-stop app.
Pioneered in using long short term memory neural network to learn the phenological pattern of crops to better recognize them from satellite image time series.


  • Sun, Ziheng, Di, L., Sprigg, W., Tong, D., Casal, M., 2020. Community venue exposure risk estimator for the COVID-19 pandemic. Health & Place 66, 102450.
  • Sun, Ziheng, Liping Di, Hui Fang, and Annie Burgess. "Deep Learning Classification for Crop Types in North Dakota." IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (2020).
  • Ziheng Sun, Liping Di, Annie Burgess, Jason A. Tullis, and Andrew B. Magill. "Geoweaver: Advanced Cyberinfrastructure for Managing Hybrid Geoscientific AI Workflows." ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9, no. 2 (2020): 119.
  • Ziheng Sun, Di, L., Cash, B., Gaigalas, J. Advanced Cyberinfrastructure for Intercomparison and Validation of Climate Models. Environmental Modelling & Software . 2019.
  • Sun, Ziheng, Liping Di, and Juozas Gaigalas. "SUIS: simplify the use of geospatial web services in environmental modelling." Environmental Modelling & Software (2019).
  • Sun, Ziheng, Liping Di, and Hui Fang. "Using long short-term memory recurrent neural network in land cover classification on Landsat and Cropland data layer time series." International Journal of Remote Sensing (2018): 1-22.
  • Sun Z., Di L., Hao H., et al. CyberConnector: a service-oriented system for automatically tailoring multisource Earth observation data to feed Earth science models. Earth Science Informatics, 2017: 1-17.
  • Ziheng Sun, Liping Di, Gil Heo, Chen Zhang, Hui Fang, Peng Yue, Lili Jiang, Xicheng Tan, Liying Guo, Li Lin, GeoFairy: Towards a one-stop and location based Service for Geospatial Information Retrieval. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 2017.
  • Ziheng Sun, Hui Fang, Liping Di, Peng Yue, Realizing parameterless automatic classification of remote sensing imagery using ontology engineering and cyberinfrastructure techniques, Computers & Geosciences, Volume 94, September 2016, Pages 56-67.
  • Sun, Z., Fang, H., Di, L., Yue, P., Tan, X., & Bai, Y. (2016). Developing a web-based system for supervised classification of remote sensing images. GeoInformatica, 20 (4), 1573-7624.
  • Jiang, L., Sun, Z., Qi, Q., & Zhang, A. "Spatial Correlation between Traffic and Air Pollution in Beijing." The Professional Geographer (2019): 1-14.
  • Zhong, S., Di, L., Sun, Z., Xu, Z., & Guo, L. (2019). Investigating the Long-Term Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of Vegetative Drought in the Contiguous United States. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 12(3), 836-848.
  • Zhang, C., Di, L., Sun, Z., Lin, L., Eugene, G. Y., & Gaigalas, J. (2018). Exploring cloud-based Web Processing Service: A case study on the implementation of CMAQ as a service. Environmental Modelling & Software.
  • Tan, X., Guo, S., Di, L., Deng, M., Huang, F., Ye, X., Sun, Z., Gong, W., Sha, Z., Pan, S., 2017. Parallel Agent-as-a-Service (P-AaaS) Based Geospatial Service in the Cloud. Remote Sensing 9(4) 382.
  • Xicheng Tan, Liping Di, Meixia Deng, Fang Huang, Xinyue Ye, Zongyao Sha, Ziheng Sun, Weishu Gong, Yuanzheng Shao, Cheng Huang, Agent-as-a-service-based geospatial service aggregation in the cloud: A case study of flood response, Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 84, October 2016, Pages 210-225, ISSN 1364-8152.
  • Xicheng Tan, Liping Di, Meixia Deng, Jing Fu, Guiwei Shao, Meng Gao, Ziheng Sun, Xinyue Ye, Zongyao Sha, and Baoxuan Jin. Building an Elastic Parallel OGC Web Processing Service on a Cloud-Based Cluster: A Case Study of Remote Sensing Data Processing Service. Sustainability, 2015, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. 14245-14258.
  • Ziheng Sun, Hui Fang, Meixia Deng, Aijun Chen, Peng Yue, Liping Di. Regular Shape Similarity Index: A Novel Index for Accurate Extraction of Regular Objects from Remote Sensing Images. Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on, 2015, vol. 53, no. 7, pp. 3737-3748, DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2014.2382566.
  • Ziheng Sun, Chunming Peng, Meixia Deng, Aijun Chen, Peng Yue, Hui Fang, Liping Di. Automation of Customized and Near-Real-Time Vegetation Condition Index Generation Through Cyberinfrastructure-Based Geoprocessing Workflows. Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of, 2015, vol. 7, no.11, pp. 4512-4522.
  • Ziheng Sun, Peng Yue, Lei Hu, Jianya Gong, Liangpei Zhang, Xianchang Lu. GeoPWProv: Interleaving Map and Faceted Metadata for Provenance Visualization and Navigation. Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on, 2013, vol. 51, no. 11, pp. 5131-5136.
  • Ziheng Sun, Peng Yue, Liping Di. GeoPWTManager: a task-oriented Web geoprocessing system. Computers & Geoscience, 2012, vol. 47, pp. 34-45.
  • Ziheng Sun, Peng Yue, Xianchang Lu, Xi Zhai, Lei Hu. A task ontology driven approach for live geoprocessing in a service oriented environment. Transactions in GIS, 2012, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 867-884.
  • Peng Yue, Jianya Gong, Liping Di, Jie Yuan, Lizhi Sun, Ziheng Sun, Wang Qian. GeoPW: Laying Blocks for the Geospatial Processing Web. Transactions in GIS, 2010, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 755-772.
Conference Papers:
  • Sun, Z., Di, L., Zhang, C., Fang, H., Yu, E., Lin, L., Tang, J., Tan, X., Liu, Z., Jiang, L., 2017. Building robust geospatial web services for agricultural information extraction and sharing, Agro-Geoinformatics, 2017 6th International Conference on. IEEE, pp. 1-4.
  • Sun, Z., Di, L., Zhang, C., Fang, H., Yu, E., Lin, L., Tan, X., Guo, L., Chen, Z., Yue, P., 2017. Establish cyberinfrastructure to facilitate agricultural drought monitoring, Agro-Geoinformatics, 2017 6th International Conference on. IEEE, pp. 1-4.
  • Lin, L., Di, L., Yu, E.G., Tang, J., Shrestha, R., Rahman, M.S., Kang, L., Sun, Z., Zhang, C., Hu, L., 2017. Extract flood duration from Dartmouth Flood Observatory flood product, Agro-Geoinformatics, 2017 6th International Conference on. IEEE, pp. 1-4.
  • Zhang, C., Di, L., Sun, Z., Eugene, G.Y., Hu, L., Lin, L., Tang, J., Rahman, M.S., 2017. Integrating OGC Web Processing Service with cloud computing environment for Earth Observation data, Agro-Geoinformatics, 2017 6th International Conference on. IEEE, pp. 1-4.
  • Di, L., Sun, Z., Yu, E., Song, J., Tong, D., Huang, H., Wu, X. and Domenico, B., 2016, November. Coupling of Earth science models and earth observations through OGC interoperability specifications. In Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2016 IEEE International (pp. 3602-3605). IEEE.
  • Zhang, C., Sun, Z., Heo, G., Di, L., & Lin, L. (2016, July). A GeoPackage implementation of common map API on Google Maps and OpenLayers to manipulate agricultural data on mobile devices. In Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2016 Fifth International Conference on (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
  • Liu, Z., Sun, Z., & Di, L. (2016, July). An analysis of land cover change in Northern Virginia in the first decade of 21st century. In Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2016 Fifth International Conference on (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
  • Zhang, C., Sun, Z., Heo, G., Di, L., & Lin, L. (2016, July). Developing a GeoPackage mobile app to support field operations in agriculture. In Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2016 Fifth International Conference on (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
  • Sun, Z., Di, L., Zhang, C., Lin, L., Fang, H., Tan, X., & Yue, P. (2016, July). Combining OGC WCS with SOAP to faciliate the retrieval of remote sensing imagery about agricultural fields. In Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2016 Fifth International Conference on (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
  • Sun, Z., Di, L., Fang, H., Zhang, C., Yu, E., Lin, L., ... & Yue, P. (2016, July). Embedding Pub/Sub mechanism into OGC web services to augment agricultural crop monitoring. In Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2016 Fifth International Conference on (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
  • Guo, L., Sun, Z., Di, L., & Lin, L. (2016, July). Spatial distribution and variation analysis of Lyme disease in the Northeastern United States. In Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2016 Fifth International Conference on (pp. 1-4). IEEE.
  • Li Lin, Liping Di, Eugene Genong Yu, Lingjun Kang, Ranjay Shrestha, Md. Shahinoor Rahman, Junmei Tang, Meixia Deng, Ziheng Sun, Chen Zhang, Lei Hu, A review of remote sensing in flood assessment. In Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2016 Fifth International Conference on. IEEE.
  • Tan, X., L. Di, M. Deng, A. Chen, Z. Sun, C. Huang, Y. Shao, and X. Ye. "AGENT- AND CLOUD-SUPPORTED GEOSPATIAL SERVICE AGGREGATION FOR FLOOD RESPONSE." ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences II, no. 4 (2015): 13-18.
  • Michael Caleb You, Ziheng Sun, Liping Di, Joe Guo. A web-based semi-automated method for semantic annotation of high schools in remote sensing images. In Agro-geoinformatics (Agro-geoinformatics 2014), Third International Conference on (pp. 1-4). IEEE. 2014.
  • Ziheng Sun, Liping Di, Aijun Chen, Peng Yue, Jianya Gong. The use of geospatial workflows to support automatic detection of complex geospatial features from high resolution images. Agro-Geoinformatics (Agro-Geoinformatics), 2013 Second International Conference on, IEEE. pp. 159-162.
  • Liping Di, Peng Yue, Ziheng Sun. Ontology-supported complex feature discovery in a web service environment. Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2012 IEEE International. IEEE, 2012, pp. 2887-2890.
  • Ziheng Sun, Peng Yue. The use of Web 2.0 and geoprocessing services to support geoscientific workflows. Geoinformatics, 2010 18th International Conference on. 2010.
  • Peng Yue, Ziheng Sun, Jianya Gong, Liping Di, Xianchang Lu. A Provenance Framework for Web Geoprocessing Workflows. In IGRASS International Conference on 2011.
  • Xi Zhai, Jianya Gong, Peng Yue, Ziheng Sun, Xianchang Lu. WYSIWYG Geoprocessing: Coupling Sensor Web and Geoprocessing Services in Virtual Globes, In: The 2011 ISPRS Joint-WG Workshop on "Geospatial Data Infrastructure: from data acquisition and updating to smarter services", 2011 GuiLin, China.


Programming Languages & Tools
  • Java, JavaScript, JSP, C++/C, Shell, R, and Fortran.
  • Deep learning libraries: tensorflow and deeplearning4j.
  • Quantum GIS, ArcGIS, GeoServer, GRASS GIS, OpenLayers, MapWindow, ENVI, ERDAS, eCognition, etc.
  • Apache Cordova, Oracle BPEL, Oracle DataBase, BEA WebLogic, Apache Tomcat, Apache Axis2, Apache Ant, ActiveBPEL, PostgreSQL, Eclipse, Netbeans, IntelliJ IDEA, popular JS graphic libraries (ExtJS, RaphealJS, JQuery, Bootstrap), etc.
  • Windows, Linux (Federa, Ubuntu, Red hat etc), Mac OS (Mavericks), Android.
  • Cloud computing technologies and software (Apache CloudStack).
  • Web and mobile phone applications.
  • DevOps
  • Web Responsive Design
  • Cross Browser Testing & Debugging
  • Cross Functional Teams
  • Agile Development & Scrum


Wuhan University

Doctor of Engineering
Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
September 2011 - June 2015

Wuhan University

Bachelor of Science
Geographical Information Science
September 2005 - June 2009


Research Assistant Professor

George Mason University


October 2015 - present

Research Associate

George Mason University


Feburary 2013 - October 2015

Research Assistant

Wuhan University


September 2009 - December 2012


  • Principal Investigator, NASA ACCESS19 project "GeoWeaver: Building An Open-Source Platform for Enabling Ad Hoc Management, Open Sharing, and Robust Reuse of NASA Earth Data-Driven Hybrid AI Workflows"
  • Institutional PI, NSF project "COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: GI CATALYTIC TRACK: Cyberinfrastructure for Intelligent High-Resolution Snow Cover Inference from Cubesat Imagery"
  • Co-Principal Investigator, NASA project "Satellite-aided regional dust forecasting for Valley fever surveillance, highway accident prevention, and air quality management in the Southwestern United States"
  • Principal Investigator, ESIP lab project "Geoweaver: a web-based system for managing compound geospatial workflows of large-scale distributed deep networks”.
  • Principal Investigator, Microsoft AI for Earth project "AI Monitoring Coal-fired Power Plant Emission from Space"
  • Team Leader of NSF project "CyberWay: Integrated Capabilities of EarthCube Building Blocks for Facilitating Cyber-based Innovative Way of Interdisciplinary Geoscience Studies".
  • Team Leader , NSF project "CyberConnector: an EarthCube building block for facilitating the automatic preparation and feeding of both historic and near-real time Earth Observation customized data and on-demand derived products into Earth science models".
  • Team Leader, OGC Testbed 13. GMU CSISS is responsible for three threads in Testbed 13. Responsible for two components: NR101 Cloud based WPS development; NA101 Agriculture scientist client.
  • Team Leader, OGC Testbed 12. GMU CSISS is responsible for eight threads in Testbed 12. Responsible for five components: A027 GeoPackages Mobile App Data Implementation; A054 Mobile Device GeoPackage Common Map API Implementation; A109 Browser Based Client; A043 WCS SOAP server and A045 WCS Conventional Server.
  • Senior Personnel, OGC Testbed 11: GMU CSISS is responsible for five threads in Testbed 11. Responsible for the implementation of A020 WCS implementation with JPIP supporting the scenario.
  • Senior Personnel, GADMFS: An online operational geospatial service system of agricultural drought monitoring. I am responsible for maintaining the system normal running, generating latest drought data product, developing new functions to enhance the system capabilities and reconstructing the system code to improve user experience.
  • Developer, VegScape: A web service based online system to monitor U.S. national vegetation condition and provide an operational hosting and maintenance service to USDA/NASS. I worked on using the vegetation product provided by VegScape, testing the robustness of the system, providing suggestions for system improving and building Web services to demonstrate and promote the advantages of VegScape.
  • Developer, Metadata Tracking in Geospatial Service Chaining and Geospatial Data Provenance, funded by National Natural Science Fundation of China.
  • Developer, Task-oriented Information Aggregation Service Model in Earth Observation Sensor Web. National Basic Research Program of China (973), Ministry of Science and Technology of China.
  • Principal Investigator, Construct, track and evaluate geospatial service chain in a task-oriented approach, The Doctor Independent Research Fund of Wuhan University.


  • COVID-19 Community Social Risk Estimator (COSRE)
  • CyberConnector: a system can automatically process the EO data into the right products in the right form needed for ESM initialization, validation, and inter-comparison.
  • Geoweaver: AI workflow management systems
  • Geoprocessing Service Kit: A bundle of Web services to complete various kinds of geospatial processing goals
  • GeoFairy – A mobile phone app which succeeds to collect and display nine kinds of the mostly used geospatial information: vegetation (VegScape), weather (OpenWeatherMap), precipitation (NASA AIRS), atmosphere, soil moisture (NASA), altitude (DEMExplorer), agriculture (USDA), land cover (GLCNMO) and land use (CropScape).
  • GADMFS – A Web GIS that provides global NDVI, VCI and Drought datasets derived using tile-based MODIS datasets and implements Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) to support visualization and acquisition of the global data. I am responsible for developing module functions in the system like customizing VCI product according to specific user requirements.
  • MOGRAW – (MODIS-GRASS-WCPS) is an online web prototype system to provide geoprocessing services through OGC WCPS standard interfaces.
  • BPELPower – A BPEL execution engine for composing geospatial web services. I am responsible for developing some external functions modules to combine BPELPower into specific application scenario and perform the significant role to link all the distributed resources together to complete a complex task.
  • WMD – workflow model designer, a tool for general users to design a workflow based on BPELPower. I write code to extend WMD into a system which helps people be aware of all the resources they can use and compose them according to a particular goal in a more intelligent pattern.
  • GeoPWProv – A Web prototype system to capture, record, query and visualize the provenance information generated by geoscientific workflow.
  • GeoPWDesigner – A Web application to compose Geoprocessing Web Services into a logic workflow, instantiate the logic workflow to an executable workflow.
  • GeoPWTaskManager – A Web System to create, edit, manage, execute and monitor the geoprocessing workflows composed by several Geospatial Web Services.
  • GeoPW Ontology Manager – A Web system, which leverages Web 2.0, Sensor Web, Semantic Web and geoprocessing services, allows the use of task ontology to support live geoprocessing (Fig4). The system is an extension of the GeoPWDesigner by supporting the ontologies and Sensor Web technologies.
  • PowerGrid GIS Platform (EPGIS) – A Web platform for the electricity management according to the requirements of the State Grid in China. Responsible the query service, thematic map service, and Web service context.


GGS 210

Spatial Computing
2020 Spring

GGS 681

Social Media Analysis
2021 Spring

Awards & Certifications

  • ESIP Catalyst Award, 2021.
  • NGA Disparate Data Competition Winter. GeoFairy.Map won one of the fifteen cash awards in Oct, 2016 ($10,000).
  • Third prize in the GEO GeoAppathon competition in 2014 ($2,500)
  • NGA Agricultural Field Delineation from Satellite Imagery challenge winner $2,500.
  • Third prize in the EarthServer Big Data Contest in 2014 ($600).
  • EarthCube Early Career Travel Grant in 2018 ($500).
  • The 2010-2011th Trimble Scholarship funded by the Trimble Corporation.
  • Scholarship of Wuhan University Graduate Science Innovation in 2012.
  • Graduate Excellent First Scholarship. 2012-2013. Wuhan University.
  • National Scholarship 2012-2013. Department of Education in China.


  • ESIP winter meeting, Bethesda, MD, 2018.1.9-12. (Poster: CyberConnector & Geofairy)
  • OGC Testbed 13 Demonstration & Exposition, USGS headquarters, Reston, VA. 2017.12.12-13. (Presentation).
  • Agro-Geoinformatics 2017, Fairfax, VA. (Oral & Proceedings)
  • AAG, 2017 April, Boston, MA. 2017. (Oral)
  • NSF EarthCube All Hands meeting, Denver, CO. 2016. (Oral & Poster)
  • ISPRS International Workshop on Spatiotemporal Computing, Fairfax, VA. 2015.07.13-15 (Oral, Proceedings).
  • ESIP winter meeting, Bethesda, MD, 2017.1.11-13. (Poster: CyberConnector & CMAQ)
  • ESIP summer meeting, Durham, NC. 2016.07.19-22.
  • ESIP Winter Meeting 2016, Washington D.C. (Oral & Poster: CyberConnector).
  • ESIP Winter Meeting 2015, Washington D.C. (poster: Geofairy).
  • OGC TC meeting in World Bank, Washington, D.C. 2016.
  • OGC Testbed 12 Demonstration & Exposition, USGS headquarters, Reston, VA. 2016.11.29. (Poster).
  • OGC Testbed 12 Kickoff Meeting, USGS Headquater Building, Reston, VA. 2016. (Oral).
  • OGC Testbed 11 Kickoff meeting, George Mason University, Fairfax, 12-14 Jan 2015.
  • OGC Testbed 10 Kickoff meeting, George Mason University, Fairfax, 7-9 Oct, 2013.
  • Agro-Geoinformatics 2016, Tianjin, China. (Oral & Proceedings)
  • Agro-Geoinformatics 2015, Istanbul, Turkey. (Proceedings)
  • Agro-Geoinformatics 2014, Beijing, China. (Proceedings)
  • Agro-Geoinformatics 2013, Washington, D.C. 2013.08.12-16. (Oral & Proceedings).
  • Geoinformatics 2010 conference on 19 Jun 2010, Beijing, China (Oral, Student competition).


  • IEEE, regular member
  • IEEE young professionals, member
  • IEEE geoscience and remote sensing society, member
  • AAG (American Association of Geographers), member
  • AGU (American Geographyscal Union), member
  • ESIP (Earth Science Information Partners), member
  • OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium), member