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Professor Bol led the Harvard University-wide effort to establish support for geospatial analysis in teaching and research. He was named first director of the Center for Geographic Analysis when it was founded in 2005. As a leading advocate and user of GIS for research and teaching, Bol is the director of the China Historical GIS, the China Biographical Database, and is co-instructor of the massive open online course, ChinaX, with Prof. William Kirby. Professor Bol is co-founder of the WorldMap project.