The CGA administers the following awards for Harvard students:

Howard T. Fisher Prize in GIS: The Fisher Prize was established in 1999 to promote and reward student work in this broad and potentially interdisciplinary area, from both undergraduate and graduate students at Harvard University.

Howard Taylor Fisher (1903-1979), graduate of Harvard College and architect from Chicago, founded the Laboratory for Computer Graphics (later, Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis) at the GSD in 1965, where he further developed the synagraphic mapping system (SYMAP).  The prize is jointly administered by the Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), funded by a gift from Jack Dangermond (MLA 1969), President of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Inc., the world leading company in GIS (geographic information system) modeling and mapping software and technology. The Technical Advisory Committee for CGA, chaired by Dr. Stephen Ervin, Assistant Dean of the GSD, oversees the award process each year. 

2020 Fisher Prize Award Winner: Emilio Sempris, for the entry: World On Fire: Top 100 Jurisdictions with Wildfire. Judges comments include “A stunning 3D visualization making a statement in easy to understand manner.”  “Great utilization of a global publicly available dataset, presented and rendered in a unique way.”  View the poster.


2019 Fisher Prize Award Winner: Longfeng Wu and Seung Kyum Kim, for their entry: Unequal Territory of Accessing Urban Green Spaces: A comparative Study of 341 Prefecture-level Chinese Cities. Judges comments include “Access to greenspace in a rapidly urbanizing environment is a timely and important topic. This project featured relevant data with well documented sources and robust, logical geographic analysis presented in a well organized, effective, visually pleasing manner."   View the poster.


Davis Center Prize for Excellence in GIS: This prize is sponsored by the Davis Center in support of innovative applications of technology in advancing regional studies. It awards the best geographic information systems (GIS) project relevant to Russian, East European, and Central Asian studies. The prize is offered in conjunction with the Howard T. Fisher Prize for Excellence in GIS and the Annual Conference of the CGA, which usually takes place at Harvard University in early May of each year.


The Esri Development Center (EDC) Student of the Year Award: The EDC Student of the Year is an annual award open to all Harvard students, sponsored by Esri and administered by the CGA. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding achievements in developing novel tools or techniques for geographic analysis. One winner each year will be recognized by a plaque, a $500 cash prize and a complementary registration to present his/her work at the Esri Developer Summit in Palm Springs (March), or the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, CA (summer).

2019 EDC Center Student of the Year Award Winner:  Prasanna Shrivastava, Masters in Sustainability student at the Harvard Extension School, for his submission: Areas Suitable for Solar Water Pump Installations in India.   View the poster.  Judges comments:  "A worthwhile, logically laid out analysis using relevant datasets."  "Well structured from the problem framing, data organization, analysis, and results to the mapping and poster layout."

Award winners 2012-2018


See also: Events