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Senior Researcher in GIScience, Geoinformatics, Spatial Data Science and Land Use Change at Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). Former Director of INPE (2005-2012) and Director of the Secretariat of Group on Earth Observations (GEO) from 2018-2021.

Gilberto Câmara: researcher and environmental policy expert

My work combines GIScience research and public policy. I work with multidisciplinary teams to address challenges such as tropical deforestation, agriculture mapping, land use policy, social exclusion, spatial segregation, and urban growth modelling. I am internationally recognized for promoting free access for geospatial data and for setting up an efficient satellite monitoring of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

What I believe in

Geographical space provides a unifying framework for understanding the impacts of our actions on nature and society. Geographic information science and technology are essential to help humankind deal with the ongoing global environmental crisis. By modelling the structures and processes that bring about change in geographical space, GIScience can support better decision-making in crucial times for our planet.


Senior Researcher at INPE, Brazil
Working on R&D in big Earth observation data analytics and land use change modelling.

Director of Secretariat of GEO (Group on Earth Observations)
GEO is an inter-governmental organisation that supports countries and institutions to use Earth observation for sustainable development.

Visiting Professor, Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster, Germany
(2013 – 2015)
Courses on GIScience and Spatio-Temporal Modelling, advised MsC thesis, and did research on big data analysis.

Director, INPE (Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research)
(2005 – 2012)
During my term, INPE’s budget grew from US$ 90 million in 2004 to US$ 250 million in 2010. INPE’ data supported a major decrease in the deforestation in Amazonia.

Researcher at INPE (Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research)
Advised 25 PhD dissertations and 28 Master thesis and published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers cited more than 12,500 times (Google Scholar, April 2020). Emeritus researcher since retirement in 2016.


  1. Fellow, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC),  University of Twente (Holanda), 2009.
  2. Doutor Honoris Causa, Geosciences Faculty, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany), 2011.
  3. Senior Member, Association for Computing Machinery, 2011.
  4. Commander of the Order of Scientific Merit, Brazil, 2012.
  5. Pecora Award for contributions to Remote Sensing, NASA/USGS, 2012.
  6. Chevalier of the Ordre National du Mérite of France, 2012.

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