The data that shapes our world: Leveraging geospatial data and AI for positive social impact


  • John Christian Nacpil Thinking Machines Data Science, Philippines


Geospatial data − data that maps objects, events, processes, and other features to a specific location on the Earth's surface − are a powerful tool to understand the world around us. Many geospatial datasets, including satellite imagery, maps, weather station data, etc. are openly available, presenting a rich opportunity for impactful research work. Coupling advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) with open-sourced data enriches our understanding of large-scale datasets. In this talk, we will walk through how geospatial data analytics and AI come together ("GeoAI") to extract meaningful information and solve complex problems up to a global scale, and discuss exciting new developments and research directions in the space. We will also highlight some of our work at Thinking Machines that focus on GeoAI for social impact, including computer vision for detecting aquaculture intensification, and open-source poverty estimation models for Southeast Asia.

About the Speaker

John Christian Nacpil, Thinking Machines Data Science, Philippines

John Christian Nacpil is a Geospatial Data Analyst at Thinking Machines Data Science, a leading data technology consultancy specializing in AI and data solutions based in the Philippines. He obtained his double Bachelor's Degree in Applied Physics and Materials Science and Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University. Prior to industry work, he was a researcher in the Regional Climate Systems Laboratory of Manila Observatory, contributing to the Southeast Asia Regional Climate Downscaling/Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment − Southeast Asia (SEACLID/CORDEX-SEA) project. He also contributed to work on photonic integrated circuits as a research assistant in the Research on Optical Science, Engineering, and Systems (ROSES) Laboratory, Ateneo Innovation Center. At present, he is actively working in the space of geospatial data science and AI, working closely with organizations to support their efforts in climate action, sustainability, and development.



Article ID



Invited Presentations



How to Cite

JC Nacpil, The data that shapes our world: Leveraging geospatial data and AI for positive social impact, Proceedings of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 41, SPP-2023-INV-2G-01 (2023). URL: