Meridian Lab logo

Barbara P. Buttenfield

Department of Geography, University of Colorado - Boulder

CU logo

Flyfishing adventures on Michigan Lake

Susan Beatty and babs riding the Buffalo Bicycle Classic


MAIL:       Department of Geography, UCB 260,
                  University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309


PHONE: 303.492.3618            FAX: 303.492.7501

OFFICE: Guggenheim 201D

In my spare time, I flyfish, garden, and play music with my husband Bill and friends.

Bill and babs playing Irish tunes on St. Patrick's Day


I came to CU-Boulder in January 1996 to catalyze the GIScience curriculum. I direct the Meridian Lab, a small research lab in the Geography Department where three faculty and roughly a dozen graduate students work on research using GIScience, as well as on research to advance knowledge about GIScience. I am also a Research Faculty Affiliate at USGS Center for Excellence in GIScience (CEGIS).

My specific interests are in cartographic generalization, multi-scale databases, representations of uncertainty, and cartographic information design. I'm working with USGS to generalize the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) for scales ranging from 1:2,400 (civil engineering mapping scale) and 1:24,000 (topographic mapping scale) to 1:1 million (thematic mapping scale).

I am also interested in data integration. I direct an NSF project on census demography which uses PUMS microdata to refine tract-level summary attributes. Dasymetric modeling helps us to improve the small-area estimation, and Monte Carlo simulation establishes statistical confidence in the results.

I served as President of the American Cartographic Association (now the Cartography and Geographic Information Society, CaGIS) from 1995 - 1996, and was a member of the National Research Council's Mapping Science Committee from 1992-1998. I am a Lifetime Fellow of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) as well as of CaGIS. In 2001, I was the inaugural recipient of the UCGIS National GIScience Educator of the Year Award.

babs with Ralphie the CU mascot at the Buffalo Bicycle Classic


Buffalo Bicycle Classic 2009, with Ralphie the CU mascot and with my biking buddy Susan Beatty.

Last modified 20 October 2012