Peter Francis Fisher
Peter Francis Fisher, professor and chair of geographic information systems at the University of Leicester, has passed away. Peter was a prominent figure during the emersion of GIS and served at many academic institutions including Kingston Polytechnic (now Kingston University), Kent State University, City University, as well as the University of Leicester.
He received his degree in environmental science at the University of Lancaster in 1977, after which he received his MSc in pedology and soil survey from the University of Reading. Fisher also received his PhD from Kingston Polytechnic where he studied the plateau gravels of the western part of the London Basin.
His work in the 1980s consisted of research on expert systems and artificial intelligence that sought to automate human processes in the identification and mapping of landscape features. He also developed strong interest in the research on fuzzy sets. The concept of uncertainty in geographic phenomena was also a specialization of his where he looked at spatial data quality, virtual reality, and visualization of geographic information. Fisher critiqued the dangers of the ubiquity of GPS and questioned the impact of locational information on human rights. He was also very committed to peace and green movements.
He is survived by his wife, Jill, and three children, Beth, Kate, and Ian. Peter Fisher will be greatly missed by the many students and young researchers to which he assumed the role of a second father. Fisher taught all levels of students, from undergraduates to masters students, however most recently specifically requested the role of teaching introductory GIS to new students.