Dr David Forrest

  • Senior University Teacher (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)

telephone: 01413305401
email: David.Forrest@glasgow.ac.uk

Research interests

I have broad interests in cartography & GI research.

The main theme focuses on the improvement in usability of GIS to help non-cartographers design and produce sensible maps. This involves the development of knowledge based systems, the theoretical issues that underpin them and the necessary data and meta data structures to make data more accessable and usable. Improving the usability of geospatial data is linked with an Ordance Survey sponsored research group. Developing an improved data model for geoscience data has been carried out in conjuction with GeoloGIS Ltd.

Another main interest is the content and design of topographic maps, especially at medium scales, and the representation of topographic information on maps. Currently I have been researching the development of the International Map of the World at 1:1Million scale and its use as a base for thematic mapping.

I pursue a number of issues related to tourist mapping and other maps for public information such as public transport maps; the provision of tourist/public information on the Internet; and the design and use of maps in mobile GIS. Some of this ties in with the ICA Commission on Use and User Issues.

Over the years I have published several articles on cartographic & geomatics education.

I have been involved in projects related to Geographic names and their use. One investigation looked at the change of names of sea areas over time and the application of dual naming of sea areas.

In the past I have been active in perceptual research, but now tend to concentrate on how such work can be applied to cartographic systems to assist non cartographers to produce sensible maps.

Although currently not active in these fields, I keep up to date with research in generalisation, geovisualisation, geospatial data structures and location based systems and map production.


Forrest, D. 2012-13. Development of a Comprehesive Campus Geodatabase. UofG Chancellor's Fund

Forrest, D. 2012. GeoloGIS Geospatial Databases. Encompass First Step Award.

Forrest, D. 2010. Geological GIS. Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher.

Forrest, D. 2011-12. The International Map of the World .... Carnegie Trust.

Forrest, D. 2010-12. The International Map of the World .... Helen and John S. Best Fellowship, American Geographical Society Library.

Forrest, D. 2007-8. Dual language names in areas of international extent North East Asia Historical Foundation.

Forrest, D. 2004 Terrain modelling & communal tenure in Egypt. Carnegie Trust.


Robin Seet - Determination of Low Water Mark for Marine Cadastre in Malaysia

I also regularly supervise 4-6 MSc projects each year, mostly on cartographic and GIS topics.


  • Programme Director for the MSc programmes in Geomatics.
  • Most of my teaching focuses on cartography and GIS on the MSc in Geoinformation Technology & Cartography, including courses in: Principles of Map Design & Geovisualisation; Population & Statistical Mapping; Internet & Mobile GIS; and smaller units on Geospatial data infrastructures, Geospatial data modelling and Use & user issues in cartography.
  • I lead the Research & Professional Issues course for the Geomatics programmes and co-ordinate the MSc Projects.
  • I also teach some GIS to undergraduate geographers and an Honours option in Geovisualisation.

Additional information

I am currently Convenor of the Science Taught Programmes Committee, which overseas undergraduate Science degrees, and Convenor of the Science Progress Committee.

Within the School I am the co-ordinator of Postgraduate Teaching, and am on the School's Learning & Teaching Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee.

Outwith the University I am active in the British Cartographic Society (Council member 1991-present; President 2000-2002); Chair of the UK Committee for Cartography; Vice-chair of the ICA Commission on Use & User Issues; and Chair of the Helensburgh branch of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

When not involved with maps in some way, I race on a 10m yacht in the summer and enjoy curling in the winter.