Dr Stephen Wise

School of Geography and Planning

Honorary Staff


Full contact details

Dr Stephen Wise
School of Geography and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

Steve Wise graduated in Geography from Bristol University, and then spent 4 years in London, firstly as a PhD student looking at sediment movement using Cs-137 and Pb-210 dating techniques, and then as an RA on a project on prehistoric landuse in SE Spain. He then spent 10 years in University computer centres, providing general advisory services and supporting a range of graphical and mapping software packages. During this period Steve was involved with the ESRC-funded Wales and South-West Regional Research Laboratory, and chaired a committee which selected ARC/INFO for purchase for the whole academic community. Steve Wise joined the University of Sheffield in 1990, where he lectured in GIS.

Out Now: GIS Fundamentals, Second Edition

With GIS technology increasingly available to a wider audience on devices from apps on smartphones to satnavs in cars, many people routinely use spatial data in a way which used to be the preserve of GIS specialists. However how spatial data is stored and analysed on a computer still tends to be described in academic texts and articles which require specialist knowledge or some training in computer science. Developed to introduce computer science literature to geography students, GIS Fundamentals, Second Edition provides an accessible examination of the underlying principles for anyone with no formal training in computer science.

Research interests

My main research interests can be grouped under three headings. My primary interest is in the analysis of errors in Digital Elevation Models – what is the nature of DEM error, how best can it be measured and what effect does it have on analytical results produced using DEMs. A recent interest is in the potential which global DEMs offer us to address some fundamental questions in geomorphology, using geomorphometric techniques. Over the years I have also worked on methodological developments in GIS in a number of areas, including data capture and spatial analysis.

  • DEM error
  • Geomorphometry
  • GIS methodolog
Professional activities and memberships

Steve Wise is on the Steering Committee of GISRUK, which organises a major UK GIS conference each Easter and he was a member of the JISC/OS liason committee which was involved in obtaining access to Ordnance Survey digital mapping for higher education establishments in the UK.

When not working he is usually involved in musical activities of one sort or another. He is a member of an Appalachian String Band called the Down Trodden String Band and he helps organise music and dance events in his home town of Bakewell. Most Thursday evenings will find him playing guitar and octave mandolin in the regular music session in The Manners, Bakewell.