Xiang Chen

215 Glenbrook Rd, AUST #431 · Storrs, CT 06269 · (860) 486-3664 · xiang.chen@uconn.edu

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Connecticut, USA. My research interests are focused on GIScience , community health, and transportation . I employ GIS instruments (e.g., big data analytics, geovisualization, deep learning) and accessibility theory to unveil the socioeconomic inequalities and health repercussions as results of the lack of health-promoting services and resources in communities. I also have research interests in location models, network analysis, and remote sensing.


University of Connecticut, USA

Assistant Professor, Geography
2019 - Present

Arkansas Tech University, USA

Assistant Professor, Emergency Management
2014 - 2019


The Ohio State University, USA

Ph.D. Geography
2009 - 2014

Beijing Normal University, China

M.M. Resource Science
2007 - 2009

Beijing Normal University, China

B.S. Resource Science
2003 - 2007


The novel and infectious coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, unfortunately, is unfolding upon us. At this critical time, I am heavily involved in COVID-19 research and services.

Epidemic Modeling

We propose an epidemic model to simulate COVID-19 infection on the town level. The model predicts cases of infection in every Connecticut town under different social distancing scenarios

[G]   Chen X, Zhang A, Wang H, Gallaher A, Zhu X. (2020). Compliance and containment in social distancing: mathematical modeling of COVID-19 across townships. medRxiv, Under review. [Web] [PDF]

Web Mapping

Our department develops a COVID-19 web map product at the town level for Connecticut: covidct.org.

We identify a cartographic issue inherent in most COVID-19 maps.

[H 31]   Adams A, Chen X, Li W, Zhang C. (2020). The disguised pandemic: The importance of data normalization in COVID-19 web mapping. Public Health, Online first.  [Web] [PDF]


We propose a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model to examine the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on tourism. The model supports the policy of providing tourism consumption vouchers to boost the tourist economy.

[H 30]   Yang Y, Zhang H, Chen X. (2020). Coronavirus pandemic and tourism: Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium modeling of infectious disease outbreak. Annals of Tourism Research, Online first.  [Web]  [PDF]  [News]

Food Procurement

We have developed a survey to understand people's food procurement behaviors during COVID-19. The survey can be accessed from covid-survey.org. Follow-up research is underway.

[H 35]  Wang Y, Xu R, Schwartz M, Debarchana D, Chen X* (2020). COVID-19 and retail grocery management: Insights from a broad-based consumer survey. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 48(3), 202–211.  [Web] [PDF]



Peer-review Journal

* Corresponding Author

[H 35]  Wang Y, Xu R, Schwartz M, Debarchana D, Chen X* (2020). COVID-19 and retail grocery management: Insights from a broad-based consumer survey. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 48(3), 202–211.  [Web] [PDF]

[H 34]  Yang S, Chen X (co-first author), Wang L,..., Jia P. (2020). Walkability indices and childhood obesity: A review of epidemiologic evidence. Obesity Review, Online first.  [Web] [PDF]

[H 33]   Mei K, Hung H, Fang X, Hong A, Chen X,..., Jia P. (2020). State-of-the-art of measures of the obesogenic environment for children. Obesity Review, Online first.  [Web] [PDF]

[O 32]   Yang B, Chen X, Wang Z, Li W, Zhang C, Yao X. (2020). Analyzing land use structure efficiency with carbon emissions: A case study in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, China. Journal of Cleaner Production, Online first.  [Web] [PDF]

[H 31]   Adams A, Chen X*, Li W, Zhang C. (2020). The disguised pandemic: The importance of data normalization in COVID-19 web mapping. Public Health, Online first.  [Web] [PDF]

[H 30]   Yang Y, Zhang H, Chen X. (2020). Coronavirus pandemic and tourism: Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium modeling of infectious disease outbreak. Annals of Tourism Research, Online first.  [Web]  [PDF]  [News]

[H 29]   Xu F, Jin L, Qin Z, Chen X,…, Jia P. (2020). Access to public transport and childhood obesity: A systematic review. Obesity Review, Online first.  [Web] [PDF]

[H 28]   Jia P, Liang L, Tan X, Chen J, Chen X*. (2019). Potential effects of heat waves on the population dynamics of the dengue mosquito Aedes albopictus. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 13(7).  [Web] [PDF]

[G 27]   Chen X*, Jia P. (2019). A comparative analysis of accessibility measures by the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Online first.  [Web] [PDF]

[H 26]   Chen X*. (2019). Enhancing the two-step floating catchment area model for community food access mapping: Case of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Professional Geographer, 71(4), 668–680.  [Web]

[G 25]   Wang D, Li L, Hu C, Li Q, Chen X, Huang P. (2019). A modified inverse distance weighting method for interpolation in open public places based on Wi-Fi probe data. Journal of Advanced Transportation, In press.  [Web] [PDF]

[G 24]   Han Z, Cui C, Miao C, Wang H, Chen X (2019). Identifying spatial patterns of retail stores in road network structure. Sustainability, 11(17), 4539.  [Web] [PDF]

[O 23]   Chen X*, Frazier C, Manandhar R, Han Z, Jia P. (2019). Inequalities of risk communication within and beyond evacuation planning zone. Applied Spatial Analysis & Policy, 12(3), 587–604..  [Web]

[O 22]   Chen X, Wang D, Chen J, Wang C, Shen M. (2018). The mixed pixel effect in land surface phenology: A simulation study. Remote Sensing of Environment, 211, 338–344.  [Web] [PDF]

[G 21]   Zhang K, Chen X*, Zhang S, Wilson-Gray G. (2018). Towards a healthy ride: Locating public toilets in the Shanghai metro system. Applied Spatial Analysis & Policy, 11(2), 381–335.  [Web]

[O 20]   Chen S, Chen X, Chen X, Chen J, Cao X, Shen M, Yang W, Cui X. (2018). A novel cloud removal method based on IHOT and the cloud trajectories. Remote Sensing, 10(7).  [Web] [PDF]

[H 19]   Chen X*. (2017). Take the edge off: A hybrid food access measure. Applied Geography, 87, 149-159.  [Web]

[G 18]   Chen X*. Li Q. (2017). Modeling road network vulnerability for evacuees and first responders during no-notice evacuation. Journal of Advanced Transportation[Web] [PDF]

[H 17]   Jia P, Chen X*, Chen J, Lu L, Liu Q, Tan X. (2017). How does the dengue vector mosquito Aedes albopictus respond to global warming?. Parasites & Vectors, 10(140).  [Web] [PDF]

[G 16]   Xiao Y, Chen X, Li Q, Yu X, Chen J, Guo J. (2017). Exploring determinants of housing prices in Beijing: An enhanced hedonic regression with open access POI data. International Journal of Geo-Information, 6(11).  [Web] [PDF]

[O 15]   Yang D, Chen J, Zhou Y, Chen X, Chen X, Cao X. (2017). Mapping plastic greenhouse with medium spatial resolution satellite data: Development of a new spectral index. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 128, 47-60.  [Web]

[H 14]   Chen X*, Clark J. (2016). Measuring space–time access to food retailers: A case of temporal access disparity in Franklin County, Ohio. The Professional Geographer, 68(2), 175–188.  [Web]

[H 13]   Jia P, Lu L, Chen X*, Chen J, Guo L, Yu X, Liu Q. (2016). A climate-driven mechanistic population model of Aedes albopictus with diapause. Parasites & Vectors, 9(175).  [Web]  [PDF]  [Erratum]

[O 12]   Zhu W, Zhang D, Chen X, Zheng Z, Zhou X, Jiang T. (2016). A correction method for false topographic perception of remote sensing images based on an inverse topographic correction technique. International Journal of Digital Earth, 9(10), 1021–1034.  [Web]

[H 11]   Chen X*, Kwan M. (2015). Contextual uncertainties, human mobility, and perceived food environment: The uncertain geographic context problem in food access research. American Journal of Public Health, 105(9), 1734–1737.  [Web]

[H 10]   Chen X*, Zhao B, Blackard E. (2015). Unveiling perceptions of food safety scandals in China: An exploratory study with search engine. Global Media Journal[Web]

[G 9]   Xu H, Li Q, Chen X, Chen J, Guo J, Wang Y. (2015). Logistical routing of park tours with waiting times: Case of Beijing Zoo. Tourism Geographies, 17(2), 208–222.  [Web]

[H 8]   Chen X*, Yang X. (2014). Does food environment influence food choices? A space-time analysis through “tweets”. Applied Geography, 51, 82–89.  [Web]

[H 7]   Chen X*, Clark J. (2013). Interactive three-dimensional geovisualization of space-time access to food. Applied Geography, 43, 81–86.  [Web]

[G 6]   Chen Z, Chen X (co-first author), Li Q, Chen J. (2013). The temporal hierarchy of shelters: A hierarchical location model for earthquake-shelter planning. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 27(8), 1612–1630.  [Web]

[G 5]   Chen X*, Kwan M. (2012). Choice set formation with multiple flexible activities under space-time constraints. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 26(5), 941-961.  [Web]

[G 4]   Chen X, Kwan M, Li Q, Chen J. (2012). A model for evacuation risk assessment with consideration of pre-and-post disaster factors. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 36(3), 207-217.  [Web]

[G 3]   Li Q, Chen X, Chen J, Tang Q. (2010). An evacuation risk assessment model for emergency traffic with consideration of urban hazard installations. Chinese Science Bulletin, 55(10), 1000-1006.  [Web]

Chinese Peer-review Journal

[G 2]   陈翔, 李强, 王运静, 陈晋, 唐巧. (2009). 临界簇模型及其在地面公交线网可达性评价中的应用. 地理学报, 64(16), 693-700. Chen X, Li Q, Wang Y, Chen J, Tang Q. (2009). The Critical Cluster Model and its application for measuring accessibility of public transit networks. Acta Geographica Sinica, 64(16), 693-700.  [Web] [PDF] [Translation]

[G 1]   李强, 陈翔, 陈晋, 唐巧. (2009). 考虑危险源的城市应急交通疏散风险评价模型. 科学通报, 54(16), 2431-2436. Li Q, Chen X, Chen J, Tang Q. (2009). Modeling evacuation risk by considering potential urban hazards. Chinese Science Bulletin, 54(16), 2431-2436.  [Web]  [PDF]

Research Newsletter

Chen X. (June 2014). Analyzing tweets shows that people living closer to grocery stores make healthier food choices. USApp, The London School of Economics and Political Science.   [Web]


Chen X. (2014). Bringing Time into Measure of Food Access: Place vs. People. The Ohio State University.   [Web]


University of Connecticut
  • GEOG 2500  Introduction to GIS [YouTube Channel]
  • GEOG 4516  Fundamentals of Spatial Database Systems
  • GEOG 4518  Mobile GIS
Arkansas Tech University
  • EAM 4023  Geographic Information Systems  [YouTube Channel]
  • EAM 4033  Undergraduate Research Methods & Analysis
  • EAM 4993  Advanced GIS
  • EMHS 6043  Contemporary Issues in Emergency Management
  • EMHS 6513  Technology for Comprehensive EM
  • EMHS 6543  Advanced Digital Technology in EM
The Ohio State University
  • Geography 3300  Transportation Security
  • Geography 5220  Fundamentals of GIS
  • Geography 5222  GIS Applications in Social Science and Business


Professional Community

  • Paper Competition Committee Chair. The International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS)    2015–Present
  • Board Member. AAG Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group    2014–16  2017–19
  • Board Member. AAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group    2016–18

Journal Reviewer

  • 10+    5+    3+   
  • American Journal of Preventive Medicine
  • Annals of the Association of American Geographers
  • Annals of Tourism Research
  • Applied Geography
  • Annals of Tourism Research
  • Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy
  • BMC Public Health
  • Computers, Environment and Urban Systems
  • Food Security
  • Future Internet
  • GeoJournal
  • International Journal of Geo-Information
  • International Journal of Digital Earth
  • International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
  • International Journal of Geographical information Science
  • International Journal of Sustainable Transportation
  • Journal of Modeling Choice
  • Journal of Sustainability
  • Northeastern Geographer
  • Professional Geographer
  • Public Health
  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Southeastern Geographer
  • Transactions in GIS
  • Transportation
  • Transportation Research Records
  • Urban Geography



Global Health

Mosquito Population Modeling

  • We have developed the mechanistic population model of Ae. albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) with diapause (MPAD).
  • The model derives the mosquito population abundance in a seven-stage climate-driven development.
  • The original model (2016) is further extended to studying global warming (2017) and heat waves (2019).
Read More                          Download          

Remote Sensing

Simulation Toolkit for Mixed Pixel Phenology

  • The green-up date (GUD) characterizes the onset of measurable photosynthetic activities or the timing of spring arrivals.
  • Vegetation index products may contain mixed pixels, introducing uncertainties to GUD detection.
  • This simulation toolkit identifies the GUD in a mixed pixel based on the NDVI time series of the endmembers in the pixel.
Read More                    Download          

Emergency Management

Network-based Evacuation Risk Assessment

  • In emergencies, evacuation via road networks is characterized with a high degree of uncertainties
  • The critical cluster model (CCM) is developed to quantify the evacuation risk in network-based neighborhoods
  • This custom simulation toolkit identifies the network vulnerability based on the CCM
Read more                    Download          

Prospective Students

I am now looking for prospective students to work with. I hope the students:

Please send me an email (xiang.chen@uconn.edu) with your C.V. if you are interested. We can then discuss funding opportunities.

Check out UConn Geography for more information about the application process. UConn offers a very competitive Graduate Assistantship Package.