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Eric Vaz

Vaz, Eric


Associate Professor


EMA, Euromaster GI, MSc (Hons.), PhD, New University of Lisbon


JOR 620


416-979-5000 x3121

Email Address:


Geographic Information Systems, Spatial Analysis, Complex Spatial Modeling, Business GIS applications, Health Geography, GIS Programming


Professor Vaz is interested in the transversal usage of Geographic Information Systems to different fields of study, with a particular focus on its applications to regional sciences as well as complex systems dynamics for decision making. Emphasis is given into the application of quantitative examples through spatial analysis in his teaching, offering applied evidence to different regions and scenarios throughout the world.


Geography & Environmental Studies

Research Interests:

Regional Sciences, Complex System Dynamics, Geographic Information Science, Spatial Analysis, Geostatistics, Land use change, GIS Programming, Business GIS, Volunteered Geographic Information, Health Geography.

With over hundred scientific contributions in his field of expertise, Professor Vaz is interested in understanding the spatial dimension of complex spatial processes, with a particular focus on local and regional dynamics. Distinguished in May 2012 as Rising Star by the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) his scholarly activity attempts to create a bridge between regional sciences and Geographic Information Systems. He is the Director of the Centre for Geocomputation at the Department of Geography, Ryerson University. Under his mandate, the Centre aims to become an international example for geocomputation, spatial analysis and advanced geostatistical methods. Professor Vaz has acquired within the roles of principal investigator and co-investigator a total funding of over 2,25 million dollars.

Current Courses:

ES8923: Environmental Assessment
GEO 221: Location Analysis
GEO 419: Retailing, GIS and Geodemographics
GEO 421: Geography of Retailing
GEO 681: GIS and Geographic Analysis
GEO 719: GIS in Business: Strategic Mgmt Decisions 

Professional Affiliations:

Director of Lab for Geocomputation

Selected Publications & Presentations:

Vaz, E., Kourtit, K., Nijkamp, P., Painho, M., 2014, Exploratory spatial analysis of urban habitatsHabitat International, (DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2014.06.029)

Vaz, E., Painho, M., Nijkamp, P., 2014, Linking agricultural policies with decision making: A spatial approach, European Planning Studies (accepted)

Vaz, E. and Nijkamp, P, 2014, Gravitational Forces in the Spatial Impacts of Urban Sprawl”Habitat International (DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2014.06.024)

Gomez, J. A., Noronha, M. T., Vaz, E., 2014, “Sustainability in the trans-border regions? The case of Andalusia – Algarve”,International Journal of Global Environmental Change (accepted)

Monteiro, V., Painho, M. and Vaz, E., 2014, Is heritage really important? A theoretical framework for heritage reputation using citizen sensingHabitat International, (DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2014.06.022)

Vaz, E. and Jokar Arsanjani, J., 2014, "Crowd sourced mapping of land use in urban dense environments: An assessment of Toronto", The Canadian Geographer (accepted)

Vaz, E. and Noronha, M. T., 2014, “Framing Urban Habitats: The Small and Medium Towns in the Peripheries”, Habitat International, (DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2014.06.025)

Vaz, E., 2014, Managing urban coastal areas through landscape metrics: An assessment of Mumbai’s mangroves, Ocean & Coastal Management, 98: 27–37.

Vaz, E., Noronha, M. T., Galindo, P. and Nijkamp, P., 2014, Modelling innovation support systems for regional development – analysis of cluster structures in innovation in Portugal, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 26(1-2): 23-46.

Vaz, E., Noronha, M. T, and Nijkamp, P., 2014, "Exploratory Landscape Metrics for Agricultural Sustainability", Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems,38(1): 92-108.

Vaz, E.; Cabral,P.; Caetano, M.; Painho, M. and Nijkamp, P., 2012,“Urban heritage endangerment at the interface of future cities and past heritage: A spatial vulnerability assessment”, Habitat International, 36(2): 287–294.

Vaz, E.; Caetano, M.; Nijkamp, P. and Painho, M., 2012,“A multi-scenario prospection of urban change – a study on urban growth in the Algarve”, Landscape and Urban Planning, 104(2): 201–211.

Vaz, E.; Noronha, M. T. and Nijkamp, P., 2012,“The use of gravity concepts for agricultural land–use dynamics: a case study on the Algarve”, International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 8(2-3): 262–271.

Vaz, E.; Nainggolan, D.; Nijkamp, P. and Painho, M., 2011, “Crossroads of Tourism: a complex spatial system analysis of tourism and urban sprawl”, International Journal of Sustainable Development. 14(3): 225–241.

Vaz, E.; Caetano, M.; Nijkamp, P., 2011, A Multi-level spatial urban pressure analysis of the Giza Pyramid Plateau in Egypt,  Journal of Heritage Tourism, 6(2): 99–108.

Vaz, E.; Caetano, M.; Nijkamp, P., 2011, Trapped between antiquity and urbanism – a multi-criteria assessment model of the greater Cairo Metropolitan areaJournal of Land Use Science, 6(4): 283–299.

Vaz, E.; Noronha, M. T.; Nijkamp, P., 2011, Spatial Analysis for Policy Evaluation of the Rural World: Portuguese Agriculture in the Last Decade, pp. 107-122, (Springer Verlag: Dordrecht).

Vaz, E. and Bowman, L., 2013, "An application for regional coastal erosion processes in urban areas: a case study of the Golden Horseshoe in Canada", Land, 2(4), 595-608.

Helbich, M., Vaz, E., and Nijkamp, P., 2013, “Spatial Hedonic Models to Estimate Single Family Home Prices in Austria”, Urban Studies, 51(2): 390-411.

Vaz, E.; Painho, M. and Nijkamp, P., 2013, Impacts on environmental law and regulations on agricultural land-use change and urban pressure, European Planning Studies, (accepted)

Vaz, E. and Campos, A., 2013, A multi-dasymetric mapping approach for tourism – An application to the AlgarveJournal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, 1(4): 265-277.

Vaz, E. and Aversa, J., 2013, A Graph theory approach for geovisualization of land use change: An application to LisbonJournal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, 1(4): 254-264

Vaz, E., Buckland, A., Worthington, K., 2013, A regional spatial-retrofitting approach to geovisualise regional urban growth: An application to the Golden Horseshoe in Canada, Journal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, 1(4): 229-240.

Vaz, 2013, Business Topographies: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of 150 years of Indian Business, Journal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, 1(4): 241-253.

Arsanjani, J. J., Helbich, M., Vaz, E., 2013, “Spatiotemporal simulation of urban growth patterns using agent-based modeling: The case of TehranCities, 32:33-42.

Helbich, M., Brunauer, W., Vaz E. and Nijkamp P., 2013, Spatial Heterogeneity in Hedonic House Price Models: The Case of Austria, Urban Studies, (accepted). DOI: 10.1177/0042098013492234.

Noronha, M. T.; Galindo, P.; Nijkamp, P., Vaz, E., 2013, Innovative firms behind the regions: Analysis of regional innovation performance in Portugal by external logistic biplots, European Urban and Regional Studies, (accepted).

Vaz, E.; Walczynska, A. and Nijkamp, P., 2013, Regional Challenges in Tourist Wetland Systems: An Integrated Approach to the Ria Formosa in the Algarve, Portugal,  2013, Regional Environmental Change, 13(1): 33-42.