Geospatial scientist Sisi Zlatanova will set up UNSW’s first Geospatial Information Centre.

Joining UNSW from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, Zlatanova will investigate the production and management of 3D digital models for large public buildings at UNSW and in Sydney’s CBD. This will aim to improve accessibility, safety and emergency response procedures.

“It’s the same as Google Maps but for buildings and infrastructure. The ultimate goal of the Centre will be to advance the data of the city’s buildings to the third dimension. Currently most of the research and analysis of buildings at the University and within the City of Sydney is two dimensional,” says Zlatanova.

“The first projects will look at navigation between indoor and outdoor space, how people enter and exit buildings, 3D analysis of shadowing, and underground infrastructure, including pipelines, cables and electric wiring.”

Zlatanova comes to the role with extensive experience. At Delft, she led multiple research groups in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for crisis response, and set up five training schools on 3D modelling in universities in China, Russia, Italy Germany, Bulgaria and Spain. Zlatanova has published more than 300 scientific papers and edited/co-edited 20 books.

She is UNSW’s Faculty of Built Environment’s first appointment under the SHARP program, an initiative of the 2025 Strategy to recruit world-class researchers to the university.