I am currently a third-year Ph.D. student in Geographic Information System (also in the M.S. Program in Computer Science) in Geospatial Data Science Lab at University of Wisconsin–Madison, supervised by Prof. Song Gao.

My research interests include GeoAI, Spatio-temporal Data Modeling and Analysis, Geo-Privacy, Privacy-Preserving AI, Computer Vision, Location-Based Services, and Geovisualization.

I am currently an AI Resident at X, the moonshot factory (formerly Google[X]). I was also a Geospatial Vision Intern at Sturfee Inc..

I earned both my B.S. degree (in Geographic Information System, 2016) and M.S. degree (in Cartography and Geographic Information System, 2019, supervised by Prof. Qingyun Du) at Wuhan University.

Recent News

My recent activities

Services & Honors

Professional services, honors and awards

Professional Services

Honors & Awards

  • [2018-2019] Outstanding Graduate Student - Wuhan University.

  • [2016-2017] National Scholarship, China.

  • [2014-2015] National Scholarship, China.

  • [2014-2015] The 1st Prize Scholarship - Wuhan University.

  • [2012-2013] The 2nd Prize Scholarship - Wuhan University.

  • [2019] Best Poster Paper - ACM SIGSPATIAL 2019 RAAS Workshop.

  • [2019] Welcome Award - University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • [2017] Silver Award - The 3rd China College Students’ ‘Internet+’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, Hubei Final.

  • [2017] The 1st Prize & The 2nd Prize - The 3rd Wuhan University ‘Internet+’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.

  • [2015] The 2nd Prize - The 21st Foreign Language Translation Competition, Hubei.

  • [2014] National 3rd Prize & Wuhan 1st Prize - The 12th SuperMap Cup University GIS Contest.


Programming languages, libraries, professional software, etc.


Python, Java, Qt, C/C++, C#, Javascript+HTML+CSS, R, etc.


Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw Suite, etc.

Operation Systems

Windows, Mac OS, Linux Desktop/Server (Ubuntu, CentOS), Android, etc.


Tensorflow, PyTorch, MXNet, OpenCV, OpenGL, Scikit-learn, GDAL/OGR, ArcPy, Shapely, GeoPandas, Numpy, Scipy, Pandas, Matplotlib, Flask, Scrapy, etc.

Professional Software

ArcGIS, QGIS, Unity 3D, PostgreSQL, PostgreGIS, MySQL, After Effects, Sony Vegas, Tomcat, Apache, Nginx, etc.


English (Fluent, 105/120 in TOEFL test); Chinese (Native).


Peer-reviewed academic articles

("*" = Research Supervisor; "✉" = Corresponding Author)


  • Rao, J., Gao, S.*✉, Li, M. and Huang, Q. (2021). A Privacy-Preserving Framework for Location Recommendation Using Decentralized Collaborative Machine Learning. Transactions in GIS. (Accepted)

  • Peng, N., Xi, Y., Rao, J., Ma, X., and Ren, F✉. (2021). Urban Multiple Route Planning Model Using Dynamic Programming in Reinforcement Learning. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. (Accepted)


  • Rao, J.✉, Gao, S.*, Kang, Y. and Du, Q. (2020). Landmarks as Beacons: Pedestrian Navigation Based on Landmark Detection and Mobile Augmented Reality. AutoCarto 2020.

  • Rao, J., Gao, S.*✉, Kang, Y. and Huang, Q. (2020). LSTM-TrajGAN: A Deep Learning Approach to Trajectory Privacy Protection. In the Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience 2021), pp. 1-16.

  • Wu, C., Peng, N., Ma, X., Li, S., and Rao, J.✉. (2020). Assessing multiscale visual appearance characteristics of neighbourhoods using geographically weighted principal component analysis in Shenzhen, China. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. (Accepted)

  • Du, T., Rao, J., Peng, R. and Du, Q*✉. (2020). Multi-Source Geographic Data Efficient Quality Inspection System Based on Python. Journal of Geomatics 45 (2), 1-6.

  • Gao, S.*✉, Rao, J., Kang, Y., Liang, Y., Kruse, J, Dopfer, D., Sethi, A., Reyes, F., Yandell, B. and Patz J. (2020). Association of Mobile Phone Location Data Indications of Travel and Stay-at-Home Mandates With COVID-19 Infection Rates in the US. JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(9):e2020485.

  • Gao, S.*✉, Rao, J., Kang, Y., Liang, Y. and Kruse, J. (2020). Mapping county-level mobility pattern changes in the United States in response to COVID-19. SIGSPATIAL Special 12 (1), 16-26.

  • Kang, Y.✉, Rao, J., Peng, B., Gao, S.*, Roth, R. and Zhang F. (2020). Towards Cartographic Knowledge Encoding with Deep Learning: A Case Study of Building Generalization. AutoCarto 2020.

  • Kang, Y., Zhang, F.✉, Peng, W., Gao, S.*, Rao, J., Duarte, F. and Ratti, C. (2020). Understanding house price appreciation using multi-source big geo-data and machine learning. Land Use Policy, 10 (4), 9-19.

  • Kang, Y., Gao, S.*✉, Liang, Y., Li, M., Rao, J., and Kruse, J. (2020). Multiscale Dynamic Human Mobility Flow Dataset in the US during the COVID-19 Epidemic. arXiv preprint arXiv:2008.12238.


  • Rao, J.✉, Yu, J., Zhu, X., Du, T. and Ren, F. (2019). An Algorithm For Removing Invalid Pixels In Remote Sensing Images Based On Vector Boundary Extraction. Journal of Geomatics.

  • Gao, S.*✉, Rao, J., Liu, X., Kang, Y., Huang, Q. and App, J. (2019). Exploring the effectiveness of geomasking techniques for protecting the geoprivacy of Twitter users. Journal of Spatial Information Science, 2019(19), 105-129.

  • Gao, S.*✉, Li, M., Rao, J., Mai, G., Prestby, T., Marks, J. and Hu, Y. (2019). Automatic Urban Road Map Generation from Massive GPS Trajectories of Taxis. BGD19.

  • Liang, Y., Gao, S.*✉, Li, M., Kang, Y. and Rao, J. (2019), November. Analyzing the Gap Between Ride-hailing Location and Pick-up Location with Geographical Contexts. The 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Ride-hailing Algorithms, Applications, and Systems. (Best Poster Paper)


  • Rao, J., Qiao, Y., Ren, F., Wang, J. and Du, Q.*✉ (2017). A Mobile Outdoor Augmented Reality Method Combining Deep Learning Object Detection and Spatial Relationships for Geovisualization. Sensors, 17(9), 1951.

  • Qiao, Y., Rao, J., Wang, J., Du, Q.*✉ and Ren, F. (2017). Geographic Object Detection for Outdoor Augmented Reality. Geomatics World, 5, 011.

Selected Works

Recent research works and projects

Stay-at-Home Order Effects

COVID-19 & Mobile Phone Location Data

Association of mobility data indications of travel and stay-at-Home mandates with COVID-19 infection rates in the US.

Read Me

Trajectory Privacy Protection

Deep Learning & Geo-Privacy Protection

LSTM-TrajGAN: A deep learning method combining LSTM and generative adversarial network for trajectory privacy protection.

Read Me

Mapping Mobility Changes

ESRI ArcGIS Online Dashboard

Mapping county-level mobility pattern changes in the United States in response to COVID-19.

Read Me

Mobile Augmented Reality

Computer Vision & Geovisualization

Focus on geovisualization and human-computer interaction through computer vision methods.

Read Me

Geospatial Data Processing

Python & Parallel Data Processing

Using Python and plenty of open source libraries to achieve parallel geospatial data processing.

Read Me

More Projects

More Research Works and Projects.

More projects, including research works, thesis projects, course projects, and personal projects.

Read Me