The nexus of food, energy, and water resources: Visions and challenges in spatial computing

Emre Eftelioglu, Zhe Jiang, Xun Tang, Shashi Shekhar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


In the coming decades, the increasing world population is expected to increase the demand for food, energy, and water (FEW) resources. In addition, these resources will be under stress due to climate change and urbanization. Previously, more problems were caused by piecemeal approaches analyzing and planning those resources independent of each other. The goal of the FEW nexus approach is to prevent such problems by understanding, appreciating, and visualizing the interconnections and interdependencies of FEW resources at local, regional, and global levels. The nexus approach seeks to use the FEW resources as an interrelated system of systems, but data and modeling constraints make this a challenging task. Also, the lack of complete knowledge and observability of FEW interactions exacerbates the problem. Related work focuses on physical science solutions (e.g., desalination, biopesticides). No doubt these are necessary and worthwhile for FEW resource security. Spatial computing may help domain scientists achieve their goals for the FEW nexus. In this chapter, we describe our vision of spatial computing’s role in understanding the FEW nexus from a spatial data life cycle perspective. We provide details of each of the spatial computing components. For each component, we list new technical challenges that are likely to drive future spatial computing research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Geocomputation - Geocomputation 2015—The 13th International Conference
EditorsDaniel A. Griffith, Yongwan Chun, Denis J. Dean
PublisherSpringer Heidelberg
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319227856
StatePublished - 2017
Event13th International Conference on Advances in Geocomputation, Geocomputation 2015 - Dallas, United States
Duration: May 20 2015May 23 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in Geographic Information Science
ISSN (Print)1867-2434
ISSN (Electronic)1867-2442


Other13th International Conference on Advances in Geocomputation, Geocomputation 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1029711, IIS-1320580, 0940818 and IIS-1218168, U.S. DoD under Grant No. HM1582-08-1-0017, HM0210-13-1-0005, and University of Minnesota via U-Spatial. We would like to thank Kim Koffolt and the members of the University of Minnesota Spatial Computing Research Group for their comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017.


  • Energy and water nexus
  • Food
  • Spatial computing


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