Prof. CHEN Shupeng (1920–2008), founder of remote sensing and geographic information system studies in China, died on 25 November in Beijing.
Prof. Chen, an expert in geography, cartography and remote sensing application, was born in Pingxiang, Jiangxi Province in February 1920. He was graduated from Zhejiang University in 1941 and received his master degree from the university in 1947. In 1950, Prof. Chen joined the former CAS Institute of Geography, a predecessor of the CAS Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research.
In the 1950s, Prof. Chen energetically pushed forward the compilation and publication of national atlases of China. In the 1960s, he initiated the aerial photo interpretation and computer-aided mapping. In the 1970s, he devoted himself to the development of remote sensing application and organized airborne remote sensing experiments of natural resources and urban environment. In the 1980s, he took charge of the standardization of Chinese information system of resources and environment, made preparations for the establishment of a State key laboratory and served as its first director, designed an information system which has been used to assess flood damages in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. After that, he joined the studies of global change.
Prof. Chen was elected a CAS Member in 1980. He was also a member of the World Academy for Developing World and the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences. He was an honorary member of France Geographical Society, and an honorary director of the CAS Institute of Remote Sensing Application. He was the founder of State Key Lab of Resources and Environmental Information System.