Tsering Wangyal Shawa receives Map & Geospatial Information Round Table Honors Award

Tsering Wangyal Shawa

Tsering Wangyal Shawa, geographic information systems (GIS) and map librarian at Princeton University Library (PUL), recently received the 2020 Map & Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT) Honors Award for his outstanding achievement and major contributions to map and geospatial librarianship. As an American Library Association (ALA) round table, MAGIRT is the world's largest map and geospatial library organization and provides a forum for nearly 300 information professionals working with map and geospatial information resources, collections, and technologies.

“Wangyal is a pioneer in the use of GIS technology for map libraries,” said Iris Taylor, 2019-2020 MAGIRT chair. “Wangyal started to explore the creation of an online library for a map using geospatial data in 2005, when the online GIS concept and GIS librarian position were at the beginning stages. Since then, the GIS web technology and architecture have evolved a great deal in the past fifteen years. His dedication to the field is continuous.”

At PUL, Wangyal leads the Maps and Geospatial Information Center and serves as a consultant for faculty, students, and postdoctoral researchers. For over 10 years, Wangyal has taught “GIS for Public Policy,” a graduate course at the School of Public and International Affairs that teaches students how to utilize geographic data for public policy recommendations.

Additionally, Wangyal has served as MAGIRT chair, vice-chair, education committee chair, Geographic Technologies Committee chair, electronic mapping editor, representative to the Cartographic Users Advisory Council, and on several program planning committees for ALA conferences. He has served as an advisor to the Geospatial Data Preservation Clearinghouse Project, which houses information about best practices for preserving significant geospatial data, on the advisory board for the Commons of Geographic Data, which aims to remove technical and legal barriers for GIS users, and as a consultant to the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library on developing a Gazetteer of Tibet and Himalayan areas. He has written numerous articles and presented locally and internationally on geospatial librarianship.

According to Taylor, “[Wangyal’s] tireless and enthusiastic support of the ALA MAGIRT programs in addition to his active research activities in academic librarianship should be recognized and applauded.”

Written by Emily Judd, Communications Coordinator

Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications