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Fellows Directory

David Rhind

David Rhind

Professor David Rhind CBE FBA FRS


Elected: 2002


David Rhind is a geographer and earth scientist who pioneered the computer handling and analysis of the United Kingdom’s cartographic and other geographical data. As the first scientific Director General of the Ordnance Survey, he completed the construction of the world’s first entirely digital national topographic database.

After compiling the first database on geological boreholes in the late 1960s, David became an extremely early adopter of digital mapping and related ‘Big Data’ (by the standards of the time). As an influential adviser to numerous national and international cartographic bodies, he assisted with the development of prototype automated data handling systems such as the European Union’s CORINE environmental information system.

An honorary Fellow of the British Academy, David served as Chairman of the former Statistics Commission until 2008, and in 2012 took up the role of Deputy Chair of the UK Statistics Authority. He simultaneously serves as Chair of the Trustees of the Nuffield Foundation.

Professional positions

Chairman and Trustee, The Nuffield Foundation
Deputy Chairman, UK Statistics Authority

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Other
    • Public understanding of science
  • Health and human sciences
    • Human Geography


Information policy

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