I am a Ph.D. student in the GeoComputational Systems Lab at Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, working under the supervision of Prof. Surya Durbha. The broad areas of my research include Geospatial Semantics, Deep Learning, Data Visualization and High Performance Computing. My research primarily focuses on improving the Semantic Understanding of Satellite Imagery during a Flood Scenario in context to the Disaster Management and Mitigation activities.

I have been a two-time Google Summer of Code student in the past for the organizations - Cesium in 2015, where I worked on processing and visualizing 3-dimensional LiDAR data from the CALIPSO satellite; and Liquid Galaxy in 2016, where I worked on enabling Cesium for a panaromic experience on the Liquid Galaxy hardware. I am an open source enthusiast and have been a code contributor to my favorite web browser Mozilla Firefox. When I am not at my terminal or engrossed in a sci-fi/thriller novel, I enjoy travelling places, capturing and captioning the world through my camera.


A Geospatial Ontological Model for Remote Sensing Scene Semantic Knowledge Mining for the Flood Disaster [Paper Accepted]
Abhishek Potnis, Surya Durbha
IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2018), Spain

Image Source: Nvidia
On-Board Biophysical Parameters Estimation using High Performance Computing [Paper Accepted]
Pratyush Talreja, Surya Durbha, Abhishek Potnis
IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2018), Spain

A Spatio-Temporal Ontological Model for Flood Disaster Monitoring
Kuldeep Kurte, Surya Durbha, Roger King, Nicolas Younan, Abhishek Potnis
IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2017), United States of America
During an extreme event such as flood disaster, it is important to study flood inundation and receding patterns to understand the dynamic spatio-temporal behavior of flood. In addition to the general change detection techniques in RS, a proper conceptualization of `change' during flood disaster is necessary to model its dynamic behavior. This motivated the development of Ontology, which is able to capture the dynamically evolving phenomenon. This Ontology is envisaged as a precursor for developing applications that integrate the spatio-temporal dimensions of a dynamically evolving system such as floods. This paper describes the conceptual framework that was developed to address the same.
author={K. R. Kurte and S. S. Durbha and R. L. King and N. H. Younan and A. V. Potnis},
booktitle={2017 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)},
title={A spatio-temporal ontological model for flood disaster monitoring},
keywords={disasters;emergency management;floods;hydrological techniques;ontologies (artificial intelligence);spatiotemporal phenomena;Ontology;dynamically evolving system;flood disaster monitoring;flood dynamic spatio-temporal behavior;flood inundation;general change detection techniques;spatio-temporal dimensions;spatio-temporal ontological model;Buildings;Floods;Geospatial analysis;OWL;Ontologies;Roads;Semantics;4D-fluent;Ontology;Spatio-Temporal},
Exploring Visualization of Geospatial Ontologies Using Cesium.
Abhishek Potnis, Surya Durbha
International Workshop on Visualization and Interaction for Ontologies and Linked Data(VOILA), International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2016), Japan

In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the usage of geospatial data, not only by the scientific community but also by the general public. Considering the diverse and heterogeneous nature of geospatial applications around the world and their inter-dependence, there is an impending need for enabling sharing of semantics of such content-rich geospatial information. Geospatial ontologies form the building blocks for sharing of semantics of this information, thus ensuring interoperability. Visualization of geospatial ontologies from a spatio-temporal perspective can greatly benefit the process of knowledge engineering in the geospatial domain. This paper proposes to visually explore and reason over the instances of a geospatial ontology – the geopolitical ontology developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations using Cesium – a WebGL based virtual globe. It advocates the usage of Cesium for visualization of geospatial ontologies in general by demonstrating visualizations of geospatial data and their relationships.
  author    = {Abhishek Potnis and
               Surya S. Durbha},
  title     = {Exploring Visualization of Geospatial Ontologies using Cesium},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Visualization
               and Interaction for Ontologies and Linked Data co-located with the
               15th International Semantic Web Conference, VOILA@ISWC 2016, Kobe,
               Japan, October 17, 2016.},
  pages     = {143--150},
  year      = {2016},
  crossref  = {DBLP:conf/semweb/2016voila},
  url       = {http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1704/paper14.pdf},
  timestamp = {Wed, 12 Oct 2016 15:50:13 +0200},
  biburl    = {https://dblp.org/rec/bib/conf/semweb/PotnisD16},
  bibsource = {dblp computer science bibliography, https://dblp.org}

Image Source: OGC
Poster Presentation: Semantic Mediation and Reasoning on Streaming Sensor Data over Geospatial Sensor Web
Abhishek Potnis, Surya Durbha,
12th Semantic Web Summer School (SSSW 2016), Italy


Academic Projects

Image Source: OpenGeo
An Integrated Client-Server based Interoperable Geographic Information System for Forest Fire Monitoring
Geo-Spatial Data Interoperability Course Project

Project Description:
  • Developed an AJAX driven interactive web client aimed at integrating and querying Geospatial Web Services using Geoserver and Google Web Toolkit
  • Integrated services such as Web Feature Service(WFS), Web Map Service(WMS), Web Coverage Service(WCS) and Sensor Observation Service(SOS) to form a web mash-up
Pixel Purity Index and Spectral Angle Based Satellite Image Classifier
Advanced Satellite Image Processing Course Project

Project Description:
  • Studied and implemented End Member Extraction using Pixel Purity Index and Spectral Angle to develop a Classifier for classifying satellite imagery into land use land cover classes.
  • Developed an interactive web application to upload a satellite image and perform image classification
Simulation of Mini-bus Service with Emergency Response Route Navigation in IIT Bombay
Geographic Information Systems Course Project

Project Description:
  • Implemented a route navigation feature using PgRouting, that would identify the nearest bus from an emergency location and guide it using the shortest possible route computed using the Dijkstra's algorithm, displaying the time to reach the location
  • Developed an interactive web application that simulated the mini-bus service in the campus
Satellite Image Classifier using Parallelepiped Classification
Satellite Image Processing Course Project

Project Description:
  • Studied and implemented the pixel based Parallelepiped Classifier for classifying satellite imagery into land use land cover classes.
  • Developed an interactive web application for training the classifier to generate a model and perform satellite image classification

Other Projects

Google Summer of Code 2015 - NASA’s Data Curtains from Space
Cesium Community
Mentors: Mike McGann, Ryan Boller, NASA

Project Description:
  • Developed a web application to visualize LiDAR Profiles captured by the CALIPSO Satellite with the orbital tracks of the satellite and Aqua-MODIS-Reflectance as the base layer, using CesiumJS Library.
  • Proposed and implemented the structure of meta-data in .json format to be generated from .hdf files
  • Implemented scripts to extract imagery and meta-data from .hdf files, to be consumed by the web app
Google Summer of Code 2016 - Enabling Cesium for Liquid Galaxy
Liquid Galaxy
Mentor: Andrew Leahy, Western Sydney University

Project Description:
  • Developed a Proof of Concept Prototype application that enabled Cesium - an open source virtual globe to run across the multiple displays, providing an immersible and a riveting experience to the users
  • Focused on endowing Cesium with features such as Camera Synchronization, Content Synchronization across the displays and Space Navigation Camera Control.

Image Source: Mozilla
Mozilla Firefox | Open Source Code Contributions

Contributions Description:
  • Fixed bugs by authoring code patches primarily in JavaScript for Mozilla Firefox
  • Edited and improved technical articles on Mozilla Developer Network
  • Recognized as a core contributor in the “about:credits” section of Mozilla Firefox
  • Invited to the Mozilla Summit 2013 at Santa Clara, USA, with travel and stay being sponsored by Mozilla
Pratham – IIT Bombay Student Satellite
IITB's largest student technical initiative in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Project Description:
  • Electrical Sub-System Team Member and Web Manager
  • Implemented SPI communication of Sun-Sensors’ readings between Atmega8 micro-controller on Analog to Digital Converter Board and Atmega128 micro-controller on the On-Board Computer Board
  • Developed an application in Matlab, with the ability to parse, log and display in a GUI, the data stream from the satellite in the ThermoVacc chamber during Thermo-Vaccum Testing
  • Implemented the AX.25 protocol for the packeting of the data to be sent by the Downlink and the commands to be received by the Uplink

Route Navigation and Pothole Monitoring using Crowd Sourced Pothole Mapping
This application won the Esri India's mApp Your Way App Development Challenge 2015

Project Description:
  • Developed a GIS based Android and web application to address the issue of monitoring and managing potholes on Indian roads
  • Intelligent pothole-free routing for senior citizens, pregnant women and patients


M.Tech. - Ph.D. Dual Degree [2014 - Present]
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
Specialization: Geoinformatics
CPI: 9.27

Bachelors of Engineering [2009 - 2013]
University of Mumbai, India
Specialization: Computer Engineering
Percentage: 74.26

Achievements and Awards

  • Recipient of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society Travel Grant to attend IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) 2018, Spain [Grant Approved]
  • Recipient of the International Semantic Web Conference 2016 Student Travel Grant funded by Semantic Web Science Association (SWSA) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to attend ISWC 2016 at Kobe, Japan
  • Recipient of the MHRD Govt. of India, Fellowship for Ph.D. Students
  • Official Mozilla Representative [2013 - 2015]
  • Name listed as a core contributor on the Mozilla Monument, outside Mozilla’s office space at San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Successfully completed Google Summer of Code 2016
  • Successfully completed Google Summer of Code 2015
  • Completed Module 1 of French Language Course conducted by International Relations Office, IIT Bombay, in association with Embassy of France, New Delhi
  • Conducted a two-day workshop on QGIS for the Geology Community as a part of the GeoWeek of October 2017, held at Fergusan College, Pune in Maharashtra, India
  • Represented IIT Bombay for the SAP InnoJAM Challenge 2016 held at SAP Labs, Bangalore
  • Won the Esri India's mApp Your Way 2015 App Development Challenge for the application – 'Pothole Monitoring and Routing using Crowd Sourced Data'
  • Delivered talks on Open Source, Web Standards and Contributing to Open Source at numerous events

Professional Memberships

  • IEEE/IEEE-Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) - Student Member (2018 onwards)