Professor David William Rhind CBE FRS FBA is a British geographer and expert on geographic information systems (GIS). He was Vice-Chancellor of City University London until July 2007.
Rhind graduated in geography and geology from the University of Bristol in 1965 and received a PhD in geomorphology from the University of Edinburgh in 1969.
Rhind held academic posts at Edinburgh, the Royal College of Art and Durham, before becoming a professor of geography at the University of London in 1982. In this position he was a major contributor to the Chorley Committee, the UK Government committee of enquiry "Handling of Geographical Information", which reported in 1987. He subsequently became Director General of Ordnance Survey, overseeing the completion of the digitisation of the last of its paper maps.
Work on GIS led to the awarding of a DSc from the University of London in 1991. Rhind has also received honorary doctorates from universities including Bristol, Loughborough, Southampton, Kingston, Durham, London Metropolitan, Royal Holloway, Edinburgh University and City University London. In 2002 Rhind was elected both a Fellow of the Royal Society (the British National Academy of Sciences) and an honorary Fellow of the British Academy (the equivalent body for the social sciences and humanities). He was the first geographer elected to the Royal Society for nearly 50 years and is almost unique in also being a Fellow of the British Academy.
Rhind has held many other posts including chairing the Statistics Commission and the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's Socio-economic Committee, and membership of the court of directors for the Bank of England. In 2000, he gained a CBE for services to Geographical and Social Sciences.
He has published several books on Geography and the Earth Sciences.Research Officer in the University of Edinburgh 1968–69
Head, Applications Section, Experimental Cartography Unit, Royal College of Art 1969–73
Lecturer, then Reader, University of Durham 1973–1981
Visiting Fellow, International Training Centre, Enschede, the Netherlands, 1975
Visiting Fellow, Australian National University 1979
Professor of Geography in the University of London 1982–91
Dean of departments of Computer Science, Maths & Statistics, Economics and Geography, Birkbeck College 1987–91
Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey of Great Britain 1992–98
Vice-Chancellor and President, City University London 1998–2007
Chairman, the Statistics Commission 2003–08
Chairman, Universities UK, Employment Business and Industry Policy Committee
non-executive director, Bank of England
non-executive director, deputy chair (statistical system) UK Statistics Authority