Grant Thrall has become the first geographer to be named a Burns Scholar for the University of Denver.

Above: Grant Thrall has become the first geographer to be named a Burns Scholar for the University of Denver.

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UF Geography Professor's Expertise Results in Distinctive Honors

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Geography Professor Grant Thrall may not be a real estate agent, but he's an expert in "location, location, location."

On April 29, Thrall will visit the University of Denver in Denver, Colo., as this year's Burns Scholar. He is the first geographer to be awarded the title.

"It's a very good program," Thrall said. "In real estate, this is one of the most prestigious lectureships of the year."

At the university, he'll spend two days attending a series of lectures and speaking on the subject he helped define in his field: business geography.

"It's become one of the hottest topics in academia in the business world," he said.

Thrall's research deals primarily in geospatial technology and how it pertains to the business world. Using this technology, Thrall can map where a business should be built to reach the most people, how far people will drive to visit their favorite restaurant or hardware store, and which businesses should be built together to maximize patronage and profit, he said.

"You can't do this without geospatial information," he said.

The Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, which started in 1938, combines real estate, business management and construction in the University of Denver's business college.

This year, Thrall was also the first person ever to receive the American Association of Geographers' Distinguished Scholar Award in the field of business geography. For nearly 105 years, the American Association of Geographers has brought together academics from around the world to share information and ideas about the latest geography research.

Thrall also has been elected president of the American Real Estate Society for 2012-2013. This organization includes academics and real estate professionals.

Thrall holds a doctorate in geography and economics from The Ohio State University and has taught at UF since 1983. He is a member of the board of directors for the American Real Estate Society, the Appraisal Institute, and has served as an adviser to Butler Enterprises in Gainesville and other leading companies in Florida and across the nation.

He was the author of the Florida Board of Governors’ "Geographic Access Analysis of The State University System of Florida," which led to several two-year community colleges in the State of Florida being elevated to four-year state colleges.



Lindsey Robinson


Grant Thrall,, 352-246-6218

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