U-Spatial is a leading model for how universities can successfully integrate GIS and remote sensing into collaborative projects that support research, teaching and outreach. It eliminates duplication and fragmentation of resources by providing a framework of spatial data, equipment and expertise. In its first four years of operation, U-Spatial supported over 1,500 researchers across 150 departments and centers at the University of Minnesota.
U-Spatial and IonE have been integral to making the University one of the world’s first “spatial universities” at a time when we are seeing exponentially increasing public and private sector interest in spatial thinking and approaches. Billions of people use technologies such as global positioning systems, Google Maps, Yelp and Uber. Governments use mapping to identify crime hot spots, plan social interventions and identify routes to evacuate vulnerable people from harm. Companies use spatial analysis to site stores, evaluate supply chains and determine how much to charge for goods and services. Scholars employ spatial approaches that recognize the spatiotemporal nature of people, places and processes through concepts such as location, space, scale and distance.
“U-Spatial Data Locker” supports the growth of spatial data storage for University researchers. It acts as a researcher-centered spatial data repository, guiding users through the process of securing storage, serving and services for their data. This expands the ongoing U-Spatial project involvement of University Libraries, University Services, IonE, OIT, MPC, MSI and CLA.
- Steven Manson (email@example.com), director of U-Spatial and associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts
- Len Kne (firstname.lastname@example.org), associate director of U-Spatial