Expanding System-wide Support
We are excited to announce that on July 1st, the Geospatial Analysis Center at UMD merged with U-Spatial. The merger will benefit students, faculty, and staff by allowing us to offer increased services such as training and methodology support. While our primary focus continues to be working with University colleagues, see The Spatial University, we actively work in partnership with public and private organizations interested in working with the unique resources of the University.
U-Spatial has two locations, our lab in 420 Blegen Hall on the Twin Cities campus and U-Spatial @UMD, located in 389 Kirby Plaza. The help desk can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Support for Spatial Research
U-Spatial is a nationally recognized model that serves and drives a fast-growing need for expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and spatial computing across the University. This infrastructure eliminates duplication and fragmentation of resources by providing a framework of spatial data, equipment, and expertise. In its first five years of operation, U-Spatial has supported over 2,000 researchers across 150 departments and centers at the University through the help desk, training, consulting, and events. U-Spatial has been integral to making the U of M one of the world’s first "Spatial Universities" at a time when public and private sector interest in spatial thinking and approaches is increasing exponentially.
While we collaborate closely with large research centers and programs, U-Spatial also seeks to serve researchers working in the so-called “long tail” of the scientific enterprise. These are often smaller projects that cannot support full-time spatial research staff, but with a little help from U-Spatial, cumulatively provide a good deal of critical research that advances the many missions of a land-grant university and offer disproportionately great benefits.
U-Spatial is part of Research Computing, a center in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) at the University of Minnesota that consolidates management of research computing services. U-Spatial collaborates with a variety of departments and centers, seeking to meet the fast-growing demand for core services such as the help desk and training, while creating new opportunities and synergies around spatial research, teaching, and service. U-Spatial has been nationally recognized in many venues as a leading model for how universities can successfully integrate spatial data, visualization, analysis, and spatial thinking.