Spatial analysis has always existed and will always exist. Humans have a need to orient themselves in their surroundings, for example by using maps as well as investigating and predicting how the world changes over time. Through increased use of computers, the use of digital spatial analysis has increased dramatically. Maps are now stored in computers, and new advanced map analyses can be carried out relatively easily. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has become a quite well-known term in the last few decades. GIS is a collection of tools and techniques by which computers are used to collect, store, analyze and visualize maps and other geographical data.
The research in spatial analysis aims at developing and/or apply GIS on different geospatial problems. Examples of development are the creation of new tools for storage, transmission and visualization of map data. Typical applications include the analysis of the spread of various diseases, variations in vegetation, and spatial and temporal patterns in regional economic development or poverty. The department is actively involved in both categories of research.
Today a number of national and international projects (mostly on a European level) are under way, aimed at increasing the use of geospatial data in environmental applications and public works. To facilitate and encourage this development, it is necessary that geographical data sets are harmonized between different countries, that data become more easily accessible, and that the analysis methodology is improved. At our department, research is being done on several of these topics, often in close cooperation with other universities, governmental agencies (including the National Land Survey of Sweden), municipalities and private companies. Among the projects is an initiative to develop Internet-based mapping services, both from a technical perspective and from the users’ point of view. Other topics include the development of techniques for the analysis of geographical data within hydrology and social planning. These methodologies are often of a general charachter, and can thus be applied to a wide range of issues.
An example of an applied project involves the analysis of couplings between regional economic development and poverty in Sri Lanka. Here GIS is used to investigate how for instance the levels of income and education vary in different parts of the country. This variation can then be correlated to other factors, such as accessibility (to larger cities, markets and hospitals), industrial and economical developments and land use. Other applied projects include looking at the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on rural development in Tanzania, access to drinking water in southeastern Rwanda, and studies of land degradation in Laos.
We are also involved in another type of GIS-related projects, which relate to pedagogic and technological initiatives at educational centers in the developing world concerned with teaching geography and social planning. Together with partners from Europe, the Middle Easte and Egypt, we are developing pedagogical tools mainly in the field of distance (Internet-based) GIS education. Together with pedagogic experts, we investigate and improve both course content as well as various communications aspects (student - teacher, student - student and teacher - teacher). In addition, entirely new GIS courses and programs are also being developed.
You are welcome to read more about our ongoing activities by following the links in the menu to your left!
Page manager: Harry Lankreijer
Last update: 7/14/2011