Geographical Information Science
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. 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.