Geographic inquiry leads to an examination of how and why phenomena (e.g., landscapes, migrating wildlife, or the spread of a disease) vary across space and time. 

Geographers interested in GIScience study and develop methodologies to address the unique challenges associated with the analysis and modeling of these types of phenomena, using the latest computer systems and technologies. GIScientists are concerned with the nature of geographic information as well as the application of geospatial technologies to solve basic scientific questions. As the demand and interest in these technologies continues to grow at a rapid pace, the range of applications for which an understanding of GIScience is necessary is also expanding. From understanding hand-held mobile devices that help a person navigate through space, to applications that track moving objects such as hurricanes or disease fields, GIScience offers a stimulating and rewarding area of study.

Faculty and graduate students in the Geographical and Sustainability Sciences are conducting research on many topics that are fundamental to an understanding of GIScience. These include topics that relate to understanding the dynamics of geographic domains and include spatiotemporal modeling and geosimulation research. Other research relates to geocomputational methods for health data analysis including studies involving state-of-the-art sensor-based collections of health data.

Current research in GIScience at the UI:

  • Mobile and ubiquitous mapping
  • New techniques to support and represent environmental decision-making using computers
  • Remote sensing time-series analyses of land-use impacts on ecosystem dynamics
  • Event-based modeling for geographic domains
  • Agent-based models of elk migratory behavior in and around Yellowstone National Park
  • Ontologies for GIS
  • Agent-based geosimulation modeling
  • Geospatial decision support systems
  • Geospatial semantic modeling
  • Geospatial statistical visualizations
  • Ontologies for GIS
  • Remote sensing and GIS
  • Spatiotemporal data modeling
  • Wireless and grid computing for mobile GIS

Research in geospatial technologies focus on the use and application of geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing.

Geographic information science faculty

Portrait of Marc Armstrong

Marc Armstrong

Professor Emeritus
Portrait of Dave Bennett

Dave Bennett

Department Chair
Portrait of Caglar Koylu

Caglar Koylu

Associate Professor
Portrait of Marc Linderman

Marc Linderman

Associate Professor
Portrait of George Malanson

George Malanson

Coleman-Miller Professor Emeritus
Portrait of Claire Pavlik

Claire Pavlik

Portrait of Adam Skibbe

Adam Skibbe

Senior GIS Administrator
Adjunct Instructor