A photo of a woman giving a presentation at the North Carolina State University Center for Geospatial Analytics


At the Center for Geospatial Analytics, we develop and apply cutting-edge, data-driven modeling and visualization tools to solve grand challenges.

What We Do

Geospatial analytics can deepen our understanding of almost any problem — and unearth new solutions.

A headshot of Ross Meentemeyer

Ross Meentemeyer
Center for Geospatial Analytics

The Center for Geospatial Analytics at NC State is the foremost interdisciplinary research and teaching center of its kind in the nation. We work alongside top researchers, policy experts and leaders in industry to apply geospatial analytics to a host of problems — from preparing for floods to controlling the spread of invasive species.

“Geospatial analytics” are the evolving tools and approaches that help to discover, interpret, and communicate meaningful patterns in location-based data. We develop them to observe the world around us; to model the processes that act upon it and test potential interventions; and to visualize data in new ways that spur collaborative decision-making.

All our work serves a common purpose: advancing innovative solutions to grand societal challenges. Many of our tools and applications are open-source, free and adaptable for others to use. Through our research, we support a wide range of real-world stakeholders facing complex problems, such as tracking the movement of endangered species or minimizing the flood danger posed by future hurricanes.

Who We Are

The Center for Geospatial Analytics is housed in the College of Natural Resources, but our faculty fellows and other scholars are drawn from across NC State; we’re home to an interdisciplinary community of more than 40 researchers and educators who span eight of the university’s colleges and 20 of its academic departments. That diversity reflects the domain-agnostic nature of the center’s work: We’re eager to tackle any problem where geospatial analytics might present a solution.

More than 250 students are currently enrolled in our graduate education offerings, which include a professional science master’s program and a graduate certificate. The center also serves as the intellectual and technological hub for the pioneering Geospatial Analytics faculty cluster, part of the nationally recognized Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program at NC State. And in keeping with the university’s strength in the data sciences, we have now launched a groundbreaking Ph.D. program in geospatial analytics to train the next generation of leaders in the field.

We are leaders in both commercial and open-source software development. Our GeoForAll Lab, led by members of the international GRASS GIS steering committee, is the primary node for the North American OSGeo Foundation. We have also been inducted into the Esri Development Center Program for Higher Education, expanding opportunities for our students to innovate using the ArcGIS platform. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and U.S. Geological Survey have designated us a Center of Academic Excellence in the Geospatial Sciences.

OSGeo and ECD logos