A photo of a user wearing an Oculus virtual reality headset at the North Carolina State University Center for Geospatial Analytics

Research

We observe the world around us, model complex processes through space and time, and create new ways of visualizing and interacting with spatial data. Our work results in innovative, actionable strategies that address real-world problems.

New Frontiers

At the Center for Geospatial Analytics, we make thorough and thoughtful observations about interactions between people and the environment. Our researchers amass robust datasets using emerging technologies and information shared by the public. With the facts and figures gathered, we transform critical geospatial measurements into data-driven computer models to evaluate potential risks and compare mitigation methods.

We then use leading geovisualization techniques to evolve those computer simulations into interactive tools. The visualizations we develop provide meaningful spatial information in accessible formats that let us easily share scientific data across the university and with myriad government and industry partners. Ultimately, our work provides guidance for solving environmental and societal challenges and advancing the frontiers of geospatial analytics.

$3M+ in Current Funding

Contracts and grants from public and private sources support our research projects.

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Observing Our World

The foundation of spatial data, observations help us understand our changing environment and society. We build from them to design remote sensing technologies and create tools and techniques for analyzing data collected on the ground, in the air via unmanned aerial systems or piloted aircraft, and even from space. We also rely on citizen scientists and public data sources to provide information about the environment and the use of developed spaces.

Modeling Our World

We develop data-driven computer simulations that consider the dynamic interactions between both spatial and temporal dimensions of environmental change and human well-being. Examples include simulations of emerging infectious disease, spread of wildfire, and urbanization. Using these models, we explore scenarios of alternative futures to reveal tradeoffs and uncertainties.

Visualizing Our World

Visualization techniques make the scientific process more transparent by providing easy-to-understand graphical representations and imagery. With geovisualization, we help users with varying levels of expertise explore and interact with complex spatial data. And many of the geovisualization techniques we create advance human-computer interaction by enabling intuitive exploration of data models through tangible gestures and eye movements.

Solving Problems

By developing and providing free and open source software, applications and educational materials, we’re making the practice of open science possible. The decision-support systems we create allow for the visual exploration, analysis and presentation of spatial data required by natural resource and land-use authorities. Finally, scalable computing systems allow us to store, manage and deliver up-to-date, actionable geospatial information to our partners.