U-spatial: Nexus of the spatial university

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


U-Spatial is the spatial science infrastructure that is integral to making the University of Minnesota a spatial university. At its core is a team of geospatial professionals who advance the mission of the modern land grant university and operate a new kind of infrastructure that encompasses people, places, and tools. It took over a decade to secure the initial support and funding through an Infrastructure Investment Initiative grant, which pulled together departments, colleges, and units from across the university to provide matching funds and expertise. Now after 10 years, U-Spatial operates on a mix of central funding and increasingly, revenue through consulting and sponsored research to fund common good services like a help desk, training opportunities, proposal writing, server hosting, and events to build community. U-Spatial supports the research of hundreds of students, faculty, and staff in every college and center across multiple system campuses and provides a template for integrating spatial thinking into the mission of a large and diverse university.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBuilding the Spatial University
Subtitle of host publicationSpatial Thinking, Learning, and Service Throughout the System
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030928476
ISBN (Print)9783030928469
StatePublished - Feb 23 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022.


  • Collaboration
  • Research funding
  • Research support
  • Spatial data infrastructure
  • Spatial thinking
  • Training


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