Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation Analysis Laboratory

Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation
Analysis Laboratory

Principal Investigator: Michael Goodchild University of California, Santa Barbara
Director: Val Noronha University of California, Santa Barbara

VITAL, the transportation wing of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), engaged in research projects on transportation applications of geospatial information technologies until 2004.

Projects covering transportation problems such as infrastructure management (from construction to maintenance and renewal), operations and traffic, transit planning, transportation security and Intelligent Transportation Systems were undertaken. Geospatial techniques applied to these problems include remote sensing, GPS, spatial data architecture, traffic microsimulation, and spatial optimization modeling.

Projects were funded by the Federal and State governments and private firms. It now exists within the infrastructure of the National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation (NCRST)—Infrastructure Management.


For more information, visit Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation Analysis Laboratory



National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation

Principal Investigator: Michael Goodchild University of California, Santa Barbara
Director: Val Noronha University of California, Santa Barbara

The National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation (NCRST) was established in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), in response to legislation in TEA-21. Four university-led consortia were set up in Environment, Infrastructure, Traffic Flows, and Hazards. UCSB led the Consortium on Infrastructure, partnering with Digital Geographic Research Corporation (DGRC), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State University, TetraTech Inc, OrbImage, Florida DOT and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
The SAFETEA-LU bill of 2005 re-authorized funding for the program. USDOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) advertized the new remote sensing program in 2006, and created seven consortia: three in freight congestion mitigation, three in infrastructure rehabilitation, and one in environment (DOT announcement). UCSB leads the consortium on Freight—Metropolitan Ports.

For more information, visit National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation

Former Proposals for Research

In support of education initiatives, the Center for Spatial Studies worked cooperatively with researchers and instructors on and off campus to develop funding proposals that promise to enhance its objective of advancing spatial literacy for science and society. If you wish to join in these efforts, or have specific ideas to share, please contact Werner Kuhn.

See summaries of recent spatial@ucsb submissions for funding, including:

SCALE: Spatial Connections around our Local Environment
NSF 09-549
, Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12)
June 2009

Critical Spatial Thinking in Science and Engineering
NSF 09-519
, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)
September 2009


Volunteered Geographic Information


The Center for Spatial Studies (spatial@ucsb) is collaborating with researchers from The Ohio State University and the University of Washington to undertake a systematic and empirically-informed study of VGI. The three areas of investigation are:

  • Evaluating content and quality. Inventory and classify current VGI production; assess quality in terms of error and uncertainty.
  • Methods and techniques. Developing and evaluating computational methods and techniques for synthesizing and analyzing VGI.
  • Social processes. Examining the social production and implications of VGI, including the factors motivating and constraining contributors as well as privacy concerns.

For more information, visit  vgi-net


Spatial Connections Around our Local Environment



Spatial@ucsb has teamed up with the Ventura, California office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, Kermit McKenzie Junior High in Guadalupe, CA , and the Open Classroom in Ventura, CA to make 6th grade science “spatial,” in the classroom and in the great outdoors. For more information, see SCALE and view news story.


NSF Spatial Perspectives on Analysis for Curriculum Enhancement


SPACE was funded by NSF (2003–2009) as an initiative by UCSB’s Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research and Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science to achieve systemic change within undergraduate education in the social sciences. It was, based on the value of spatial thinking and associated technologies for integrating research opportunities and learning assessment into undergraduate teaching. Teaching materials developed for eleven week-long SPACE workshops have provided useful resources for instructors who seek to enhance spatial literacy among students in the social sciences.

For more, see SPACE.

Click any where on the poster to view the details in zoomed display
in a second browser window (with a magnifying glass icon to zoom again).


Workshop Results Participants Participants Program

To view portions of the 2008 Space Poster in a PDF format, select below.

   Space Poster   Space Program   Space Participants   Space Workshop   Space Results

NIH Advanced Spatial Analysis

The Population Research Institute Pennsylvania State University) and the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (UCSB) offer training for Ph.D. students, postdocs, and young faculty in demography and related population sciences. The Advanced Spatial Analysis Training Program (2008–2012), funded by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), features workshops on applications of spatial regression modeling, geographically weighted regression, multi-level modeling, and spatial pattern analysis; and develops related resource materials to aid researchers.

Advanced Spatial Analysis


Spatial Cognition Institute

spatial cognition institute

International Spatial Cognition Summer Institute (ISCSI) 2013

Session 1: August 11–17, 2013
Session 2: August 18–25, 2013

In August 2013, ISCSI 2013 will present two consecutive week-long programs at the University of California, Santa Barbara, consisting of intensive lectures, tutorials, and student presentations on spatial cognition, the study of spatial perception, thinking, reasoning, and communication by humans, non-human animals, and computational entities such as robots. These sessions will be taught by a total of 20 instructors from several institutions and a variety of disciplines.

Read about the International Spatial Cognition Summer Institute (ISCSI) 2013 in
Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center—Showcase September 2013

Distorted Maps

Spatial@ucsb recognizes the importance of spatial reasoning (both geographical and non-geographical) in the research and creative pursuits of scholars from across the humanities and sciences and seeks to assemble resources that make explicit the role of spatial thinking in a broad range of disciplines.

Please suggest additions to Don Janelle.

Map Projections

Distorted Maps a special presentation by Waldo Tobler that will interest persons curious about map projections

“Beyond-Ptolemy: Mercator and other Distorted Maps”

This file will download to your computer,
Click here to download PowerPoint Viewer..