Consultations by appointment:

Do you need help with GIS?

As part of the Center’s effort to promote spatial thinking, techniques, and tools across campus, spatial@ucsb offers “GIS help desk” research consultations. The free service is staffed by a Center graduate student and is open to the entire campus community. The primary focus is on research design and implementation for faculty, staff, and student projects. Also, the help desk serves as a point of departure to connect to the spatial resources available across campus, such as expert personnel, instructional materials, and software.

Since the consultation program began in 2008, support requests have ranged from simple cartographic design advice to complex, multistep spatial information modeling. Sample projects that have received technical support include:

  • inferring geographic location from documentary screenshots (Film & Media Studies)
  • estimating a parking capacity surface by integrating polygon- and polyline-based data (Department of Geography)
  • areas of endemism for insects (NCEAS)
  • assessing crime patterns near various categories of media distribution sites (Department of Communication)
  • routing police patrols to disrupt gang activity (Department of Economics)
  • identifying dangerous bridges with respect to pedestrian traffic (Department of Political Science)
  • assessing cartographic arrangement against spatial cognition (Department of Psychology)
  • prescribing maintenance schedules for campus roads, parking lots and paths by quantitatively modeling condition (Design and Construction Services)

Students and interested researchers are encouraged to contact for a consultation appointment.

For support with Esri software licenses and ArcGIS Online, and additional support finding and using appropriate spatial data, please contact the Map and Imagery Laboratory at