spatial@ucsb portal to resources for spatial thinking and spatial analysis


Classics in Spatial Thinking
More than 50 summaries and illustrations of major contributions to spatial thinking in the sciences, social sciences,and humanities. Your help is requested in suggesting topics, key papers, and schools of thought that should be represented in this collection—please send these to the Classics editor, Don Janelle.

TeachSpatial is a collaborative web site devoted to promoting applications of spatial concepts and spatial tools in teaching and learning. The site includes core concepts of spatial thinking, presented in the original words of authors from 20 source documents, as well as schemas that interpret, synthesize, and model aspects of spatial thinking.

Spatial Concepts

Learn how fundamental Spatial Concepts facilitate spatial reasoning in the sciences and social sciences.

GIS Resources

What is GIS? Explore GIS Resources for answers. Web links and resources provided here are illustrative rather than exhaustive and draw on the work of spatial@ucsb and affiliated programs whenever possible.

Map Projections

Visit the spatial@ucsb portal to Map Projections and Cartography for representing Earth in planar format

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.

Virtual Globes

Virtual Globes also referred to as Geobrowsers or Earthbrowsers, are Internet-based 3D software engines that display geographic data models on a spherical representation of the Earth (or other planets).

Examples of Virtual Globes (require download and install of software):

NASA's WorldWind

  • NASA’s WorldWind A global browser that draws on data from NASA and other sources (free)
  • TerraExplorer interactive 3D geo-visualization of the earth and selected cities

Virtual Globes and Volunteered Geographic Information
See current spatial@ucsb research on VGI

Virtual Globes in the Classroom

Spatial Reasoning in Arts and Sciences

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.


Course Syllabi
This page provides links to syllabi of courses taught by scholars from a variety of institutions across the country. They were assembled as illustrations of how spatial thinking, spatial analysis and GIS are taught in undergraduate programs. If you have a syllabus that illustrates classroom applications of spatial thinking in your discipline, spatial@ucsb would welcome the opportunity to include it on this page. Please submit these to Don Janelle.