Vision graphic

The Center for Spatial Studies focuses on promoting spatial thinking and spatial analytics across academia, industry, and government agencies, and across disciplines ranging from the humanities to the physical sciences with a particular focus on novel Spatial Data Science methods and Knowledge Graphs.

The center has expertise in spatiotemporally-explicit machine learning, in the formal representation of spatial phenomena including but not limited to geographic space, knowledge engineering, as well as in methods to improve the publication, retrieval, reuse, and integration of heterogeneous data across domain boundaries.

Following the insight that understanding when and where things happen is key to understanding why they happened or will happen, our vision is to demonstrate how (geographic) space and time act as convergence catalysts to integrate heterogeneous data across domains to answer complex social and scientific questions that cannot be answered from within one domain alone. Our mission is to develop spatially and temporally explicit techniques for the creation, filtering, linkage, synthesis, prediction, and forecasting of information in large-scale, cross-domain data repositories and knowledge graphs.

The center is particularly interested in regional and cultural differences in the conceptualization of geographic space with the ultimate goal of assisting machines to better understand the information needs of an increasingly diverse user base.

Our Vision 2021+
  • Renowned internationally as the leading center of expertise for spatial knowledge graphs
  • Support industry in spatial data science applications
  • Spatially-explicit modeling

This overall vision and mission have been implemented in the organization of the center’s annual outreach and events as illustrated throughout the website.

Donor Support

To meet its mission of building a spatially literate nation, spatial@ucsb welcomes donor support to:

  • Develop ways to ensure that spatial thinking is broadly and effectively taught from kindergarten through high school and college.
  • Bring top faculty in a wide range of disciplines to UCSB to research and teach the application of spatial thinking in their fields.
  • Fund scholarships for graduate students, enabling them to study spatial thinking and its application to a wide range of disciplines.
  • Develop new methods to preserve the vast array of digital spatial data for the next 100 years and facilitate ways to link massive data sets.
  • Apply spatial acumen to challenging issues, such as health care access, geopolitical strife, and issues of equity.
  • Continue to build the reputation and scope of spatial@ucsb through national and international conferences and workshops.

To learn more about how your support can make a difference, please contact:

Julie Sperling
Director of Development
(805) 893-5181


Krzysztof Janowicz
Professor, Department of Geography
Director, Center for Spatial Studies

If you wish to make a donation by check, please make it payable to “UC Regents” and mark it “in support of spatial@ucsb.” You may also direct the donation to any of the programs mentioned above or contact Krzysztof Janowicz regarding other options. Please mail your check to:

Krzysztof Janowicz
Department of Geography-4060
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4060


Activity Reports

2020 Report899.82 KB
2013 Report232.17 KB
2010 Report77.77 KB

Executive Committee

  • Krzysztof Janowicz, Director
  • James Frew
  • Michael Goodchild, Director Emeritus
  • Mary Hegarty, Co-Director Emeritus
  • Donald Janelle
  • JoAnn Kuchera-Morin
  • Werner Kuhn, Director Emeritus
  • Will McClintock
  • Wendy Meiring
  • Stuart Sweeney
  • Ann Taves
  • Matthew Turk