Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science

Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science

The Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science (CSISS) was founded in 1999 with support from the National Science Foundation under its program to promote research infrastructure in the social and behavioral sciences. CSISS programs (1999–2013) recognized the growing significance of space, spatiality, location, and place in social science research. Initiatives focused on the methods, tools, techniques, software, data access, and other services needed to promote and facilitate a novel and integrating approach to the social sciences. The program was administered through the Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research and the Department of Geography at UCSB.

Prior CSISS core projects:

Learning Resources

CSISS development of educational resources that support spatially integrated social science. Popular resources included the CSISS Classics, GIS Cookbook, workshop video clips and course syllabi. 

National Workshops

Intensive series of workshops, offered during the summer, covering the principles and practice of spatially integrated social science.

Spatial Tools

The CSISS Tools Clearinghouse was intended to grow into a robust collection of software, software links, and descriptions of methods to facilitate spatial research in the social sciences. In the first implementation of the clearinghouse, primary emphasis was given to software sites and portals.

Specialist Meetings

Cross disciplinary expert meetings focusing on gaps in knowledge that can be addressed through a spatial perspective. These meetings identified scientific agendas, workshop needs, new learning resources, spatial research tools and publications of exemplary social science applications.

The SPACE Program

Spatial Perspectives for Analysis in Curriculum Enhancement (SPACE) was a program of professional development, oriented to undergraduate-level instruction in the social sciences. The objectives of SPACE were to introduce spatial methodologies as foundation skills for undergraduates in such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, history, economics, political science, and sociology, and to interdisciplinary programs in criminology, demography, and urban studies. The program featured one- and two-week-long workshops to permit instructors of undergraduate courses to gain a fundamental understanding of spatial methods and related software, to engage in the development of curriculum, lecture, and laboratory exercises, and resources for the assessment of student learning.

GIS and Population Science

This program had a primary mission to significantly promote the mastery and use of spatial methods in population research. In support of this mission, the Population Research Institute (The Pennsylvania State University) and CSISS combined their expertise to offer national workshops for Ph.D. students, postdocs, and young faculty in demography and related fields with research interest in population science. In addition, the program developed web-based infrastructure for access to learning and research resources by workshop participants and by the broader international community of population scientists.


An eScholarship repository under the custodianship of the Center for Spatial Studies holds reports, publications, and curriculum resources completed under CSISS programs (1999–2013).