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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Center for Spatial Studies was founded in 2007 with the vision that spatial thinking and computing serve all scientific disciplines and support trans-disciplinary problem solving. The Center mission is to engage in interdisciplinary research and education in how people and technology solve spatial problems. The Center organizes research-oriented events, such as the ongoing ThinkSpatial brownbag talks for the local community at UCSB and annual Specialist Research Meetings on a variety of spatially relevant themes. It also promotes spatial thinking and spatial literacy at the elementary, secondary, graduate, and postgraduate levels, offering a Freshman Seminar in Spatial Thinking and a unique Minor in Spatial Studies, as well as advanced training workshops for on- and off-campus Ph.D. students and researchers.

Center for Spatial Studies

There are 493 publications in this collection, published between 1988 and 2016.
Center Reports (10)

Report on the Center for Spatial Studies

This report documents the education, research, and outreach activities of the Center for the period March 2013 - March 2016. In addition, it presents a vision for the center based on plans set forth for the next 3 years.

Imagine a Nation of Spatial Thinkers

This brochure seeks to broaden public understanding for the importance of spatial literacy for solving problems in science and for society.

Symposium on a Curriculum for Spatial Thinking: Executive Summary

This report summarizes discussions among ten university instructors from six disciplines in a symposium hosted by Diana Sinton at the University of Redlands in June 2008. The meeting was developed as a cooperative effort with the UC Santa Barbara Center for Spatial Studies.

The intent of the symposium was to review opportunies and challenges for establishing an undergraduate general course on spatial thinking.

This event provided a foundation for the establishment of a website devoted to instruction about fundamental spatial concepts (see and to the establishment of academic minors in spatial studies at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Redlands.

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Newsletters (8)

Vertices 3—spatial@ucsb eNews

The newsletter features (1) an article by Karl Grossner about the website for discovering lesson materials for instruction in fundamental spatial concepts and (2) an essay  by Michael Goodchild on the spatially explicit and  peripatetic nature of (his) academic life.

Vertices 1—spatial@ucsb eNews

This is the first issue of Vertices, areport on the activities of the spatial studies center known as spatial@ucsb. It features details about inauguration events centered on the theme of "Connecting our Region through GIS and Geospatial Technologies."

Vertices 5—spatial@ucsb eNews

Two articles are featured. The first, by Wenwen Li, describes some of the mapping issues associated with a UC-Muliti-campus Research Program and Initiatives (MRPI) project about the metropolitan economy of the Los Angeles region. The second, by Andrea Nuernberger, focuses on knowledge assessment and spatial abilities of individuals with Alzheimer's disease, a project that she and Dan Montello inherited from the late Reginald Golledge, a pioneer in the study of human spatial behavior.

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Spatial Lightning Talks (40)

Convergent Places—Warped Spaces

This video was recorded live at the annual Spatial Lightning Talks on February 27, 2013 at the Mosher Alumni House, UC Santa Barbara. Each speaker was allotted three minutes to present a topic related to space —geographic or otherwise.

  • 1 supplemental video

Citation Map: Visualizing the Spread of Scientific Ideas through Space and Time

This video was recorded live at the annual Spatial Lightning Talks on February 27, 2013 at the Mosher Alumni House, UC Santa Barbara. Each speaker was allotted three minutes to present a topic related to space geographic or otherwise.

  • 1 supplemental video

UCSB Business Continuity Manager

This video was recorded live at the annual Spatial Lightning Talks on February 25, 2015 at the Mosher Alumni House, UC Santa Barbara. Each speaker was allotted three minutes to present a topic related to space—geographic or otherwise.

  • 1 supplemental video
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Specialist Meeting Position Papers and Reports (14)

Spatial Search, Position Papers

The Spatial Search specialist meeting in Santa Barbara (December 2014) brought together 35 academic and industry representatives from computational, geospatial, and cognitive sciences with interest in focused discussions on the development of an interdisciplinary research agenda to advance spatial search from scientific and engineering viewpoints. The position papers from participants represent the shared expertise that guided discussions and the formulation of research questions about processes of spatial search and about the conceptual ideas, infrasturctures, and tools needed to enhance the search experience in both physical and virtual spaces. The call for position papers is included.

Volunteered Geographic Information, Introduction and Position Papers

This flier provides a brief description of a workshop hosted in Santa Barbara on volunteered geographic information (VGI). Discussions focused on citizen motivations to provide information in the public domain, methods to validate such information, and ideas about the potentials and limitations to VGI. More than 40 position papers on these challenges are presented.

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks, Position Papers

In advance of the meeting, 34 researchers prepared position statements on the following kinds of questions:

• What is the current state of knowledge with respect to spatiotemporal constraints on social networks and informationflows, particularly from a meta-network perspective?

• How can theories of social network interaction be extended to incorporate the constraining effects of space, time, theInternet, and mass media?

• Can probability distributions be developed for networks or network metrics that are parameterized by spatial andtemporal separation?

• What rich sources of data can be found to calibrate and parameterize these new models?

• What new metrics and models can be developed for assessing critical nodes, groups, and trails in and throughnetworks that take spatio-temporal constraints, the Internet, and mass-media effects into account?

• Can we develop novel methods for visualizing the operation of spatio-temporal constraints and their effects on the flow of ideas and information through meta-networks?

• What methods of inference are appropriate for detection of spatio-temporal and network constraints in crowd-sourced data, and what are appropriate metrics of uncertainty?

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