GeoVISTA Mission & Overview

Diverse critical scientific and societal issues are prompting generation of large volumes of geospatial data along with increasing demands for geospatial information technologies that facilitate effective use of these data. These critical issues include, for example, understanding health-environment interactions, assessing terrorist threats, planning for dramatic changes in regional demographics across the country, and managing environmental risk. The data being generated and corresponding demands for useful and usable technologies, in turn, pose an array of research challenges and opportunities that the GeoVISTA Center is working to address.

GeoVISTA's specific mission is to coordinate integrated and innovative research in Geographic Information Science (GIScience), with an emphasis on geovisualization. The focus is on developing powerful human-centered methods and technologies that allow scientists and decision makers to solve scientific, social, and environmental problems through computer-supported, visually-enabled analysis of the growing wealth of geospatial data.

Established in 1998, the Pennsylvania State University Geographic Visualization Science, Technology, and Applications Center is based in Geography but has faculty and graduate student affiliates in multiple colleges on campus. Its research is interdisciplinary and, over the past decade, emphasis has expanded from geovisualization to all aspects of GIScience and related information sciences.

At Penn State, the GeoVISTA Center has been instrumental in building strong ties with the College of Information Sciences and Technology and with faculty at the Hershey Medical School. In addition, GeoVISTA has recently initiated a cross-campus pilot project with the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics on Geovisual Analytics for Infectious Disease Dynamics (funded jointly by the Institutes for Energy and the Environment, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, and Social Science Research Institute).

GeoVISTA conducts information and cognitive science research focused on six main themes:

Again, we welcome you to GeoVISTA and invite you to browse our web site. If you have any questions, suggestions, ideas or comments, please feel free to contact us. We will be glad to communicate with you.