The GIS Lab is a centre of GIS expertise and resources at the University of Amsterdam, housed within the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development.
With the growing popularity of digital maps and geographic information technology there is a ‘spatial turn’ in the social sciences. To address the spatial dimension of social science research questions, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) support scientists exploring and making sense of social reality.
The GIS Lab provides researchers and students with GIS advice and support at the University of Amsterdam. Its team is involved in the GIS education programme, providing undergraduate and graduate GIS courses from introductory to advanced levels. The researchers in the team are involved in cutting-edge GIS research within the social sciences domain. The research mission is to apply a spatial angle and incorporate spatial analysis tools to fundamental questions of human geography, planning and international development, as well themes across the social sciences more broadly. The GIS Lab members are further involved in research proposals and carrying out acquired research grants.
The support staff of the GIS Lab provides advice and support to other researchers in the Department undertaking GIS-based research. For both research staff and students, the GIS Lab team supports requests regarding various GIS-related questions, resources (i.e. borrowing a GPS for field research, plotting, software), spatial data search, as well as intermittently organizing short training sessions.
The GIS Lab provides a computer lab for GIS analysis within the department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies which is accessible to all students and researchers. It is located in the L building of the Roeterseiland campus and is equipped with essential infrastructure for GIS analysist: this includes 12 high-performing double-screen computers, common GIS software – such as ArcGIS, Mapinfo, QuantumGIS, Google Earth – as well as numerous GPS receivers, an A3 scanner and an A0 colour plotter.
The interactive online GIS application Regiomonitor Groot Amsterdam makes it is easy to visually and statistically analyse time-series of spatial cluster maps of urban issues in the Amsterdam region. Maps can be created showing micro-scale areas (smaller than traditional administrative wards or districts) with high unemployment rates, citizens of certain age groups or ethnic backgrounds, social housing, high property value of houses and more.
Since data is available from the year 2000 onwards, spatial dynamics in the demographic and socio-economic situation in the region can be monitored in an accurate way.