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This website is preserved as an Archive for the NSF-funded
CSISS program (1999-2007).
Current resources in support of
Spatially Integrated Social Science
are now available at the following:


CSISS Mission and Objectives

CSISS, the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science, was funded with support from the National Science Foundation under its program of support for infrastructure in the social and behavioural sciences. Its programs focus 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.

CSISS Mission Statement:

CSISS is founded on the principle that analyzing social phenomena in space and time enhances our understanding of social processes. Hence, CSISS cultivates an integrated approach to social science research that recognizes the importance of location, space, spatiality, and place.

The goal of CSISS is to integrate spatial concepts into the theories and practices of the social sciences by providing infrastructure to facilitate: (1) the integration of existing spatial knowledge, making it more explicit, and (2) the generation of new spatial knowledge and understanding.

CSISS Objectives:

  1. To encourage and expand applications of new geographic information technologies and newly available geographically referenced data in social science.

  2. To introduce the next generation of scholars to this integrated approach to social science research.

  3. To foster collaborative interdisciplinary networks that address core issues in the social sciences using this approach.

  4. To develop a successful clearinghouse for the tools, case studies, educational opportunities, and other resources needed by this approach.

To fulfill its objectives, CSISS administers seven interrelated programs:

Specialist Meetings
National Workshops
Spatial Analytic Tools
Learning Resources
Best Examples
Place-Based Search
Virtual Community

Please explore the CSISS website to discover the spatial resources, methods, tools, and other services we provide to enhance research in the social sciences.

Background Papers:

Toward Spatially Integrated Social Science, by Michael F. Goodchild, Luc Anselin, Richard P. Appelbaum, and Barbara Herr Harthorn - A published paper outlining the motivation for a spatial approach in the social and behavioral sciences. The authors review the emerging interest in space and place in the recent social science literature and develop a vision for spatially integrated social science. First published in the International Regional Science Review 23,2 pp.139-159, copyright © by Sage Publications. Reprinted by Permission of Sage Publications. PDF, 262 Kb

New Horizons for the Social Sciences: Geographic Information Systems, by Michael F. Goodchild - The use of GIS has now spread very widely among the sciences, and it is now an accepted tool among all of the disciplines that deal with the surface of the Earth and its human population. This paper discusses the concept of Digital Earth, and its possible value as a motivating force. PDF, 36 Kb

Survey of Program Applicants and Participants - In January of 2003 CSISS commissioned the UCSB Social Science Survey Center to survey applicants and participants in CSISS programs during the period of 2000-2002. The purpose of the survey was two-fold – (1) to help trace trends in the development and use of spatial thinking in the social sciences and (2) to assess the impact of CSISS programs on teaching and research. PDF, 540 Kb

Michael F. Goodchild
Executive Director

Project Description
- 107 KB pdf file
NSF Award Abstract CSISS Strategic Plan
- 150 KB pdf file

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