About Us


We are a self-funded research unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Our approach to understanding the communities in which we live is entrepreneurial and innovative, finding practical, effective, and cost-efficient ways for communities to enhance their capacity for meaningful change. We develop the nation’s largest community information system, SAVI, as an interactive data and mapping resource for individuals and organizations in Central Indiana, and our annual Spirit & Place Festival is an example of our efforts to promote Central Indiana as a leading example of how communities can work together to encourage civic engagement and enduring change.

We work with professional and scholarly communities, especially through application of digital technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other geospatial tools. Major efforts include projects with national and state departments of homeland security, notably in helping communities with hazard mitigation and planning. We also have significant partnerships in health geoinformatics, linking clinical and community information to understand issues relating to public health and enlisting community organizations in effective interventions. In collaboration with research centers in the U.S. and internationally, we have helped to lead the development of the new field of spatial humanities, which uses geospatial technologies to understand the role and meaning of place in modern society.

In all of our areas of emphasis, we have earned a national reputation as a dynamic learning environment with highly professional staff who excel in collaborative, practical, and effective solutions for the communities in which we live.