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U-Spatial has helped make the University of Minnesota the first "Spatial University" at a time when we see exponentially increasing public and private sector interest in spatial thinking and approaches. Billions of people use spatial technologies such as Google Maps and Uber. Government and the private sector employ trillions of dollars of spatial technology to work better, faster, and more effectively. Thousands of scholars employ spatial approaches that recognize the spatiotemporal nature of people, places, and processes through concepts such as location, space, scale, and distance. This vast engagement with spatial technologies reflects the simple fact that they, alongside nanotechnology and biotechnology, are forecast to be one of this century’s three biggest and transformative industries.

U-Spatial has created key infrastructure that eliminates duplication and fragmentation of resources by providing a framework of spatial data, equipment, and expertise.