Thinking Spatially

Since 2018, the IAS has partnered each fall with U-Spatial, the UMN Libraries, DASH and LATIS to present an interactive mapping event designed to bring participants together around mapping a common research theme, such as the year 1968: Conflict and Change, Environmental Justice, and (for fall 2020) Politics and Polarization. Speakers and data sources offer participants an interdisciplinary approach to further explore the spatial context of these historic and current events, as well as the opportunity to identify and recognize the value of data visualization and the role of maps in presenting data. Workshops include using ArcGIS Story Maps and other means to develop and present research around the chosen theme.

The event is free and open to the public and has garnered interest from across the University’s system campuses, as well as the general community.

2020 Symposium

Mapping Politics and Polarization

September 25, 2020
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

A Virtual Event

What are the drivers of polarization and how do they affect political perspectives? Can maps help us to interpret the divisiveness more efficiently? Thinking Spatially: Politics and Polarization is for everyone interested in politics, partisanship, idealism, voting patterns, racism, civil rights, community development, mapping, and more. All faculty, staff, students, and community members are invited to join us at this free, online event.



Past Events

Mapping Environmental Justice
October 11, 2019

Event overview and presentation slides ▸

Mapping 1968: Conflict and Change
September 28, 2018

Event overview and presentation slides ▸
Event livestreams available here ▸

Sample Projects

Participants at this event are invited to create their own map, with the feedback of their group. Here are just a few examples of what participants have created.


Redlining map

Redlining in the Twin Cities in 1934: 1960s and Today

by Eric Myott, Law School Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity


Waterways map

Deindustrializing Twin Cities Waterways 1968–2018

by Joanne Richardson, River Life & Open Rivers, Institute for Advanced Study