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Mapping, GIS and analytical methods

Mapping, GIS and analytical methods

Spatial referenced knowledge (e.g. GIS) is concerned with how a geographical site, its context and associated spatial processes relate to one-another in space and over time. It supports urban planning tasks and site analysis that creatively construct new local correlations. Mapping, GIS and analytical methods at the Institute of Urbanism and Landscape emphasizes techniques and basic database management to develop a place-based research approach towards geographic site construction, analyzing the logics of cartographic configurations and map interpretation. 
Planning and landscape processes might benefit from the capacity of GIS technology to facilitate site analysis; help to calculate the impact of development scenarios, policies, and regulations; and improve the understanding of spatial patterns and trends. It might also potentially reveal site patterns as triggers for concrete design projects, based on a critical assessment of present challenges in larger urban territories and landscape systems.

Teaching in the field of mapping, GIS and analytical methods at AHO
A wide variety of professions requires geographic data and spatial-oriented information to visualize existing urban environment and envisioning future urban conditions. The institute help students develop a solid understanding of the spatial uses of geographic information systems (GIS). The goals are to provide technical skills in the use of GIS software and develop analytic capabilities within a variety of local and regional planning issues; explore qualitative method skills in data and document gathering, analyzing information, and presenting results.
The acquired learning’s enable students to understand a site and its spatial relationships, as well as constructing new knowledge based on analyzed data. They learn to communicate any findings through visuals and cartographic display as method to interpret and improve the knowledge of the built and the natural environment. In studio work, students commence mappings of various urban forces to expand site program and strategy outward, adjusting and feeding back small-scale issues based on large scale logic all the way through the design process.

Research in the field of mapping, GIS and analytical methods at AHO
The research at the institute towards spatial referenced information emphasizes empirical studies and the current relationship of urban spatial development and urban planning in Norway. With a particular focus on larger urban territories, the subject of interest is the kind of terrestrial knowledge that geographic data produces about the geography it depicts, and to what extent such knowledge informs processes of urban planning tasks and decision-making.
The aim is to identify areas where spatial analysis informs particular aspects of urban planning, and recognizing the problems for which it works well. Without necessary being promoted as the main solution to urban problems, a planning process might benefit from the capacity of geographic knowledge to facilitate site analysis, identify the impact of certain development scenarios, and tracking and monitoring urban growth patterns. At an institutional level, spatial referenced information possibly performs and display different types of professional analysis towards governmental policy formulation. 
The knowledge derived from the research could potentially contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of planning issues across territorial scales, and critically assess intentions of desired growth patterns as formulated in various planning documents, weighing them against what is actually feasible.