The Map and Geospatial Hub actively leads and supports collaborative and independent projects. We've organized some of our featured projects into the following broad, interrelated, and sometimes overlapping categories.

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Geographic Information Management and Distribution

Organizing, documenting, and making it easier to discover and access geographic information.

Black and white map view of a small section of downtown Phoenix ASU GeoData

ASU GeoData is the centralized site for the curation and distribution of geographically-referenced data resources managed by the Map and Geospatial Hub. ASU GeoData organizes GIS datasets by thematic category and spatially indexes map and imagery resources by collection. ASU GeoData also provides direct access to ASU research data sites managed by various ASU entities, as well as to the open geospatial data sites managed by government agencies throughout Arizona.

Web Map Indexing Web Map Indexing

Web map indexing is a core activity at the Map and Geospatial Hub. It involves the creation of interactive, web-based map indexes designed to aid users in discovering, exploring, and accessing collections of map, imagery, and geospatial data resources. These web map indexes offer enhanced functionality for the user, including the ability to change background basemaps, select features, and add external data, etc. Our web map indexes are consolidated on the Indexed Collections section of ASU GeoData. 

Oblique, top-down view of Map and Geospatial Hub's interior space, as depicted by a 3D model Map and Geospatial Hub 3D Explorer

The 3D Explorer project entails the creation of an interactive 3D map scene and web-based application for exploring the resources available at the Hub's physical premises on ASU's Tempe campus. The model combines CAD and GIS geometries to represent the Hub's interior workspace and the main features contained therein, including the flat file cabinets used for storing physical materials. Users can conduct searches for cartographic materials while exploring additional Hub resources, including its human resources (staff) and workspace equipment.

Map and Geospatial Data Curation

Promoting and demonstrating the research value of geographic information.

Satellite imagery map of Grand Canyon National Park, with bright red dots displayed throughout. 100 Years of Grand

100 Years of Grand is a geographic finding aid for exploring over 240 geo-located archival materials for the Grand Canyon (National Park) centennial in 2019. It is part of a larger collaborative archival access project between ASU, NAU, and the Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection. Support for 100 Years of Grand came from the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Metro Phoenix USGS LiDAR Data Metro Phoenix USGS LiDAR

Metro Phoenix USGS LiDAR is a set of projects meant to raise the profile of and facilitate access to a set of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data products for the Phoenix metro region. Data were acquired and processed in 2014 by a third party contractor on behalf of the United States Geological Survey. ASU GeoData contains a spatial index for accessing raw point cloud files and offers direct download of derivative data products, such as 2D and 3D building layers.

Segment of a Colorado River survey plan map overlaid over the Grand Canyon. Visualizing the Survey

Visualizing the Survey is a dynamic multimedia exhibit visually describing, explaining, and celebrating an historic collection of maps and charts: Plans and Profiles of the Colorado River. The collection reflects the output of multiple Colorado River surveys conducted by the USGS between 1902 and 1923. Visualizing the Survey visually dissects the mechanics of the technical, but beautiful, survey sheets while contextualizing their historical and geographical significance.  

Cartography and Geovisualization

Representing and communicating geographic information with original maps and visualizations of geospatial data.

Greyscale map of Maharashtra Custom Cartographic Design

Depending on existing departmental resources, the Map and Geospatial Hub designs and produces custom cartographic products for ASU faculty, students, and staff. These map projects are typically completed for publication in scholarly journal articles or book chapters and involve a range of tasks, including data compilation, creation, editing, and reformatting, and tackling the classic cartographic design challenges of layout, symbology, and typography.

Digital 3D model of downtown Tempe and ASU Tempe campus 3D Digital Surface and Terrain Modelling

Multiple small projects undertaken at the Map and Geospatial Hub fall under the umbrella of 3D digital surface and terrain modelling. We work with raw digital elevation or digital surface model data to process and derive various value-added data products. These models have multiple uses, from watershed delineation and hydrological flow modelling, to visibility analysis, to 3D printing, and others.


Multimedia Geographical Storytelling

Constructing place-based narratives and illustrating spatial patterns and processes with geographic information.

Blue, pink, and purple 3D heat map overlaid with pink and red dots. Resilience Down to the Streets

Resilience Down to the Streets is an analysis and visualization project addressing the pedestrian safety crisis in metro Phoenix. The project was supported by a 2019 fellowship through the ASU Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER). It examines a robust dataset of over 22,000 pedestrian crash incidents occurring in metro Phoenix over a 20-year period (2000-2019). It also offers design, planning, and policy insights meant to help unlock the power of mobility for a more resilient metro Phoenix.

View of a digital globe focused on northwest Africa. Constructing the Maghrib

Constructing the Maghrib is an in-progress project exploring the historical-geographical development of the Maghrib/Maghreb region of northwest Africa. The project is part of a collaboration with the ASU Center for Maghrib Studies (CMS) and is supported by a 2020 seed grant from the ASU Institute for Humanities Research (IHR). It involves creation of a multimedia platform designed to deepen scholarly and layperson understanding of the understudied region.

Cartographic History

Exploring and documenting the diverse contexts and compelling, complex stories of mapmaking.

Pseudo-Color Elevation Map of the Greater Grand Canyon Region Mapping Grand Canyon

Mapping Grand Canyon is a transdisciplinary research initiative examining the cartographic history of the Grand Canyon region. The initiative was kickstarted with a 2018 seed grant from the ASU Institute for Humanities Research (IHR). It has resulted in a major conference event (the Mapping Grand Canyon Conference), academic publication, multiple public speaking events, and continues to generate interrelated projects, including Visualizing the Survey, among others.


Dutton's Atlas Landscape view of "the Transcept" side canyon, in the greater Grand Canyon.  

Dutton’s Atlas is a 2022 project supported by the Arizona Humanities. It centers on a 19th century book and companion atlas authored by Clarence Dutton, Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District with Atlas (1882), the first published monograph of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It provided the world’s first comprehensive treatment of Grand Canyon geology while also delivering an unprecedented combination of literature, art, and cartography. Dutton’s Atlas will curate these works and produce new insights on the impacts of Grand Canyon cartography on geographical thought and nature-society relations.

Digitization and Processing

Evaluating, inventorying, reformatting, and creating new collections of geographic information.

Sample ADOT highway aerial photograph overlaid onto contemporary imagery. AZ ADOT Highways & Interstates

AZ ADOT Highway & Interstates is a collection of aerial photographs acquired on behalf of the Arizona Department of Transportation between the late 1950s and early 1960s. The collection includes over 3,400 photos of Arizona highway corridors at various stages of development and construction. AZ ADOT Highways and Interstates is indexed on ASU GeoData. 


Sample AZ orthophoto aerial photograph. AZ Orthophotos

AZ USGS Orthophotography is a collection of aerial photographs created by the United States Geological Survey from 1971-1973. Photos in this collection cover the entire state of Arizona. AZ USGS Orthophotography is indexed on ASU GeoData.



Sample aerial photograph from the Navajo Project. "Navajo Project"

The "Navajo Project" is a collection of aerial photographs consisting of imagery covering large swaths of northeastern Arizona and the Four Corners region, which includes Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation lands. Acquisition flights were flown between 1937 to 1951 by various agencies. "Navajo Project" imagery is indexed on ASU GeoData.