The University of Zurich is Switzerland’s largest university with a strong research focus and is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The GIScience Center at the Department of Geography was founded in 1980 as continental Europe’s first research group in geographic information science (GIScience). The Center has three professors and three lecturers and 25 post-doctoral fellows and doctoral students. Members of the Center are in editor roles and on the editorial boards of the leading journals in GIScience.
The focus of research at the Center is on the development and utilization methods that seek structure in spatial and spatio-temporal data, thus turning raw data into geographic information, ultimately aiming at generating knowledge that leads to a better understanding of geographic patterns and processes. Research of the Center’s staff deals with computational movement analysis and simulation (with GPS, accelerometer and mobile phone data); location-based services; wayfinding and spatial cognition; modelling of language evolution across time and space; geographic information retrieval; extraction of place descriptions from text corpora and social media; and applications in public health and transportation.