Help Desk

The Help Desk is available to answer your geospatial questions. We can answer most questions related to GIS, remote sensing, and spatial data. If we can't answer your question, we know someone on campus who can and will get you connected!

General Hours
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Summer Walk-in Hours

Tuesday 10:00am - 1:00pm

Wednesday 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Thursday 1:00pm - 4:00pm

If you cannot make these hours, we are happy to setup an appointment with you. To arrange an appointment, please contact us at or (612) 624-7591.

Other Resources

GIS StackExchange - Public forum for all types of GIS and remote sensing questions

Esri Forums - Everything Esri


U-Spatial also provides consulting services. Depending upon the size of the project, many times we can provide this service free of charge. Please let us know if you would like assistance with a GIS project and are looking for help writing grant proposals with GIS components.

For more informaton, contact

Len Kne
612 624-7591

Examples of Past Projects

Minnesota Solar Suitability Analysis Web Application

The Solar Suitability Analysis research team developed a method for calculating solar insolation at a high resolution across the entire state of Minnesota. The results are intended to provide a conservative estimate of solar insolation for determining the suitability of potential photovoltaic solar installations. Using Light Detection and Ranging technology (Lidar), the project created a Digital Surface Model (DSM) covering the extent of Minnesota. Completed, the DSM is an impressive 800+ gigabytes in size. The DSM is further processed through a combination of ArcGIS's Spatial Analysis function and clever use of a Python scripting with a PostgreSQL database.The analysis scripts calculate the incident, yearly solar radiation for every point in Minnesota and output a visual representation in the form of a raster image. Furthermore. the project provides a framework for remotely sensed large datasets, alternative energy, and data availability in the GIS and solar communities at large.

Ebola Crisis in Liberia

U-Spatial setup and supported several training sessions utilizing Open Street Map to map the Ebola Crisis in Liberia. This project was carried out through the School of Nursing to help create reference map for the humanitarian efforts in River Gee county in Liberia. Nursing students created regional reference maps through the delineation of roads, structures, and waypoints between jurisdictions to aid in the volunteer efforts.


Minnesota Arboretum Web App

U-Spatial along with Arboretum staff developed a set of custom applications to search and display available plants in the Arboretum. Along with a custom basemap made for the Arboretum, search functionalities were added to the information kiosks, mobile, and web applications. Using ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS JavaScript API, some of the search functions made available for use were the plant’s common name and the botanical name (genus and species) and the location of the plant in the Arboretum.

Air Quality Analysis Consultation for Metropolitan Design Center

The Metropolitan Design Center approached U-Spatial for guidance in working with city data to produce some reports about air quality risks around highways. A grad student met with MDC staff on three separate occasions to help them organize their data and teach them how a few key geoprocessing tools could help them accomplish their goals.