About us

Geospatial Research Institute | Toi Hangarau

Our mission is to be a national centre of gravity for geospatial research to deliver transdisciplinary solutions that enables the benefits of spatial information technology to be fully realised.
Our projectsWe conduct leading transdisciplinary geospatial research towards a just and sustainable society for our whānau and communities. Our research is culturally appropriate, ethical, engaged and partnership-based.
We develop novel geospatial technologies and methods in areas of critical importance for sustainable development. Our work is driven by open data and software; in return, our research outputs are openly available.
GeoHealth LabOur GeoHealth Laboratory undertakes applied research in health geography, spatial epidemiology and GIS. Research addresses the local and national contexts which shape health outcomes and health inequalities.
Areas of research

We conduct interdisciplinary, partnership-based geospatial research across the social and physical sciences

Social indicators of health

Healthly communities

Social vulnerability

Urban planning

Bicultural governance


Digital Twins

Natural hazards

Novel remote sensing




Our vision

The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau is a world class centre of interdisciplinary geospatial expertise in New Zealand.

With our interdisciplinary partnership-based geospatial research, we aim to assist Aotearoa New Zealand to:


Leverage latent value from investments in public and other datasets – Deliver expected productivity gains from smarter use of geospatial data, technologies and analytics


Grow geospatial capacity, by providing access to a range of types and levels of geospatial capability


Realise the opportunities for geospatial innovation and R&D offered by the scale and nature of the New Zealand jurisdiction


Provide ongoing global leadership in the rapidly growing field of indigenous GIS.

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About us

Our expertise

Geospatial Analysis

Geospatial analysis uses geographic data to make complex spatial relationships understandable, either by maps, graphs or statistics.

Digital Twins

Developing automated methodologies to assimilate geospatial data and provide the analytics needed by stakeholders for improved decision-making.

Geographic Information Science

Geographic Information Science uses software such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to collect, manage, analyse and display geographic information.

Geospatial AI

We assimilate large amounts of geospatial data to conduct predictive analytics using machine learning in a range of domains.

Remote sensing

Remote sensing provides a rich source of information for our environmental and urban analytics.

Geospatial Software Development

Building new tools to help view and understand the complexities of multiple sets of Geographic Information.

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