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Research Group: Geospatial Engineering

Cutting edge research and innovative teaching across science and engineering.

Geospatial engineering is the study of the collection, analysis and interpretation of data relating to the earth's surface. Our work has many applications across science and engineering.

We carry out internationally leading research and teaching on all aspects of:

  • Spatial analytics
  • Geographic data science
  • Earth observation
  • Geospatial measurement science
  • Geospatial modelling
  • Geographic visualisation
Geospatial Engineering student


We have over 60 years of experience in the field of geospatial sciences since we first offered a Joint Honours degree in Surveying in 1967. We previously operated under the names of Surveying and later Geomatics, before changing to Geospatial Engineering in 2019.

Our research informs our highly-rated specialist BEng, BSc and PhD degree programmes, where we educate the next generation of geospatial professionals. We enjoy excellent collaborative links with industry in both research and teaching. Our graduates are highly sought by employers.

We also lead the Newcastle Urban Observatory - the largest set of publicly-available real-time urban data in the UK, as part of UKCRIC. We are also part of:

Our research spans a broad spectrum of cutting-edge technology development and applications. From the wilds of the Antarctic and oceans to the bustle of modern cities. It has a societal impact across science and engineering.

Our research falls under three themes:

  • Geospatial Data Analysis and Modelling (GDAM)
  • Earth Observation (NeoLAB)
  • Geodesy

Geospatial Data Analytics and Modelling

We develop the data science and visualisation tools behind all analysis of location-based data.

Our research is both developmental and applied. We focus on the acquisition, analysis, simulation and visualisation of complex geospatial systems. Our research leads to better informed decision making and policy.

We have particular strengths in:

  • environmental sensor networks and Spatial Internet of Things (IoT)
  • large scale geospatial database architectures
  • real-time geospatial data analytics and multi-scale spatial modelling
  • visualisation of dynamic spatial datasets

Earth Observation (NEOLab)

The Newcastle Earth Observation Laboratory develops innovative techniques in data capture. As part of this, we also investigate the methodological development and application of these data sources. Some of the techniques we use include:

  • UAV imagery
  • photogrammetry
  • laser scanning
  • synthetic aperture radar
  • satellite image analysis

Earth Observation research focuses on data about the Earth’s systems. We use this data to assess the status of, or track changes in, the natural and built environments. Application areas include civil engineering, precision agriculture, natural resource management, cultural heritage and geohazards.

We use the latest remote sensing technologies, such as:

  • satellite imaging
  • airborne digital sensors
  • unmanned aerial vehicles
  • mobile mapping systems
  • advanced ground-based instrumentation

These technologies provide detailed geometric and radiometric data at many spatio-temporal scales. Thus, we have unique insights into the Earth’s physical, biological and engineered systems.

Our activities include:

  • sensor calibration and validation
  • advanced approaches to measurement and monitoring
  • novel algorithms for integrating multi-sensor data and assessment of new technologies


Geodesy is the precise measurement and analysis of:

  • the Earth’s changing shape and gravity field
  • large-scale natural features and infrastructure

We refine the methods and application of high-precision GNSS methodologies. This provides us with a better understanding of the dynamics of the changing environment around us.


Taught Programmes

Our Geospatial Engineering Undergraduate Programmes equip students with the professional skills they need to succeed while exposing them to real-world experiences. Our students are in demand from industry for their skills and expertise in geospatial sciences.

Industry links, partnerships and impact

We work with partners from across the world on research programmes and education. Our partners come from a diverse range of organisations. This spans from academia to global leaders in industry and government. These collaborations enable us to:

  • undertake our world-leading research
  • maximise impact
  • deliver cutting-edge teaching programmes

We are always interested in developing new connections with collaborators and partners. Get in touch if you are interested in exploring with us. Our links with industry include:

Join us

Doctoral training

We have a large cohort of PhD students funded through various means. We welcome any interest from potential applicants and encourage you to liaise with an appropriate member of academic staff. We will always offer support and guidance on funding opportunities and research areas.

A key part of our PhD research training programme is our leadership of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Geospatial Systems. We are also part of the NERC IAPETUS and ONEPlanet doctoral training partnerships. We have opportunities for applicants through these:

If interested, or you would like to know more, please get in touch with us.

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