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Society/business Center for Information Technology Research and Innovation Support Services Geodienst

Spatial Data Call

“Our opportunities lie in data.” This is how the opening speech of rector magnificus Cisca Wijmenga started this academic year. One of the specialisations of the CIT (Center for Information Technology) of the University of Groningen (UG) is dealing with spatial data. Many researchers run into limitations when it comes to spatial data and performing analyzes. The findability of data is difficult if you do not know the domain, knowledge about how data can be enriched (linked data) is not widely available and for many scientists it remains a puzzle to use the various complex tools that are available in the right way. Lack of time, difficult data formats and large, complex data sets do not make it any easier for the researchers either.

This spatial data call has been set up to lower the threshold and support university-wide research.


Five days of free support by the Geodienst. Researchers can request support in collecting, enriching and analyzing spatial datasets for a maximum of five days. This support can consist of, for example:

  • Adding locations to existing data: geocoding addresses
  • Data Linkage to other spatial datasets: we applied this when developing the Stemwegwijzer, where we collected all locations of polling stations in the Netherlands
  • Combining and processing existing (open) data sets, or enriching research data with other data sources, as we have done before for Lifelines


To apply for this amount of free support, a proposal needs to be written by the researcher. The Spatial Data Call proposal must at least address the following:

  • The scientific relevance of the research
  • The size of the spatial data required, such as the geographical context (for example Groningen, the Netherlands or Europe), the time span and the level of detail
  • The requested support from the Geodienst
  • The possibilities for reusing the data for, for example, follow-up research

In addition, calls that meet the following criteria have an advantage in applying for the grant:

  • Concrete plans for a follow-up project or a grant application Development of reusable data
  • Innovativeness within their own field of expertise
  • Use of own resources (matching)
  • Use of open (geo)data


Proposals can be submitted in whole of February 2020 using the form below. We recommend using this template for the proposal. The proposals will be assessed by a selection committee consisting of (amongst others):

  • Prof. dr. Ronald Stolk, director CIT
  • Drs. Marijke Verheij, Domain Manager Research CIT
  • Drs. Govert Schoof, teamlead Geodienst
  • Dr. Ir. Erik Meijles, assistant professor at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences

Proposals may be submitted in Dutch or English. A selection will be made from the submitted proposals and four applications will be honored.

The deadline for responses to the Spatial Data Call is 1 March 2020, 12:00 p.m.


Within the University, the Geodienst is the only organization-wide spatial expertise center in the Netherlands. It provides the Research Infrastructure for the entire spatial domain. This infrastructure consists of a Virtual Research Environment, software, data, research data management, expertise and support. The support team of specialists answers questions about tooling, research methodology or spatial data on a daily basis. In addition to infrastructure, Multidisciplinary specialists in the field of spatial computing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) do innovative scientific data science projects, make visualizations and provide consultancy on geo questions. The Geodienst ensures the visibility of science inside and outside the university. The expertise center also provides training, education and training in the field of GIS, Spatial Data Science and Spatial Research Data.

Last modified:03 March 2020 09.21 a.m.
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