The implications of cybersecurity and threats to complex data systems and to the global economy are a growing concern. The MIT Geospatial Data Center (GDC) researches new technologies to enhance the security of our national information infrastructure.

“America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.” President Barack Obama, 2013 State of the Union

GDC’s work in Cyber Range has the ability to perform repeatable cyber capacity and attack tests and then do impact analysis for large, globally networked enterprise systems. 

Research projects include using geospatial data to optimize supply-chain management and address cyber security issues. GDC's work provides accurate and advanced data collection to evaluate climate, energy, water, sanitation, and health concerns. Current work is focused on large-scale simulation, cyber physical security, big data, and holistic system data visualization.

The MIT GDC team creates geospatial software platforms to architect and engineer the next-generation platform for public participation and benefit.

GDC is organized into 12 focus groups:

  1. Software Architecture
  2. Software Design
  3. Software Development
  4. Geonumerics
  5. Internet of Things
  6. Intelligent Engineering
  7. High Performance Computing Geospatial Platform
  8. Research Policy
  9. Administration
  10. Operations
  11. Technical Writing
  12. Scientific Writing and Communications



John Williams
Director, Geospatial Data Center 
Professor of Information Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Engineering Systems 

Abel Sanchez
Geospatial Data Center 
Executive Director and Chief Technology Architect