About Us


Geospatial and Population Studies supplies trustworthy information that serves communities and government agencies; offers cutting-edge technology and research methods; and provides a fertile training ground at UNM for a new generation of applied researchers and decision makers.


Geospatial and Population Studies improves people’s lives by performing research and evaluation to provide accurate and actionable information for data-driven decisions and policies.


About GPS

The University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies Center (UNM-GPS) was founded in 2011 and consists of two core units: the Traffic Research Unit (TRU) and the Demographic Research Unit (DRU).

  • TRU partners with the New Mexico Department Of Transportation (NMDOT) to build and maintain a comprehensive database of vehicular crashes occurring on New Mexico roads. These data are analyzed in detailed crash reports published each year (http://gps.unm.edu/tru/crash-reports)
  • DRU functions as the New Mexico State Demographer’s office and publishes annual population estimates and tri-annual population projections. DRU works closely with the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure accurate demographic statistics related to New Mexico. DRU also partners with New Mexico state agencies and researchers at the UNM Health Science Center who benefit from our expertise in applied demography.

UNM-GPS has a wealth of experience in geospatial data analysis and helping public officials make data-driven decisions with particular expertise in the following areas:

  1. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) combined with statistical programming to analyze data and create maps for spatial data analysis.
  2. Statistical data analysis, data integration, and data ETL (extraction, transformation and loading) using SAS, R, SPSS and other statistical software.
  3. Data quality improvement with the ability to profile, cleanse and match data during the ETL process.
  4. Geocoding of addresses with specialization in difficult-to-match addresses such as those in rural and tribal New Mexico.
  5. Broadband mapping including coverage gaps of small areas and specific cohorts such as children under the age of 5 living in New Mexico.


UNM-GPS is a premier center for research in applied demography and is nationally recognized for its expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), small-area demographic modeling and traffic crash research. Our current and past partners include:

  1. U.S. Census Bureau Population Division
  2. New Mexico Department of Transportation
  3. New Mexico Department of Health
  4. New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration
  5. National Academies of Science’s Committee on National Statistics
  6. University of New Mexico School of Medicine Prevention Research Center
  7. University of New Mexico Center for Healthcare Equity in Kidney Disease
  8. New Mexico Geospatial Advisory Committee
  9. New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority
  10. Interstate Stream Commission