Spatial Business Initiative

A University of Redlands–Esri Partnership

Master the Business of Where


The global use of geographic information systems (GIS) and location analytics is expected to double by 2023, becoming a $10 billion industry ( A key driver in this growth is the use of location intelligence by the private sector. With 80 percent of business data containing geographic information, location analytics delivers insights into markets, customers, services, logistics, supply chains, and asset and risk management.

Spatial Business Academy

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The University of Redlands School of Business has been working with Esri to design a Spatial Business Academy to address the need for training that blends business knowledge with location analytics. This event will occur on both the University of Redlands campus and the Esri Headquarters campus.

The purpose of this event is to provide an immersive and accelerated learning environment that equips participants with both conceptual and hands-on skills for considering, implementing, and assessing GIS applications across a wide variety fo business functions, contexts, and strategies. Please see the program overview of the Academy, including learning objectives and key themes and topics for each day.

Space is limited and so we would encourage you to RSVP by March 8, 2019. You can RSVP by clicking here.

A Unique Partnership


The Spatial Business Initiative is a unique alliance between the University of Redlands School of Business and Esri, the global leader in mapping software, that aims to maximize the understanding and effectiveness of GIS in business through education, publishing, research, and advising.

“Esri is proud to be a part of this ground-breaking initiative. Education has always been an important part of our mission. The business world is increasingly relying on spatial data today to make better-informed decisions, so it is more important than ever that students have a foundation in location intelligence.”

— Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president

Advancing Industry Knowledge and Use of Location Intelligence

The initiative is advancing a wide array of projects at the intersection of GIS and business. These include:

The intersection of GIS and business will also be advanced in the following projects:

  • Certificate in location analytics. A certificate program in location analytics will launch at the University of Redlands starting in June 2019. The program, which consists of a series of four classes, will be offered online as well as on the Redlands campus.
  • Multimedia case studies. A series of stand-alone multimedia case studies elucidating how spatial business can be used in marketing, sales, service, logistics, supply chain, and customer retention is being developed to supplement business school curricula.
  • Conference. An annual research conference on the main University of Redlands campus advances the knowledge and practice of spatial business use. The conference builds and nurtures a community of researchers, scholars, students, and practitioners interested in the use of location analytics and GIS in business.
  • Executive training. The Spatial Business Initiative sponsors executive retreats and workshops for leaders at Esri and other parts of the private sector.


Thomas Horan, Senecal Endowed Dean at the University of Redlands School of Business and a member of Esri’s Business Advisory Council, works with Professors James Pick and Avijit Sarkar to direct the initiative through the University of Redlands Center for Spatial Business. A steering committee is comprised of members of both the University of Redlands and Esri communities.

Watch Tom Horan's Esri Spotlight Interview "Mastering the Business of Where."

Read Thomas Horan’s article in Esri’s WhereNext Magazine, “The Next MBA You Hire Should Know GIS.”


The University of Redlands is a leader in spatial education through both its School of Business and College of Arts and Sciences: