Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-13-2017


The University of New Mexico(UNM) stores data on students, faculty, and staff at the University. The data is used to generate reports and fill surveys for several local, statewide and nationwide reporting entities. The reports convey statistical and analytical information such as the graduation rates, retention, performance, ethnicity, age, and gender of students. Furthermore, the Institute of Design and Innovation (IDI), and the Office of Institutional Analytics (OIA) at UNM use the data provided for various predictive studies aimed at improving student outcomes.

This thesis proposes geospatial data as an additional layer of information for the data repository. The paper runs through the general steps involved in setting up a geospatial database using PostgreSQL and geospatial extensions including PostGIS, Tiger Geocoder, and Address Standardizer. With geospatial functionality incorporated into the data repository, the university can know how far students live, which amenities are in proximity to students, and other geospatial features which describe students’ journeys through college.

To demonstrate how the university could exploit geospatial functionality a dataset of UNM students is spatially joined to socioeconomic data from the United States’ Census Bureau. Various student related geospatial queries are shown, as well as, how to set up a geospatial database.


geospatial querying, tableau, TIGER, multidimensional databases, data visualization

Document Type




Degree Name

Computer Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Prof. Gregory L. Heileman

Second Committee Member

Prof. Don R. Hush

Third Committee Member

Dr. Heather Mechler