The origin of UTU Geospatial Labs (formerly UTU-GIS) is in 1995, when the Laboratory of Computer Cartography, or LCC (in Finnish: TietokoneKartografian Laboratorio, TKL), was founded. It was an important research facility at the Department of Geography, University of Turku. The laboratory supported research activities in the field of Computer Aided Cartography or Geoinformatics: Remote Sensing (RS), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Digital Mapping, Digital Image Processing and Personal Navigation. LCC was founded as a member of AGILE (Association of GIS Laboratories in Europe) and in 2001 it also joined EARSeL (European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories).
The LCC was an interdisciplinary research unit developed to explore new ways of processing spatial data for the benefit of research in different fields of human and natural sciences. The laboratory shared its facilities with the Departments of Biology and Geology, and the three were jointly in charge of the running costs. The LCC was organised in a way that the most up-to-date equipment and software packages were available for all authorised users. Furthermore, basic digital data was shared among LCC’s user group. The name of LCC was changed to UTU-LCC in 2002. At the same time the language of annual reports and web-pages was turned to English.
After the successful launch of PaITuli-geospatial data service in 2009, much of the routine work of spatial data lending shifted from UTU into the hands of the CSC, the IT Centre for Science.
In 2014 a large computing room ‘Paikkatietoluokka’ was founded. Two teaching classrooms were equipped with 33 workstations. The UTU-LCC laboratory was changed mainly for image processing.
In 2018 UTU-GIS was renamed to UTU Geospatial Labs – multidisciplinary geospatial research and education cluster at the University of Turku providing the backbone for geospatial research and teaching for the whole university. In the recent years the activities and co-operation have also been increasingly international.