CSAR - History

The Portland State University Center for Spatial Analysis and Research (CSAR) was originally established about 1978 as the Portland State University Cartographic Center. In its early years, the Center's efforts focused on the production of individual maps, primarily for journals and books.

As technology changed and the Center's capabilities grew, its activities expanded to include more than the production of individual maps.

In 1988 the Center completed design and production of the 64-page Oregon Environmental Atlas for DEQ.

In 1989 the Center took on the first of several major projects for Metro, the regional government for the tri-county metropolitan region. The initial project involved remote sensing and was the first-ever mapping of greenspaces in the greater Portland area. This was followed by the digital compilation of the map into a GIS data base - one of the first data layers in Metro's RLIS data base. Finally, in 1992 the Center completed a GIS-based analysis of greenspaces. These three efforts formed an important component of Metro's successful passage of a $135 million bond measure in 1995 for the acquisition and protection of greenspaces regionwide.

The late 1990's and early 2000's saw the continued expansion of remote sensing and GIS-related work into projects involving satellite data analysis and spatial modeling. In addition, technological innovations in digital presentation led to work in digital illustration, such as software map production and web design. In 2005 the Cartographic Center was renamed the Center for Spatial Analysis and Research (CSAR) to better reflect its expanded capabilities.