Research laboratories and stations for geosciences and geography
The Department of Geosciences and Geography has modern research laboratories and large databases, research stations and a national network of seismic observation stations.
Research laboratories

The Geoinformatics Laboratory, located in the Physicum building on Kumpula Campus, comprises four adaptable facilities for teaching and working. Partitions enable the facilities to be arranged in various ways to accommodate the needs of courses and workshops. Each work space in the laboratory is equipped with a desktop and, depending on the laboratory facility, one to two displays. Each laboratory facility also has a fixed data projector or smartboard and a sound system. There are a total of 46 (12+12 and 11+11) workstations, including those of the teachers.


The Geoinformatics Laboratory maintains a wide range of software used in the field. They include both commercial products provided by market leaders and open-source software. In addition to providing basic education in geoinformatics, the laboratory is well equipped for comprehensive studies of remote sensing methods, as well as for data processing and urban planning. Thanks to various software, the laboratory offers versatile support for students and researchers at different stages of work, from collecting data in the field and extracting them from different devices (GPS, GNSS, UAV, measuring devices) to analysing data and publishing the results.

Examples of software

  • ArcGis and ArcGis Pro
  • MapInfo
  • Erdas Imagine
  • Pix4D
  • Microstation
  • QGis
  • SagaGis


The staff and students of the Department of Geosciences and Geography have access to numerous Finnish spatial datasets and data resources produced in various projects.

The access rights and download methods vary depending on the resource, but most of the data are available for scientific research purposes and/or study on the University’s computers. As a rule, permission to publish maps based on the data must be specifically requested from the data providers.

HelLabs is a laboratory infrastructure for geophysics, environmental research and mineralogy. It provides analytical services and various opportunities for physical and chemical analyses.

Read more about the laboratory operations on the HelLabs website.

The BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab focuses on spatial and temporal modelling of the Earth, especially in the research fields of biogeography, geomorphology and climatology.

Read more on the website of the BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab.

The Earth Change Observation Laboratory applies remote sensing methods to study physical, biological and societal changes, especially in the southern hemisphere.

Read more on the Earth Change Observation Laboratory website.

The NOW (New and Old World) database contains comprehensive data about fossil mammals from the European and North American continents.

Read more about the NOW database.

Taita research station

The Taita Research Station is the University of Helsinki’s multidisciplinary research station in the Kenyan Taita Hills. Opened in 2011, the station is administered by the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Science. The Taita Research Station is nature’s own laboratory, ideally suited to research in fields such as the natural sciences, social sciences, ecology and evolutionary biology, plant and animal systematics and microbial ecology.