The Bruton Center

Welcome to the Bruton Center, a research center that focuses on the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Spatial Analysis and Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) in Social Sciences.

About The School:

Established in 1989 with a gift from the David Bruton, Jr. Charitable Trust and housed in the school of Social Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, the Bruton Center conducts basic and applied research on the trends, forces, and public policies that pertain to urban and regional development. Known as a leader in utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the Center performs grant and contract research with local, national and international organizations. The Center also creates learning opportunities for graduate students, who receive hands-on training through its research projects.


Located in the dynamic and rapidly growing Dallas-Ft. Worth area, the Bruton Center brings together researchers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives who share an interest in understanding the causes and consequences of metropolitan growth patterns. Our research draws on traditional social science methodologies, but adds an emphasis on the spatial dimension through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA). Researchers at the Center conduct both basic research on social and economic issues related to urban and regional growth, as well as applied research on the institutions and public policies that shape the metropolitan environment. We offer technical expertise and training in using GIS, advanced data analysis, statistical software, geographic database management, and software design and development.


The primary objective of the Bruton Center is to promote the use of innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to the study of urban and regional development. The elements of the Centerís research agenda focus on urban and suburban growth, racial and economic segregation, neighborhood decline, land use patterns, and the health and environmental consequences of spatial development processes.

Through research projects, degree programs, and partnerships with government agencies and non-profit organizations, the Bruton Center promotes the analysis of spatial patterns of development by using the evolving tools of GIS and spatial econometrics. We seek to refine and develop spatial measures and spatial data analysis tools, and to improve the usefulness of spatial information in policy analysis and public management.