A component of the teaching and research activities of staff in the Geography Programme, GIS has an applied focus that provides students with opportunities to link GIS to many disciplines. These disciplines encompass topics from traditional social science applications, such as population migration patterns, to science-oriented uses, such as horticultural assessment using drones. GIS at the University of Waikato incorporates remote sensing, which focuses on information captured at a distance (aircraft, satellite, space station); for example, using night lights to monitor economic activity in developing countries. GIS in the Geography Programme caters for students that are new to computing, as well as people with advanced information technology skills. A GIS minor is available for all undergraduate degrees.
As a stream within the Geography Programme, GIS teaching and research overlaps with work undertaken by colleagues in the Environmental Planning Programme, staff from Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research, and physical geographers in the Earth Sciences Programme. GIS also enjoys accommodation by the New Zealand Geographical Society.