Research and education

Svalbox is hosted by the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and managed by Kim Senger from the Department of Arctic Geology. Much of the recent virtual outcrop data acquisition is conducted in conjunction with ongoing research projects and educational activities at UNIS.

We rely on the willingness and enthusiasm of our project partners to make Svalbox a reality – and are continually seeking new partners that can contribute know-how, data sets or financial support to take Svalbox to the next level.


The University Centre in Svalbard

The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) strives to optimize its unique location at 78°N to educate the next generation of Arctic experts. The remote location with a seasonal pattern of polar nights and polar days, coupled with the amazing vegetation-free geological outcrops, make Svalbard a unique place to fully utilize virtual outcrop models in both education and outreach. The Department of Arctic Geology covers a broad range of research topics, and also offers numerous undergraduate and graduate courses all of which involve fieldwork in spectacular Arctic locations.


The Virtual Outcrop Geology (VOG) group at Uni CIPR in Bergen is headed by Dr Simon Buckley and specializes in geomatics including the use of Lidar and photogrammetry to generate virtual outcrops for use in geoscience research and education. The group also develops the Lime visualization and interpretation software, available for free to academic institutions. In addition, CIPR develops, hosts and maintains the industry-funded Safari database of outcrops which includes a web-based virtual outcrop viewer suitable for displaying virtual outcrops on any platform. CIPR is also active in developing virtual field trips and smartphone apps as part of their ongoing activities.

Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo

Department of Pedagogics, University of Bergen

Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen

Department of Geosciences, UiT- The Arctic University of Norway

Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska

Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit

Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin

Department of Petrology and Economic Geology, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland

Unisinos university

Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen

Department of Geography & Geology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA

Data providers

Svalbox relies on quality and comprehensive datasets – the more goes in, the more powerful it becomes. We at UNIS contribute primarily with virtual outcrop data sets and Svalbard-related publications. However, a number of institutions in particular have provided us with critical data sets to enhance Svalbox.

Public-domain data, as visible on this website, is the foundation for Svalbox. Additional proprietary data sets, or data where confidentiality is important, are included in locked Svalbox projects and used in research projects solely where their use has been clarified with the data owners.

Norwegian Polar Institute

Geological Survey of Norway

Software Providers


Schlumberger provides UNIS and the other academic partners in the project with academic licenses of the Petrel software, a powerful tool for integrating a range of data sets (e.g., seismic, wellbores, sedimentary logs, terrain models, bathymetry) in a 3D environment.


Cegal develops plug-ins for Petrel that allows advanced and efficient workflows. We are particularly fond users of the Blueback Toolbox which facilitates the inclusion of maps and geological profiles in Petrel quickly and easily.

Midland Valley

Midland Valley provides an academic license of the Move desktop suite – apart from being a powerful structural restoration software it serves as the desktop version of the FieldMove app which we actively use in the field.


The virtual outcrop group at Uni CIPR provides academic licenses of Lime – a powerful software to analyze 3D virtual outcrop models.


Agisoft provides discounted educational licenses for its Metashape software, an intuitive and efficient software for constructing virtual outcrop models using photogrammetry.

Financial support

UArctic - University of the Arctic

Initial project funding was provided by the University of Arctic (UArctic) through the “Circum-Arctic Geology for Everyone project” that run from 2016 to 2018. This co-operation project brought together Norwegian and international partners willing to share knowledge and resources to bring geoscientific education into the 21st century. It allowed us to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for acquiring ground- and drone-based photogrammetric data sets, licenses for software to process these data and mechanisms to share these data with a wider audience. Including the Svalbox website!