The Spatial Sciences Institute is housed in the Allan Hancock Foundation Building and includes sixteen faculty and staff offices, two conference rooms, an instructional computer lab and dedicated spaces for graduate and undergraduate student researchers.
The Institute boasts an impressive array of computing technologies dedicated to research and education. Housed within USC’s state-of-the-art data center, the core consists of 14 multi-core processor IBM blade servers and three clustered IBM 3650m servers hosting a VMware environment. These machines power a multitude of applications, including the entire suite of industry-standard GIS applications from Esri and GPS applications from Trimble, specialty software like the Idrisi Taiga GIS and Image Processing software, the latest in virtualization technologies from Citrix, and a series of cutting-edge applications like our geocoding services that were developed in-house.
As a research driven entity, the faculty, staff and students affiliated with the Spatial Sciences Institute often generate and process huge amounts of data. This workflow is typically implemented from a series of desktop PCs and laptops. The latter are frequently deployed with a variety of hand-held GPS units and used to support the field mapping courses taught on Catalina Island and a series of field research projects.
On the back end, a fiber channel SAN running high speed disk over a gigabit network ensures high availability and fast access to data. As with any other research enterprise, the integrity of our data is paramount and as a consequence, we utilize a variety of security physical and virtual features to guard against unwanted access. Furthermore, we follow a stringent disaster recovery plan that includes weekly and monthly backups which are sent to a remote location for secure storage.
All computer facilities are supported by the Dornsife College Technology Services Office and a dedicated computer services consultant housed in the Spatial Sciences Institute.