For centuries, geography and maps have given us ways to describe and understand our world. In the digital age, powerful computation methods and technologies draw upon geography and other sciences to form geographic information science (GIS), its own cross-cutting discipline that contributes to scientific discovery and shares new knowledge through web portals and re-imagined maps and other visualizations.
We are at the forefront of furthering geographic information science into new frontiers to tackle intractable social issues in ways that were not possible before.
Analyzing and Modeling the Earth’s Surface
Acquiring Spatial Data
With five faculty members licensed by the FAA for drone operations, we are rapidly expanding our use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in our courses and research. We teach UAS as a collection platform in courses where students autonomously fly collection routes with fixed and rotary wing platforms. With recent extramural support from the Department of Defense, our Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence Lab is a campus leader in developing the autonomous use of drones for 3D change detection, modeling and simulation.
For her final project in SSI’s cartography and visualization course, Xin Yu (M.S. Spatial Data Science ’19; Population, Health and Place Ph.D. student) produced this map which shows the routes along the 21st-century silk road (Belt and Road Initiative), with three corridors as examples of the economic and trade development opportunities for participating countries from 2013 to 2017.
Conserving Species Habitats
Protecting the Environment