Technologies and facilities

Technologies                 Go to Facilities

Geospatial Information Technology or GIT is the primary focus of the research projects developed at our Center. GIT is the sum of various technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

Geographic Information Systems or GIS can be defined from two different perspectives. In a strict sense, GIS is a system of computer software and hardware used for storage, retrieval, mapping, and analysis of geographic data. More basically, GIS is a technology that links information to geographical locations. The result is multiple layers of data referenced and linked by locations used to visualize, explore, query, edit, and analyze geographical information.

Some of the activities that are performed in GIS are data creation (i.e. digitizing maps), relating information from different sources (i.e. combining data about rivers with aerial photography), data representation (i.e. real world objects and elevation), data capture (i.e. surveys, aerial photography, etc), and data processing (i.e. transforming Lidar readings into elevations).

Applications of GIS technology include resource and asset management, hazard mitigation, environmental impact assessment, development and route planning, etc.

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Global Positioning Systems or GPS is a satellite navigation system that consists of a network of more than two dozen satellites orbiting around the Earth at 12,600 miles. GPS has become a vital tool for air, land, and sea navigation, location-based services, and for precise time reference required for telecommunications and earthquake studies.

GPS is an essential technology in a variety of geospatial applications such as land surveying and navigation, and is often used in GIS data collection.

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As a dual-location center, CGIT has cutting edge computing facilities in the main campus (Blacksburg) and in the National Capital Region (Alexandria). Additionally, we have a number of well-equipped research and teaching facilities (including GIS-based computer labs) in several buildings and departments across the main campus.

High bandwidth, secure network connectivity, and powerful servers connect these offices and provide state-of-art GIS research support to CGIT staff and affiliated faculty.

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© Center for Geospatial Information Technology, 2008.