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Commonwealth Connection in the News!

Aug 30, 2023Virginia Tech efforts bring an estimated $250 million in additional funding to improve broadband access in Virginia

The Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT) at Virginia Tech was approached by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to compare the state's broadband coverage map against the national map used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for distributing $42 billion in federal broadband improvement funds. After six months, CGIT's challenge resulted in an additional federal allocation of $1.4 billion for Virginia's broadband enhancement, with an estimated $250 million increase due to their efforts.


May 26, 2022 - More Virginians need internet access than previously reported

The Youngkin administration said they discovered more Virginians do not have access to affordable, high-speed broadband internet than previously reported.

Gov. Glen Youngkin told CBS 6 that his team found additional homes and businesses were without broadband access after analyzing data from Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and their Virginia Broadband Availability Map.


May 17, 2022 - New federal programs offer Virginia households a subsidy for affordable high-speed internet

Recent mapping from Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology shows large areas in the southern part of the state where the majority of households lack high speed internet connections. The Commonwealth Connection mapping tool, developed with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Office of Broadband, was released last month to give local governments data to request funds and request infrastructure. 


Apr 30, 2022 - A Primer on Rural Issues Across Virginia

Virginia Tech has a Center for Geospatial Information Technology, where research is going into figuring out how to improve tools for data collection and visualization. One of the tools that the Center is using is the Commonwealth Connection, which helps visualize where high-speed internet service is available, and will help state officials and consumers determine where the most reliable broadband points are, as well as where they’re lacking. It’s a positive step forward towards allowing localities access to data needed to get funds for broadband infrastructure, as well as a better way to reach places that aren’t as connected.


Apr 29, 2022 - Enhanced Map Shows Broadband Coverage in Virginia

Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT), working in tandem with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Office of Broadband, has developed and launched an enhanced mapping tool to narrow the digital divide across the commonwealth.


Apr 27, 2022 - Enhanced map shows broadband coverage in Virginia

Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT), working in tandem with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Office of Broadband, has developed and launched an enhanced mapping tool to narrow the digital divide across the commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Connection mapping tool, which provides more timely and accurate information on where high-speed internet service is available in Virginia, will allow state officials as well as consumers to determine where reliable broadband access exists — and where it is lacking.


Sep 20, 2021 - The FCC Has Pledged to Update Its ‘Broken’ Broadband Mapping Process. Some States Are Starting to Go It Alone

The initiative to create a new Virginia map, made in partnership with the Center for Geospatial Information Technology at Virginia Tech, was mandated by law this year and would help the commonwealth count the number of addresses in each census block that are covered with broadband and enable decision-makers to identify the gaps more clearly.


Aug 25, 2021 - Tired of Flawed Broadband Data, Virginia Makes its Own Map

Faculty at Virginia Tech are building a new statewide broadband coverage map to get accurate coverage data to policymakers more quickly than the Federal Communications Commission currently does.

The Center for Geospatial Information Technology at Virginia Tech, a research center working with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, is currently building a portal for Virginia-servicing broadband providers to submit their coverage data directly to state officials. The project follows legislation passed this year that provides $424,000 for the commonwealth to build such a map by July 2022.


Older News:

Nov 6, 2019 - CGIT Data Helps to Make VA Roadways Safer

Each day and at all hours, about 15 people working for Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology access approximately 2,500 accident reports and crash diagrams submitted each week from the Highway Safety Office, within the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The information is reported by all Virginia police jurisdictions. The coders, many of whom are Virginia Tech students and alumni, use geospatial technology to pinpoint the location of each vehicle crash. 

They send the final information to the DMV, which makes it available to each Virginia locality. Law enforcement agencies use this data to determine patterns and answer questions about vehicle crashes, such as why a large number may happen at a particular intersection. 


Apr 26, 2019 - CGIT Creates Visualization Models for ATC

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy visited the Center for Geospatial Information Technology Lab to see several different visualization models.  Using augmented reality, GIS data and 3D printing, people who manage the internationally known footpath can utilize technology to improve its management, researchers and stakeholders said during a workshop meeting at Tech this week. The researchers and trail managers are especially interested in protecting its majestic views.

The goal, according to Peter Sforza, director of the Tech center, is to improve the science and practice of protecting trail resources, for the long-term health of the footpath and to help tourism.


Apr 15, 2019 - CGIT Wins Governor's Transportation Safety Award

Virginia Tech's Center for Geospatial Information Technology received the 2019 Governor's Award for Transportation Safety in the category of Innovation in Highway Safety. This was the first year for the innovation category. The award was formally presented to CGIT on May 22 in Roanoke at the 2019 Virginia Highway Safety Summit.


Oct 1, 2018 - CGIT Builds Database to Help Virginia's Veterans

The Center for Geospatial Information Technology developed a new database for both the Virginia Veterans and Family Support Program and Veterans Education, Transition, and Employment, a directorate of five organizations that helps veterans access educational and employment opportunities. The center worked to determine the specific needs of each organization and to facilitate communications between veterans and their dependents and schools, businesses, hospitals, and other service providers.

The new system went live in February 2018, with all organizations full transitioned by June 2018.


Mar 23, 2017 - Mapping New Territory: Olivia Eaton Takes a Job in Stafford County

We wish Olivia Eaton good luck on her new job and want to thank her for service at CGIT. She has been involved in a number of different projects here at CGIT, including Virginia Broadband Planning and Analysis Toolbox, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Crash Geolocation, National Extension Web-mapping Tool (N.E.W.T.), the Virginia Veteran and Family Support project, and re-designing the CGIT website.  Her new job in Stafford County will build on her experience at CGIT and she will continue working on the DMV project remotely.

Mar 04, 2016 - Improving Broadband Coverage

Because broadband impacts so many aspects of life (such as education, job searching, and healthcare), communities recognize the importance of having fast and reliable broadband with extensive coverage. With this growing need for broadband, many communities seek to improve their citizens' broadband experience by adding or improving broadband infrastructure.


Feb 01, 2016 - Certified Floodplain Manager

Virginia Tech's Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT) hosted the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation during the week of January 25th in order to train over 20 individuals to become FEMA Certified Floodplain Managers. The course titled "Managing Floodplain Development through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)" was attended by CGIT staff members along with other local government organizations across Virginia including Montgomery County, Virginia Beach, Franklin County, and many others.


May 28, 2015 - Merging Art and Science

CGIT has been mentioned in the CNRE Newsmagazine for participating in the recreation of a tornado in 3-D that could provide a more effective way to study storms. Meteorologist Jim Cantore visited Virginia Tech on February 6 to experience the storm inside the Cube, the immersive space used to display the storm. Matt Vaughan, a researcher from CGIT, developed the GIS map layers that worked with radar data to place the storm on the grid.


Apr 02, 2015 - CGIT Gets a New Website

CGIT has taken the opportunity to give our website quite an update including a new layout consistent with the College of Natural Resources' web presence, updated contact and facility information, current research and development information, and a more comprehensive look at who we are and what we do!


Mar 25, 2015 - CGIT Joins the College of Natural Resources and Environment

The college already boasts a majority of Virginia Tech's coursework related to geographic technologies, making CGIT an excellent addition to the current CNRE research centers.


Mar 17, 2015 - 2013 Governor's Technology Awards

CGIT is honored to be named a recipient of a 2013 Governor's Technology Award for our work to develop the Broadband Planning and Analysis Toolkit in addition to a second 2013 Governor's Technology Award for our work in developing Veteran’s Broadband Access for Improved Healthcare.


Mar 17, 2015 - Technology Initiatives Making Virginia Tech More Secure

A variety of high-tech initiatives assist Virginia Tech’s police department, emergency responders, and facility managers to make campus a safer and more secure place. These projects highlight the many ways that Virginia Tech works to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors on campus from both natural and man-made hazards.


Sep 11, 2012 - CGIT Heads to the 2012 VA GIS Conference

CGIT shows a strong presence in Charlottesville at the 2012 Virginia GIS Conference with five presentations accepted.


Jun 20, 2012 - CGIT Hosts Hot Topics Pitch Event

CGIT’s first annual “Hot Topics: Project Pitch Event sizzles with new and innovative research directions.


Feb 24, 2012 - CGIT Vineyards Team Heads to the Big Apple

CGIT’s Vineyards Team heads to the New York City for to give a presentation at the Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting.


Oct 21, 2011 - Building Information Modeling (BIM) Presentation

On Friday October 21, 2011, Deke Smith, will share his professional experience and provide direction based upon his book, Building Information Modeling: A Strategic Implementation Guide.


Apr 26, 2011 - Peter Sforza Receives 2011 XCaliber Award

Peter Sforza, director and research scientist at CGIT, received the university's 2011 XCaliber Award.  Read more at VT News.


Apr 15, 2011 - AAG Presentation on San Fransisco Healthcare System

Virginia Tech researchers presented "Dynamics of an Urban Health Care System: Case of San Francisco 1880 to 1930" at the 2011 Association of American Geographers annual meeting in Seattle, Washington.


Mar 08, 2011 - ChesapeakeView: Everything You Need to Know about the Bay

Remote sensing information about land use, habitat changes and biodiversity is now available through ChesapeakeView. Read more from Penn State's news article here.





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