GIS/GIScience Labs and Facilities at Oregon State

Teaching Labs | Research Labs | Departments/Colleges

Instructional Facilities

Student Computing Facilities around campus

Many of the student computing facilities on campus, Education 126, Milne basement, Milne 201, and others, have computers with copies ArcView 3.x, ArcGIS 9.x, Idrisi32, AutoCad, Netscape, etc. Additional software can be installed at the request of a faculty or staff member. Computers are linked to laser and color dot matrix printers.

Forestry Computing Laboratories

The College of Forestry maintains several instructional labs equipped with Pentium personal computers, Unix workstations, VGA monitors, digitizing tablets and color printers. Software packages include ArcGIS, GRASS, and ERDAS.

Digital Earth Laboratory

The Department of Geosciences and the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences initially received funding from NASA to establish this instructional laboratory. The lab is now under the administration of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) is equipped with 31 Pentium 4 workstations, running several software packages (e.g., ArcGIS, Erdas, ENVI, Idrisi, etc.) for instruction in GIS, scientific visualization, remote sensing, image processing, and cartography. The laboratory sections of all introductory, intermediate and advanced level GIS, cartography, and remote sensing courses offered by CEOAS are taught here.

OSU Valley Library

The OSU Valley Library (main library on campus) has ArcGIS available on all the library information commons computers. For more information, contact Geosciences/GIS Librarian Andrea Wirth.


Research Facilities and Equipment

Departments involved in Geographic Information Science research have obtained the basic hardware and software needed for faculty and graduate student projects. Most research units include Windows personal computers, Unix workstations, computers equipped with printers and plotters. Software such ArcGIS, Idrisi, ERDAS, and Envi are routinely used in GIS, cartographic, and remote sensing projects. Digital data such as Landsat and Spot, AVHRR, Coastal Zone Color Scanner sensor imagery, radar altimeter and scatterometer data, World Data Bank II map features, USGS digital line graph (DLG), digital elevation model (DEM), and U.S. Census Bureau TIGER files are commonly accessed. Surveying research equipment includes total station surveying instruments and global positioning system (GPS) receivers.

Terra Cognita Laboratory

Terra Cognita is a research laboratory in CEOAS at Oregon State University that specializes in the application of spatial analysis methods, advanced visualization techniques, and high-performance computing to research problems in geography and geology. The laboratory serves graduate student and faculty research in the department. The core of the laboratory computing facility consists of eight Dell workstations, including five dual processor workstations, three single processor workstations, and a Dell web server. This computing core is supplemented by high-resolution monochrome and color printers, two large-format color plotters, and a color flatbed scanner. An underlying Active Directory network supports connectivity needs for all equipment. Software in use includes ArcGIS, S-Plus, ArcIMS, IDL, IVS Fledermaus, Erdas Imagine, and ENVI.

Davey Jones' Locker

Davey Jones' Locker within CEOAS has Windows, Linux, and Macintosh machines in support of marine & coastal GIS, 3D visualization, and seafloor mapping. Software expertise includes ArcGIS, ArcSDE, ArcIMS, Minnesota MapServer, S-Plus, IVS Fledermaus, and Erdas Imagine.

Active Tectonics and Seafloor Mapping Laboratory

This laboratory, within the Marine Geology & Geophysics program of CEOAS, has Unix and Windows machines in support of GIS mapping and analysis of bathymetric data, 3D visualization of multiple data sets, and real-time GIS data collection at sea.

CEOAS Satellite Data Analysis Facility

Formerly known as Oregon Earth Watch, this satellite data acquisition and processing facility is designed to enhance research opportunities and education in these fields. The facility collects data from two Seaspace satellite receiving stations, one for geostationary satellites and one for polar orbiting satellites. The data stream is archived and available for analysis on several workstations running a variety of GIS and image processing software.

Various Computing Labs Throughout the College of Forestry

Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing in Ecology (LARSE)

The Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing in Ecology specializes in a variety of remote sensing research projects focused on terrestrial ecology problems. This activity began in 1989 with a concentration on using digital imagery to characterize forest structure in the Pacific Northwest Douglas-fir/western hemlock vegetation zone. Within the period of a few short years, Landsat-based maps of forest structure were being directly incorporated into ecological analyses and models operating at landscape to regional scales. Current modeling studies include carbon flux, biodiversity, and spatially-explicit scaling of ecological measurements and knowledge. Along with this broadening of activities, has been the use of an ever-expansive use of data types.

Civil Engineering Surveying and Photogrammetry Laboratory

The Civil Engineering field surveying laboratory has one GPS receiver, one top-mounted EDM, 10 theodolites, 12 automatic levels, and 18 transits. The photogrammetry laboratory contains one WILD STK-l precise comparator, 6 Kelsh-type stereoscopic plotters, and computer access to the College of Engineering computer network.

Environmental Remote Sensing Applications Laboratory (ERSAL)

ERSAL, which is located in the Department of Forest Resources, is a lab dedicated to the applications of remote sensing and GIS technology for the study of forest lands and related natural resource problems.

Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences

The College of Earth, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences has a wide array of Unix- and Windows-based computer hardware and software for use in GIS, image processing and remote sensing research. Broadcast-quality video recording equipment is available for data visualization such as video animations constructed from satellite observations of sea surface temperature, sea level, surface wind stress, near-surface chlorophyll concentration and other characteristics of the ocean surface.

Center for Airborne Environmental Analysis/
Remote Sensing and System Analysis Laboratory

The center, hosted by Biological & Ecological Engineering and Forest Science, has 3 light research aircraft, 2 hyperspectral spectroradiometers, 2 thermal infrared sensors, 2 GPS receivers, one ground-penetration radar, 4 image processing/GIS Unix workstations, and a near real-time high-speed satellite link between the Canadian Center for Remote Sensing, SPOT Image Corporation, EOSAT, and a data center in Hermiston, Oregon. The center is dedicated to multiscale environmental/ ecological related studies.

Center for Environmental Computing

The Oregon State Center for Environmental Computing houses a host of high-performance computing equipment in a new building adjacent to the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. The centerpiece of the computer hardware is a Connection Machines CM-5 parallel-processing computer. The Center also has a CM-200 machine and a ring of 7 IBM RS60000/560 workstations. Collectively, these computers are accessed campus-wide via a wide-bandwidth university local area network for use in numerical modeling of environmental variability and assimilation, as well as analysis of satellite data.


Participating Academic Colleges and Departments