University Consortium for Geographic Information Science Virginia Tech University Consortium for Geographic Information Science
GIS Facilities at Virginia Tech

The Center for Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing (CEARS) laboratory in Cheatham Hall includes networked computer systems specially configured to support the specialized software required for remote sensing applications, and for storing the large images acquired by remote sensing instruments.

Civil and Environmental Computer Lab

The Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT) in Torgersen Hall provides state-of-art GIS research support to CGIT staff and affiliated faculty, who also utilize university resources in the many various labs across campus. GPS units, total stations, printers, and plotters are all used for research, teaching, and outreach.

The Civil and Environmental Computer Lab (CEECL) The Civil and Environmental Computer Lab (CEECL) is configured with 22 Windows 7 Pro, 8 GB RAM computers, available to students enrolled in Civil Engineering courses. All ESRI and Autodesk software products for GIS are installed and an 8 computer "overflow" lab is available with identical hardware and software for when the main lab is being used for teaching purposes. Both rooms are available 8am to 10pm Sunday through Thursday, 8am to 5pm Friday and Saturday. The main instructional lab provides multimedia equipment (Computer, VCR, ELMO, LT) for faculty/staff to instruct audiences in the use of installed engineering software. The podium allows an instructor to project two independent video signals simultaneously on two separate screens. A printer and plotter are available for coursework uses.

The CSES Land Information Collaboratory (CLIC lab) was established in 1998 by theDepartment of Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences as an information and analysis resource for faculty, students and the increasingly internet-savvy public. The physical laboratory resides at the CSES Department in Smyth Hall.

The Department of Geography operates three computer laboratories for research and teaching activities. The main teaching laboratory contains 9 workstations, the GeoSim laboratory contains 6 workstations, and the graduate laboratory contains 4 workstations. All are tied to a central server, and the main and graduate laboratories are connected to the Internet. In addition the department has equipment for GPS work, both small hand held autonomous units and two Trimble GeoXM and GeoXT mapping units.

Enterprise GIS is a unit of Virginia Tech Information Technologies responsible for the coordination of the technical components of the university's spatial data infrastructure. Our mission is to lower barriers to the use of geospatial technologies in teaching, research, outreach and administrative operations. Enterprise GIS maintains a server infrastructure for the storage, sharing and dissemination of geospatial data, and works with both academic and administrative units in the areas of geospatial server support, systems architecture and integration, policy development, and interoperability advocacy. In partnership with IT Acquisitions, Enterprise GIS coordinates centrally managed geospatial cloud resources. Enterprise GIS and University Libraries work together to provide data discovery solutions. Enterprise GIS is a division of the Converged Technologies for Security, Safety and Resilience unit of central IT.

IT Acquisitions is the unit of Virginia Tech Information Technologies responsible for the management of the Virginia higher education site license for ESRI GIS products and the distribution of ESRI GIS software. Together with Enterprise GIS, ITA manages the ArcGIS Online portal. ITA is the point of contact for all GIS software licensing related inquiries.

Torgersen Hall is a new state-of-the-art building with multiple computer teaching labs equipped with geospatial software and utilized by any department on campus for semester or short courses.

The University Libraries at Virginia Tech - A search of the library catalog indicates upwards of 550 publications on GIS including periodicals in the areas of geography, forestry, agriculture, soils and engineering. The collection includes over 135,000 maps and 20,000 aerial photographs. As a 70% Selective depository of US federal documents ( the Libraries receives materials from agencies such as the Bureau of the Census, US Geological Survey, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Natural Resource and Conservation Service, and National Park Service some of which include cartographic data and statistical information. Datasets available through the VT-GIS Data Center ( in the library include digital topographic maps, orthophotography, Census Tiger files, Landsat 7 imagery and local government information from Alexandria, , Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Falls Church, Richmond, Fairfax County, Henrico County and Montgomery County, Virginia. The University Libraries are also a member of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) providing access to the world's largest archive of computer-based research and instructional data for the social sciences ( The data archive includes a broad range of disciplines, including political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, education, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, and law.

The School of Public and International Affairs hosts two GIS laboratories in the Architecture Annex. The research lab (AA Room 6) is equipped with 4 high performance Dell Optiplex workstations, 1 iMac workstation, 1 Contex SD4450 pro scanner, 1 HP Designjet plotter, and 1 Epson Surecolor Plotter. The teaching lab (AA Room 1) contains 25 iMac Workstations and two HP printers. All compute workstations are equipped with MS office suite, GIS, STATA, SPSS, and SAS.

Virginia's Geospatial Extension Program serves to directly support the role of Virginia’s communities and other stakeholders, by engaging professionals and organizations through technical training and assistance, through the development of educational resources, and through the identification and development of geospatial applications. The Geospatial Extension Program also coordinates with other organizations that have a vested interest in empowering local stakeholders and educators to better support the management of Virginia's resources. A key component of this program is its integration with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Lead Delegate:
Kathleen Hancock

Second Delegate:
Peter Sforza

Alternate Delegate:
Yang Shao