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   Facilities Overview

 

The teaching programs and research activities of the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies are supported by outstanding computing facilities.  Our GIS labs provide students with an environment which is conducive to mastering the skills of professional practice. These work spaces include two undergraduate labs: one dedicated  to teaching, and the other a drop-in facility for completing assignments outside of class time. Graduate students also have a lab devoted to their course work and personal research projects. In each of these, the hardware, software and data sets are configured and maintained to be indicative of what will be encountered in the workplace upon graduation.

 

GIS Teaching Lab

GIS Teaching Lab

Facilities Overview

The teaching programs and research activities of the Department of Geography are supported by outstanding computing facilities.  Our GIS labs provide students with an environment which is conducive to mastering the skills of professional practice. These work spaces include two undergraduate labs: one dedicated  to teaching, and the other a drop-in facility for completing assignments outside of class time. Graduate students also have a lab devoted to their course work and personal research projects. In each of these, the hardware, software and data sets are configured and maintained to be indicative of what will be encountered in the workplace upon graduation.

Software in Use

Hardware

Hardware

GIS Teaching Lab:

42 workstations with Intel(r) i5-2500 quad core 3.3GHz processors, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, DVD burner, 1GB video card, and 24" high resolution LCD monitor.

A colour laser printer is located in the lab for student printing.

GIS General Lab:

34 workstations with Intel(r) Core(tm)2 quad 2.5GHz processors, 8GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, DVD burner,  512MB video card, and 22" high resolution LCD monitor.

A colour laser printer is located in the lab for student printing.

Graduate Spatial Analysis research Lab:

12 workstations with Intel(r) Core(tm) i7-2600 3.40GHz processors with 16GB RAM, 2TB hard drive, DVD burner,  1024MB video card and 24” high resolution LCD monitor.

A black and white and a colour laser printer are located in the lab for student printing.

Servers:

The department runs a multitude of servers with many terabytes of disk space. All servers are connected by a very high speed data network to all of the geography workstations. Each workstation is connected to the servers with a dedicated 1Gbps Ethernet cable.  The infrastructure is a very fast, high capacity network capable of handling the large datasets and complex software demands of the curriculum.

Digitizing:

The undergraduate general lab has four tabletop digitizing stations accessible to all students in the lab.  All units are Calcomp Drawing Board III using the ArcView Digitizer extension.

GPS:

The undergraduate program has 12 Garmin GPSMap 76 units available to students when undertaking field work for courses.

Software
Geographic information systems software

Remote Sensing software
Statistics software
Database software
Spreadsheet software

Software

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Remote Sensing (RS):

The Department has site licenses for all the major GIS software. The labs are equipped with the full ESRI suite of spatial data management and analysis software, including the full ESRI ArcGIS suite. Other ESRI products include ArcGIS Server, Engine, and Explorer. The lab also runs MapInfo, ERDAS Imagine, and PCI Geomatica. The lab runs only the most recent releases of these products.

Statistics:

The use of statistics is a given in any geography program and ours is no exception. Graduates are expected to know the basics of statistical analysis and the most successful graduates in the job market are those who have mastered some of the more advanced multivariate tools. We run SPSS for Windows in the lab. UNIX SPSS is also available through X terminal emulation.  Other software is available for special projects including SAS, MatLab, S-PLUS, GeoDa, and “R”.

Database:

The Department has a site license for MS Office Suite so our database of choice is MS Access. However, for large scale projects we use Microsoft SQL server.

Spreadsheet:

Our products of choice are Excel and Access, primarily because MS Office is the current industry standard that our graduates can expect to use when they enter the workplace.

Data sets

Data Sets

Students use a variety of data sets including Statistics Canada's 2006 Census, those available from the Ryerson University Library, data provided by instructors, and public information.

Eggy with students

User and Network Accounts

All students receive their own password protected account and 1 GB of hard drive space on the server. As well, they receive accounts on Ryerson's network for use in other Ryerson labs.

All students also receive e-mail accounts from Ryerson. Only the Ryerson e-mail accounts are used for communication between students and faculty.

Hardware

Hardware

GIS Teaching Lab:

42 workstations with Intel i5 Quad core processors, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD hard drives, 2GB dedicated video card, and 24" high resolution LCD monitor.

A colour laser printer is located in the lab for student printing.

GIS General Lab:

34 workstations with Intel i5 Quad core processors, 16GB RAM, 2TB hard drive, DVD burner, 1GB video card, and 22" high resolution LCD monitor.

A colour laser printer is located in the lab for student printing.

Graduate Spatial Analysis research Lab:

12 workstations with Intel(r) Core(tm) i7-2600 3.40GHz processors with 16GB RAM, 2TB hard drive, DVD burner,  1024MB video card and 24” high resolution LCD monitor.

A black and white and a colour laser printer are located in the lab for student printing.

Servers:

The department runs a multitude of servers with many terabytes of disk space. All servers are connected by a very high speed data network to all of the geography workstations. Each workstation is connected to the servers with a dedicated 1Gbps Ethernet cable.  The infrastructure is a very fast, high capacity network capable of handling the large datasets and complex software demands of the curriculum.

Digitizing:

The undergraduate general lab has four tabletop digitizing stations accessible to all students in the lab.  All units are Calcomp Drawing Board III using the ArcView Digitizer extension.

GPS:

The undergraduate program has 12 Garmin GPSMap 76 units available to students when undertaking field work for courses.

Data sets

Data Sets

Students use a variety of geospatial data sets including Statistics Canada's 2006 Census and 2011 National Household Survey, data available from the Ryerson University Library, data provided by instructors, and government open data.

Software Software
Geographic information systems software

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Remote Sensing (R/S):

The Department has site licenses for major GIS software. The labs are equipped with the full Esri suite of spatial data management and analysis software. Other Esri  products include ArcGIS Server, Engine, and Explorer. We also have a site license for MapInfo Professional and are using the open-source QGIS package. ERDAS Imagine and PCI Geomatica are used for remote sending. The lab runs only the most recent releases of these products.

Statistics software

Statistics:

The use of statistics is a given in any geography program and ours is no exception. Graduates are expected to know the basics of statistical analysis and the most successful graduates in the job market are those who have mastered some of the more advanced multivariate tools. We run SPSS for Windows in the lab. UNIX SPSS is also available through X terminal emulation.  Other software is available for special projects including SAS, MatLab, S-PLUS, GeoDA, and “R”.

Database software

Database:

The Department has a site license for MS Office Suite so our database of choice is MS Access. However, for large scale projects we use Microsoft SQL server.

Spreadsheet software

Spreadsheet:

Our product of choice is Excel, primarily because MS Office is the current industry standard that our graduates can expect to use when they enter the workplace.

User and network accounts

User and Network Accounts

All students receive their own password protected account and 1 GB of hard drive space on the server. As well, they receive accounts on Ryerson's network for use in other Ryerson labs.

All students also receive e-mail accounts from Ryerson. Only the Ryerson e-mail accounts are used for communication between students and faculty.