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Resources & Facilities

Library Resources

The program is well-supported by the resources and services of the Ryerson Library. Its monograph collection has grown substantially since the inception of the program, and is capable of supporting Masters-level courses and independent research. The Library's collection of serials and indexes supporting MSA faculty and students is very comprehensive. A significant amount of the Library's budget is spent on the acquisition of electronic resources. The Data Librarian supports access to government publications while the new position of a Map and GIS Librarian offers consultation regarding geospatial data resources and their effective use. The Geospatial Map and Data Centre and the "Maps and Data at Ryerson" web site provide access to a diverse range of paper maps and digital geospatial data resources.

Computer Resources

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies has three computer laboratories with a total of 88 workstations. The departmental GIS Teaching Lab was recently upgraded and has 44 workstations, the GIS General Lab consists of 34 workstations, and the Graduate Spatial Analysis Lab consists of 10 workstations and has space for working with laptops. The graduate lab is also equipped with a network scanner and two network laser printers.

Geography also maintains other equipment such as laptops, LCD projectors, external drives, and GPS units. The Department also has two dedicated servers for file sharing and Web applications, and a database and Web server for participatory mapping research, which can be used for MSA student research.

The network infrastructure connecting all of these computers is gigabit to the desktop and a fibre-optic backbone providing seamless and high-speed access to several file servers and the rest of the Ryerson Information Network. Throughout the Faculty of Arts floors in Jorgensen Hall, students can login to a dedicated wireless network giving them access to all Geography computing resources. Through their Ryerson student account, they also have access to the Ryerson wireless network, which, for example, enables online access to Library resources.

The Department holds site licences for the major GIS software used in the workplace such as MapInfo Professional, ESRI software products (including ArcGIS, ArcView, ArcIMS, ArcPad), PCI Geomatica, and Intergraph's GeoMedia. Additional software includes the SPSS statistical package, S-PLUS, and the latest Microsoft Office suite. Other software is constantly being evaluated for its currency and usefulness in both research and teaching. The Department has also had a long-standing partnership with major industry data providers such as Statistics Canada, DMTI Spatial, GDT and a variety of others.

The Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity also has extensive GIS and general computing facilities, and employs the services of a full-time computer systems analyst and a GIS analyst, as well as a number of research fellows and associates.

For other services for graduate students at Ryerson, please visit Services and Resources.