Department of Geography and the Environment

Digital Landscapes Laboratory

The Digital Landscape Laboratory, established in spring 1999, is a GIS and Remote Sensing facility designed to support research efforts directed toward modeling and characterizing Earth's varied processes, including those in biogeography, geomorphology, human-environment interactions, and landscape ecology. Computers are equipped with a variety of proprietary software to support general applications of spatial modeling, including the ArcGIS suite (with 3D Modeler, Terrain Analyst, and Image Analyst) and Erdas Imagine. Specialized hydrologic software (HEC-RAS, ArcHydro) and open source software (QGIS, R) are also available. Graduate students working in the lab are able to employ Google Earth Engine and Python programming platforms from these machines as well. Five faculty and their students utilize this lab, with geographic foci such as the Andes, Amazon, Botswana, and Texas.

The Digital Landscapes Laboratory and Spatial Sciences Laboratory (described below) are highly integrated with some students active in each lab; the Digital Landscapes Laboratory has a larger conference table and seating and is used for lab and ASPRS meetings. Two mounted televisions allow students to project the screen of their laptops, allowing practice presentations of job, conference, and defense talks. Undergraduate research volunteers also complete work in this lab when relevant to capstone and thesis projects.

Spatial Sciences Laboratory (SAC 4.160)

The Spatial Sciences Laboratory was awarded through a competitive process (the LabSpace program of the College of Liberal Arts) to three faculty (now four) based on external funding and priority research foci. It too is a GIS and Remote Sensing facility designed to support research efforts directed toward modeling and characterizing Earth's varied processes including those in biogeography, geomorphology, human-environment interactions, and landscape ecology. Researchers and graduate students use the laboratory's software including the ArcGIS suite (with 3D Modeler, Terrain Analyst, and Image Analyst), Erdas Imagine, and ENVI. Specialized hydrologic (HEC-RAS, ArcHydro), agent-based modeling (Agent Analyst, NetLogo), landscape ecology (FragStats), spatial modeling (TerrSet), and open source (QGIS, R) software packages are available and employed. Additional spatial modeling is completed utilizing programming software such as R, Python, and IDL and extensive remote sensing analyses are conducted using Google Earth Engine. Four faculty and their students have access to this lab, with most projects centering on the Kalahari Region of southern Africa, the Okavango Delta, the Andes, and the Amazon. Undergraduate research volunteers also work in this lab on capstone and thesis projects. This lab is on its second successful competitive renewal (for the upcoming four years).



CLA 3.420

Director:

Dr. Kelley Crews


  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street
    CLA building, main office- CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712
    512-471-5116