Research and Consultative Mission
Nationally a shortage of trained Geospatial workers exists. On Long Island, regional planning, public utilities, human services, public safety, forestry, geosciences, and bio-resource fields all use GIS and remote sensing. This shortage presents an opportunity for the Geospatial Center at Stony Brook to provide support to our internal and external community, while affording students a chance to gain valuable real world experience in the form of internships and some income to pay for school.
There are two areas of need for Geospatial Science services:
(1) The Stony Brook researcher or faculty that understand the benefits of GIS and remote sensing analyses but do not have the training or the time for the Geospatial work.
(2) In the public and private sectors many organizations either have limited or no GIS and remote sensing capabilities or an overload of work, but cannot justify full time help.
The Geospatial Center at Stony Brook will provide the research, project, and teaching support with trained students. Some of these students will be covered by various internships, while others will be part-time workers. The nature of GIS and remote sensing, combined with the Geospatial Center collaborative, experiential, and work-based approach will improve student learning and attract students who have been intimidated by traditional educational programs.
Need for a Geospatial Workforce and Services. The world we live in is increasingly managed by geographic information systems. When we call the electrical utility about a power outage, a connected network finds and directs a location-specific response. When the police department shares crime-reduction data with the community, it uses geographic information science (GIS) software to provide a visual representation of crime areas. Forest ecologists determine conservation recommendations utilizing Geospatial analysis of vegetation types, animal habitats, and potential conservation practices.
An increasing number of fields are adopting GIS to enable visual/spatial representations of data, solve spatial problems, and combine quantitative data with qualitative analysis and reporting capability. Geography educators highlight the need for GIS education: “The exponential growth of digital geographic information will continue and will generate continued demand for professionals at all levels; people who understand its use and foundations because Geospatial technology was introduced by a research institute, many GIS and remote sensing companies are scientific research-oriented: The scale of the typical Geospatial company is small and only a limited number of large private Geospatial companies exist. Since many Geospatial companies are operated by the GIS or remote sensing scholars or specialists, the rapid growing Geospatial industry is short of the comprehensive talents of enterprises management and marketing". Thus providing the Geospatial Center at Stony Brook an excellent opportunity to service our local community and our students educational needs.
At present the global GIS product market scale amounts to $1 billion dollars, and the revenue of GIS-related software, hardware and service reaches nearly $10 billion dollars every year, (GIS Industrialization, Times Economy and Management Magazine). The users of GIS application systems are mainly government departments, enterprise and public service. Among them, the government is the most important customer of GIS and remote sensing, but recently non-traditional Geospatial application fields and enterprises also bring forward a large demand to GIS and remote sensing, and those enterprises are becoming an important customer of Geospatial services.