[ skip to content ]

Geographic Information Systems



Maps and spatial data analysis are powerful tools that can be used to spark academic discussion, promote critical thinking, and improve the University's business processes.

What is GIS?

Geographic information systems (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information and looking at that data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.

GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.

ITS promotes the use the use of GIS and geospatial technologies for both academic and administrative purposes by providing expert consulting and a variety of GIS services to University constituents and our community partners.

GIS Services

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team works closely with faculty, staff, and graduate students to help them integrate GIS information and analysis into their research, projects, and course work.

Consultation services include:

  • Project collaboration, planning and management
  • Grant proposal development & writing (geospatial content/methods design)
  • Application design and development
  • Assistance with data acquisition, design, and conversion/development
  • Geocoding and geoprocessing (analysis) of data; and training in these areas
  • Map design and production
  • Precision GPS mission planning and field data acquisition
  • GIS software installation
  • Guest lectures and workshop instruction

ITS GIS also provides valuable employment experience for higher-level GIS students. Internship applications are accepted throughout the year. The GIS Internship application form includes all relevant information.

GIS Resources

The University funds campus site licenses for two major commercial geospatial software packages:

GIS Labs and Computing Hardware
Faculty and students in need of state-of-the-art geospatial computing resources have several options, whether working on-campus or remotely:

GIS Instructional Lab

Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building (MGB) Room 342:
This 25-student instructional laboratory is dedicated to the instruction of GIS and related courses and includes 26 high performance desktops with dual monitors, a high capacity color laser printer, a large-format HP DesignJet plotter, and a ceiling mounted projector.

Geospatial Interdisciplinary Studies Collaboratory

Oceanography and Physical Sciences (OCPS) Building Room 331:
The Geospatial Interdisciplinary Studies (GEOIDS) Collaboratory is a small 5-workstation facility which provides a space where faculty, GIS staff, and graduate students may collaborate on geospatially-oriented research projects.

Monarch Virtual Environment (MOVE)

The Monarch Online Virtual Environment (MOVE) provides browser-based access to virtual GIS workstations that have the same software configuration as desktops in the aforementioned GIS labs.

GIS on the MOVE may be accessed from any client machine from any location with an internet connection and a compatible web browser.

Storm Surge Model of ODU Main Campus

GIS in Academics at ODU

A large number of faculty in all Colleges use GIS in their research and instruction. The following groups either teach GIS courses or make heavy use of geospatial technologies in their work:

Political Science and Geography: The primary purveyor of GIS coursework at ODU, offering a GIScience Certificate which may be incorporated into a B.S. in Geography.

Bio-Optics Research Group (BORG): The BORG in the Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department at Old Dominion University is involved in investigations in both local waters and further afield.

Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI): MARI engages in research that produces the practice-relevant knowledge needed to cope with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on the coastal zone and the urban coast in particular.

Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA): The GMSA is producing species-specific baseline data and comprehensive analyses needed to develop targeted and coordinated marine conservation planning and action.

E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate & Economic Development (CREED): The center provides information and resources for the Hampton Roads real estate and economic development communities in their quest to improve the regional economy through job creation and investment.