The Department of Geographical Sciences (GEOG) and the Center for Geospatial Information Science (CGIS) offer a variety of physical facilities plus hardware and software resources to support students in Graduate Programs in Geospatial Information Sciences.
UMD maintains an Electronic Learning Management System (ELMS) for coursework. ELMS is a Web-based platform for sharing course content, tracking assignments and grades, and enabling virtual collaboration and interaction. ELMS delivers online course content through easy to use web-based technology that enables learning in an engaging, interactive environment.
Maintained by UMD, GEOG uses the Zoom course delivery platform, by which lectures and discussions can be streamed virtually. A Web conferencing application, Zoom is used to host classes, office hours, and other meetings, in an online environment. Faculty, staff, and students communicate in real-time using chat, voice (microphone and speakers), and video (webcam). Zoom allows for the ability to display presentations, annotate overtop slides, perform live editing of documents, and conduct a poll within the software. These interactions also allow the instructor to identify and authenticate the student and their involvement in the teaching and learning processes.
Students have access to two 25-seat GIS labs equipped with dual-monitor high-end workstations and connected to remote storage facilities. The labs run a wide variety of commercial and open source software for GIS, remote sensing, statistical analysis, data access, image processing, mathematical analyses, graphics and 3D modeling, and software development. Students can study in these labs anytime as long as there are no classes in session.
CGIS has two high-performance Hadoop-based computing clusters that have been purchased for research and student teaching. These clusters are networked to other HPC resources in GEOG (which also maintains a Linux-based HPC cluster). CGIS and GEOG link to high-performance computing in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (the "BSWIFT" cluster), as well as to UMD’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), which operates several clusters. In partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), GEOG also has high-performance networking access to other high-performance computing sites around the country, as well as nimble access to commercial computing resources (Amazon A WS).
Two servers have been purchased specifically use in instruction. Students have access to these servers when they take classes such as Web Programming, Spatial Database, Internet GIS, etc.
VMW are servers provide a virtual environment so that students can access to the software installed on the server anywhere anytime as long as they have an Internet connection. It is essentially a cloud-based service that gives students free access to software needed for teaching and learning.
ArcGIS Software Suite
Graduate Programs in Geospatial Information Sciences is one of the Esri Development Centers (EDCs). Based on the agreement, the students have free license to most ArcGIS software products including desktop ArcGIS, ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Pro, and ArcGIS Online. They can install the software on their own computer as long as they are enrolled in the program. Students also have free technical support from Esri.