College of Engineering Receives Grant to Enrich Geospatial Engineering Laboratory, GIS Curriculum

The College of Engineering has been awarded a software grant by long-time technology partner Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions. Valued at more than $3.4 million, this grant will allow the college to expand its geospatial engineering laboratory, research and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) curriculum.

The grant includes more than 20 products from Intergraph and one of its companies, Z/I Imaging. These products will be integrated into Cal Poly Pomona?s geospatial engineering laboratory and facilitate complete global positioning systems (GPS) data acquisition processing, total station data acquisition processing, softcopy photogrammetric data acquisition processing, GIS and remote sensing analysis, visualization and animation scene development.

“Cal Poly Pomona has had a long and fruitful relationship with Intergraph and Z/I Imaging,” says Howard Turner, professor of surveying and civil engineering. “We are grateful for the valuable opportunity to incorporate an enormous breadth of technology into our curriculum and strengthen our efforts in GIS and softcopy photogrammetry.”

Photogrammetry and GIS are two of the courses that will use the laboratory for a more hands-on study of the geosciences. In addition, a new course elective, Elements of Spatial Positioning, was offered Spring 2003. Taking full advantage of the software donation, the course emphasizes scientific concepts and positioning techniques as they apply to geology, geography, archaeology, agriculture, oceanography and other disciplines, integrating photogrammetry, remote sensing, GIS, global positioning systems (GPS) and 3-D modeling in mapping, observation and study of natural events.

The grant provides a platform for future generations of engineers to gain an understanding of the principles and methodology used in geospatial engineering, thus allowing these students to enter the workforce armed with the training and skills needed to propel the industry forward.

“This grant will allow us to move forward in teaching students photogrammetry supported GIS,” says Turner. “In addition, we are working with Intergraph to extend geographical information systems into lower division civil engineering courses. This will expose at least 200 civil engineering students per year to GIS, which is expected to be a $21 billion per year industry by 2005.”

The university is also naming its geospatial laboratory the Intergraph Geospatial Engineering Laboratory. The laboratory is an expansion of the Mapping Science Center of Excellence established in 1994 by Intergraph and other corporate sponsors.

Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions is a leading geospatial solutions provider for the following markets: local, state, and federal government; transportation; utilities; communications; location-based services; photogrammetry; remote sensing; cartography; and military and intelligence.