NASA -National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Langley Research Center
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Team

The NASA Langley GIS Team is dedicated to providing geospatial data management solutions for our home center and for our customers within NASA and in other agencies.  We have considerable experience and expertise in facilities management through applied GIS, as well as geodetic control and surveying with state-of-the-art GPS (Global Positioning System) and optical technologies.  In addition to custom web and database application development and on-site surveying, we provide training and consultation services.

We have a student internship programexternal link marker available in conjunction with the Virginia Space Grant Consortium at Old Dominion University. Students, high school and higher, become guest researchers at NASA Langley Research Center and gain experience working with with GIS and related fields.

The following major projects are available to the public.

The NASA Langley Research Center Masterplan Cultural Resource is an overview of the historic significance of the center and its facilities.

Educational resources for lessons about the training behind the Mercury and Apollo missions are available for students and teachers. These lessons highlight the types and locations of the training used by the astronauts to prepare for their missions.

The Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Bay Osprey tracking project tracks the movement and nesting of Osprey which may impact the flight operations at Langley Air Force Base. The project has tracked Osprey as the migrate from Northern Canada to South America.

Additionally, the GIS Team at NASA LaRC is developing Space Optimization tools to support more objective planning and use of the center's limited and extremely valuable office and technical space. The decision support capability leverages LaRC's long term maintenance of building interior data (room level details) in GIS. For a more in-depth explanation, please view (high bandwidth version) this video presentation on Space Allocation Optimization.

Alternatively, you can view a lower bandwidth presentation here external link marker.

Langley has developed the most detailed and advanced GIS of any NASA Center and is recognized as a leader in this technology within the agency and the Federal Government. The LaRC GIS Team frequently supports requests from NASA HQ, other Centers (e.g. Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), White Sands Test Facility (WSTF)) and outside agencies (e.g. US Air Force, Smithsonian Institution, US Geological Survey (USGS)) for assistance both with specific projects and general guidance in the use of spatial analysis technology.

The current LaRC GIS architecture is based on industry standard, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software with custom applications and extensions.  The system consists of GIS software (Environmental Systems Research Institute or ESRI ArcGIS), Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) software (Oracle), and open-standard, open-source programming languages (Perl, Python, PHP).  This approach leverages technological advances in GIS, databases, and web applications, and aligns well with evolving Enterprise Resource Product (ERP) solutions such as SAP for IFM / IAM integration.

Spatial data is accessible through the online Master Plan using standard web browsers.  Maps generated from the GIS allow user interaction, providing links to narratives, photographs, and databases.  The GIS architecture links building floor plans and center-level maps to databases including Facilities and Related Service Activities (F&RSA), Space Utilization, Real Property, and Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), enabling complex queries and reports.

flood impact prediction
Flood Impact

interbuilding moves
Space Utilization / Move Planning
Intra-building Moves
GPS Surveying
GPS Surveying
GPS Surveying

Optical surveying
Optical Surveying
field training
classroom training
Classroom Training
classroom training

field training
Field Training
field training

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Last Modified: 2008-07-08