NASA Langley Research Center
Systems (GIS) Team
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
We have a student
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 areas of work are currently being pursued.
Space Allocation Optimization
The GIS Team at LaRC is working with NASA, AirForce and other
partners on Space Optimization tools to objectively
plan the use of office and technical space. The decision support capabilities
leverage LaRC's management of room level details within the GIS against
existing database applications for tracking space utilization. An overview of Space Allocation Optimization, as well
as a demonstration of the web dashboard
under development are available.
The Langley GIS Team received a Special Achievement in GIS award from ESRI at the 2009 User Conference for work on the space optimization tools. An
press release, and
photo are avaiable from the
ESRI User Conference website.
Cultural Resource Management
NASA is responsible for the management of cultural resources within the
boundaries of NASA centers. This includes historic sites marking the achievements
of NASA and other historic and archeological sites which predate NASA use of the land.
Currently detailed information is available for the following centers
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.
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.
Space Utilization / Move Planning