Urban affairs & planning: Maps, geospatial data sources & services

Urban Affairs & Planning at Virginia Tech conducts basic and applied research on national and international development patterns, focusing on key forces shaping metropolitan growth such as demographics, environment, technology, design, and transportation.

Geographic Information System (GIS)

GIS is a system designed to model, query, analyze, and visualize geographically referenced data. At Virginia Tech University Libraries we have developed services to support researchers needs in geospatial data discovery and manipulation. Our service is supported by library staff and partnerships built around the Virginia Tech community. Please refer to the content below for more information about the services our staff and partners provide and explore our site to gain access to additional geospatial resources.

Suite of Services

The Geospatial Data Consultant at University Libraries provides support in the following areas:

  • geospatial data discovery & acquisition: University Libraries partner with institutions around the World to provide access to academic information. The Geospatial Data Consultant is the liaison for geospatial resources at Virginia Tech and aids in the procurement of geospatial resources, including resources not openly available through University Libraries partnerships. 

For support with data discovery, please fill out our Data Request form.

  • map creation: The Geospatial Data Consultant provides expertise in the use of geospatial software and techniques to help visualize data structured based on geospatial components. Skills and services we support include:
    • mapping techniques
      • data conversion - the process of translating data from one format to another (e.g. Converting old TIGER files to shapefiles.)
      • data symbolization - the process of devising a set of marks of appropriate size, color, shape, and pattern, and assigning them to map features to convey their characteristics at a given map scale.
      • ​geocoding - the process of associating address and/or place names with coordinates on a map
      • georeferencing - the alignment of geographic data with a known coordinate system in order to view, query, and analyze the data.
      • remote sensing - the use of satellite of aircraft sensor technology to to detect and classify objects on Earth. (e.g. image classification, lidar processing)
    • software expertise
      • ​ArcGIS - mapping and spatial analytics software available through University software distribution. 
      • Autodesk - software used for creating designs in engineering, architecture, and construction. Available through University software distribution.
      • QGIS - open source mapping and spatial analytics software available online.

To setup a consultation or training session regarding these skills, software, or other inquiries contact our Geospatial Data Consultant, Ed Brooks.

Data Request

Geospatial Data Consultant

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Ed Brooks
Room 3020 Newman Library

Virginia Tech
560 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, Va. 24061
(540) 231-9225

Geospatial Data Curator

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Imma Mwanja
Newman Library Room 3010
560 Drillfield Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061