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Welcome to the Geoinformation and Big Data Research Laboratory (GIBD) at USC, where Big Data meets GIS.

Established in 2015, the Geoinformation and Big Data Research Laboratory (GIBD) at the Department of Geography, University of South Carolina (USC) is a collaborative effort of a group of faculty and students, conducting interdisciplinary research on geospatial big data analytics, geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI), high-performance computing, and cyberGIS within the area of data- and computing-intensive GIScience. By developing, synthesizing, and teaching advanced computing technologies, geospatial methods and spatiotemporal principles, GIBD aims to 1) advance knowledge discovery and decision making to support domain applications including disaster management, human mobility, and public health; and 2) train the next-generation of GIScientists and geographers with strong problem solving skills through the integration of spatial thinking and computational thinking.

GIBD is equipped with a high-performance big data computing cluster (supercomputer) named GeoRapider, serving as a testbed for geospatial big data analytics and computing-intensive research and applications. GeoRapider consists of 15 computer servers with a total of 232 CPU cores, 864 GB memory, and 200 TB of storage. It is housed at USC and maintained by GIBD and Research Computing in the Division of Information Technology. The lab is also equipped with Deep Learning Workstations powered by high-end NVIDIA Titan XP GPUs for deep learning research and development. On top of the computing infrastructure, GIBD develops a set of innovative parallel processing algorithms, spatiotemporal indices, query analytical tools, and interactive web portals to efficiently manage, analyze and visualize tens of billions of geotagged tweets, terabytes of climate data, and other big data such as cellphone data and electronic health records.

The Department of Geography at USC is among the top geography programs in the nation with strong GIScience research. GIBD has access to the departmental resources, including 70 high-end desktop computers equipped with the latest GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis, computing and statistical software tools such as the ESRI and ERDAS suite of GIS packages and special-purpose software tools for hyperspectral remote sensing, LiDAR data processing, and visualization.

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