In 2001, LSU’s College of Engineering created a Center for GeoInformatics (C4G) to build new research and services in Geodesy and GeoInformatics. Over the past ten years, LSU’s C4G has been instrumental to the State of Louisiana; and exposure provided by the Center’s data has offered critical information for infrastructure elevation and roadway assessment.
Professor and Researcher Roy K. Dokka, Ph.D., was the founding executive director of LSU’s C4G and was also director, Louisiana Spatial Reference Center (LSRC); and holder of the Fruehan Family Professorship in engineering at LSU. The LSU community lost one of its most dedicated research and faculty members when Dokka passed away on Monday, August 1, 2011, at his residence in St. Francisville, La. He was 59 years old.
Dokka and C4G’s research interests centered on the application of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and geodetic leveling to study the massive subsidence that is affecting Louisiana’s coast and midcontinent, and on understanding the role that tectonism and climate play in creating landscapes.
In 2002, Dokka initiated the LSRC, a partnership with the National Geodetic Survey-NOAA, focused on creating a state-of-the-art positional infrastructure for the state. NGS' National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), provides the foundation for transportation, communication; mapping and charting; and a multitude of scientific, engineering, and agricultural applications in Louisiana.
Dokka ‘s vision for C4G provided a solid foundation by establishing a statewide network of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS), and then worked with state legislation to make the CORS network a vertical control standard for the State of Louisiana. This infrastructure is the backbone for surveying in Louisiana, as well as supporting all GIS development, detailed topographic mapping, precision farming, navigation, and other geospatial applications.
By implementing a Real-Time Network (RTN) on this CORS infrastructure, Dokka created GULFNet as a way for subscribers to tie into the NSRS and enjoy a virtual zero-length baseline to this Vertical Geodetic Control throughout the State of Louisiana. GULFNet uses the entire network of more than 60 GPS receivers to compute necessary atmospheric corrections for a subscribed rovers' position and deliver them directly to the GULFNet subscriber in real-time within the 3D error space of a golf ball.
LSU and the College of Engineering recognize that the service provided by C4G is critical to the State, and is looking at C4G’s business plan to ensure that the stability and sustainability of the center’s services continues and expands in the near term. In addition, the College will provide leadership to build C4G’s research component as a complement to its existing service component.
Given the timeliness and current opportunities about GeoInformatics within areas of research and involvement to provide critical information for infrastructure elevation and roadway assessment, LSU’s C4G will continue to be a valuable asset for government, industry and higher education. Serious consideration to C4G’s expansion plans will focus on advantages and the impact to be a leading research area for the College and University in the Gulf Coast Region.
The LSU College of Engineering has a clear understanding with C4G’s constituents and partners, as well as a definitive commitment to continued success and expansion.
LSU Center for GeoInformatics(C4G) in partnership with the Space & Earth Geodetic Analysis Laboratory (SEGAL) at the Universidade de Beira Interior (UBI) and Instituto Dom Luis (IDL), Portugal will provides a framework for advancing geodetic analysis and modeling. Combining the skills and experiences from these of capable and motivated partners will lead to new opportunities that were previously inaccessible.
The partners will collaboratively pursue research and support for the precise point positioning of GPS/GNSS data, gravimetric geoid modeling, and the application of emerging geo-informatics technologies and services. C4G and SEGAL will develop new tools for analyzing Global Navigation and Satellite Systems (GNSS) data. Long term collaboration will also advance the development of a new gravimetric geoid model for Louisiana.
“Subsidence is a leading cause, if not the principal driver of wetlands losses in Louisiana,”
- C4G researcher Joshua Kent.
Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are lost at nearly one football field every hour.”
- U.S. Geological Survey
“Gravimetric surveys conducted by the C4G will ultimately allow us to re-connect with the geoid to calculate better elevations" and “knowing how high we are above sea level.”
- C4G geodesist Cliff Mugnier.
“We have applied our in-house developed software in the computation of regional and national geoid projects in North Mozambique, Madeira and more recently in Bhutan.”
- Machiel Bos, SEGAL researcher
“This collaboration is a unique opportunity to partner with a very enthusiastic team that combines pure and applied research in several areas of geosciences with enormous societal implications,”
- Rui Fernandes, of SEGAL.
“I anticipate significant innovation from our relationship.”
- George Z. Voyiadjis, Boyd Professor and Director of C4G