The laboratory was established in 1993 and remodeled in 2001 and 2003 for instructional purposes.
Geography technique courses such as Cartography, Computer Cartography, Introductory and Advanced GIS, and Remote Sensing of the Environment are taught in the laboratory.
Urban Planning courses, such as Introduction to Urban Planning and Computer Uses in Urban Analysis, are also taught in the GIS Lab.
The department has the latest equipment for cartography, computer cartography, digital image processing and GIS. The GIS facilities are noted among the best of any university in the State of Wisconsin. The department shares site licenses with other University of Wisconsin campuses for state-of-the-art ESRI products. Twenty workstations are configured in a LAN environment with specialized printers and plotters for the highest quality output.
The laboratory is well-equipped with hardware and software in a local area network (LAN) environment. Twenty-four HP/Compaq computers are used for data servers and workstations. Peripheral devices include digitizers, scanners, laser printers, large and small format color printers and plotters.
Primary software packages include ESRI ArcGIS, ARC/INFO, SDE, MapObjects, and ArcIMS; MapInfo/Vertical Mapper; MapViewer, Surfer and Grapher and Microsoft Visual Basic and Office 2007.
The laboratory also supports faculty-student collaborative research projects evolving from grants, contracts and various other sources.
The departmental lounge/conference room allows faculty and students to interact freely and informally. Its comfortable furnishings provide a great place for a student to talk with a professor over coffee, to study for an upcoming exam or to share a microwave pizza with classmates.
The Geography department also provides GIS training courses for local GIS users.