eSpatial, Inc., a spatial information management company, and the University of Arkansas Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) have entered into a joint venture to establish a Center of Excellence in Enterprise Spatial Solutions on the UA campus. eSpatial will provide software site licenses for its geospatial solution, iSMART, to the Center while CAST will provide research resources and facilities.
The focus of the Center of Excellence will be to research, develop expertise and deliver enterprise spatial solutions. Immediate research areas include integrated enterprise applications, enterprise spatial warehouses in support of critical infrastructure management for homeland security, and location based decision support. The software provided by eSpatial will provide the necessary development and deployment framework to enable this academic research to be carried out.
Fred Limp, University Professor of Anthropology and director of CAST, said, “eSpatial has created a library of computer components and a software development environment that can access geographic data contained on an Oracle database. This development environment is very effective for creating practical solutions for geospatial problems. With the eSpatial software our staff will be able to quickly develop applications that address a wide range of research questions and create prototype solutions that can aid the public in new ways of using geographic data in decision support.”
Philip O’Doherty, CEO at eSpatial said, “eSpatial and CAST share a joint vision – to integrate geospatial data and processes within general enterprise solutions. The Center of Excellence established captures our many shared interests and we look forward to it evolving over time and becoming a multi-faceted collaboration with successful joint initiatives in the areas of research, education and technology transfer.”
CAST, was established at the University of Arkansas in September 1991 to bring together the considerable expertise of a network of researchers with a long-standing history of geographic information systems (GIS) development at the University. CAST is dedicated to applications in GIS, remote sensing, digital photogrammetry and interoperability and has been selected by the Intergraph Corporation as a Center For Excellence for the Mapping Sciences, by the Oracle Corporation as its first Center of Excellence in Spatial Data Management, by Sun Microsystems as a Center of Excellence in Distributed Computing for Spatial Data Management, by the Trimble Navigation Ltd. as a Center of Excellence for GPS Mapping Systems: Training and Research, by Skyline Software as a Center of Excellence in Geospatial 3D Visualization and by Definiens Imaging as a Center of Excellence in Object Oriented Image Analysis.
As a multi-college organization, CAST works with faculty and students from the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, the Walton College of Business, the College of Engineering and the School of Architecture in the common goal of introducing and making GIS technologies available to a wide variety of researchers and professionals and to furthering the field through basic and applied research. CAST focuses on research, technology transfer, data development, undergraduate and graduate education, service to communities and local governments and professional training in GIS and related technologies.