Several research projects in the Centre for Research on Property and Planning are making use of GIS as an effective tool in property and planning decision making for both public and private sector organisations. Examples of leading edge research include contributions to the review of domestic rating system in Northern Ireland and the examination of factors leading to identification of the optimal sites for new infrastructure. To enable RPP to deliver this high level of GIS-based research, strong relationships exist with the Land and Property Services (NI), other strategic data providers, and data users/stakeholder organisations.
The Urban Planning Studio provides access to high-specification desktop PCs capable of running memory intensive software applications such as GIS. Sixteen PCs are available in this space dedicated to the Urban Planning programme, each with 2Gb of RAM and a 19-inch monitor. In addition a dedicated Computing Research Suite has 19 thin client terminals linked to the research computing cluster. The cluster consists of two Sun Microsystem 16-core computers running proprietary and in-house developed computational fluid dynamics software on RedHat. An 8-core Sun Microsystem SPARC microprocessor machine running Solaris for computational operations and a 24-machine Sun Microsystem Blade server running GIS and other high-computing software packages.
The software platform for GIS is ArcGIS Desktop version 9.2 produced by ESRI. This software license is to be further extended to enhance accessibility to more complex applications and extensions, such as ArcInfo. In addition to ArcGIS software extensive datasets are licensed from OSNI covering all of Northern Ireland, including postcode and road network data. These are core tools have been and will continue to be utilised across various research projects.
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For further information contact:
Professor Stanley McGreal
Centre for Research on Property and Planning
School of The Built Environment
University of Ulster
Tel: 44 (0)28 9036 6566