Digital Environment Facility

Environmental research and monitoring are increasingly reliant on the digital capture and analysis of geospatial data. New technologies are transforming our understanding of the natural and human environment by enabling us to monitor, analyse, model and visualise environmental processes at an unprecedented variety of spatial and temporal scales

Our Digital Environment Facility contains a variety of laboratories, resources and equipment to support our environmental teaching and research:


  • Dedicated Technician

Laboratory and workshop space:

  • The Geospatial Laboratory, housing a suite of computers dedicated to GIS and Remote Sensing research and teaching
  • Electronics and Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) Workshop


  • Several fixed- and rotary-wing Small Unmanned Aircraft (‘drones’) for high-resolution remote sensing and surveying, including two with RTK positioning
  • Digital imaging sensors, including: Buzzard multispectral imager, Mapir NIR camera, Sony A6000 RGB camera
  • Hand-held field spectrometer
  • Trimble survey-grade satellite positioning systems, and associated software
  • Ruggedised iPads for field data collection and collation, and associated apps
  • Multi-core computing facilities for digital image processing and numerical modelling, which complement the University’s Hydra HPC cluster capability

Software and data:

  • Industry-standard GIS software (ESRI ArcGIS) installed in all campus IT laboratories
  • QGIS, open source GIS package
  • Agisoft Metashape and Pix4Dmapper for photogrammetric analysis
  • ERDAS Imagine for remote sensing analysis
  • Trimble Business Centre for satellite positioning
  • A variety of packages for data analysis, including Matlab and R
  • Access to an extensive set of UK and global mapping and environmental data