Skip to main content

TriangleGISrHow do geospatial methods and tools help us plan and manage parks and protected areas for sustainable recreation and tourism?

How can geospatial approaches help us understand the attitudes, preferences and choices that drive landscape change?

Space and time play a large role in how people perceive and interact with their environment.  A globalized society has increased human mobility, while population growth and consumption levels continue to challenge the ability of society to meet its needs without creating trade-offs that disadvantages future generations.  Understanding the role space and time play in creating opportunities to improve health, sustainability, communities, and the quality of recreation, sport, and tourism experiences is key to making advances in PRTM research.  Our research fosters innovations through the development and applications of cutting-edge geospatial technologies and tools for data collection and analysis that aim to improve policy, empower community action, and test assumptions across a broad range of disciplines.

PRTM faculty and students use geospatial technologies and tools, participatory GIS techniques, geovisualization, dynamic spatial-temporal modeling, computational processing, and spatial decision support systems for scientific discovery and decision-making.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management works closely with the Center for Geospatial Analytics. The Center is an interdisciplinary research and teaching hub focused on data-driven spatial modeling and visualization for sustainable solutions to environmental and societal challenges. The Center plays a lead role in decision-support analytics through cutting-edge research and outreach, positioning NC State as a go-to-place for geospatial solutions to grand challenges. The Center also houses the Geovisualization Laboratory, a facility dedicated to state-of-the-art modeling and visualization of spatial and spatio-temporal data. The laboratory houses a range of tools and instruments including an immersive virtual reality system for simulating built and natural environments, a tangible geospatial modeling system, an ocular tracking system, a SimTable modeling environment, several 3D GIS workstations, numerous interactive displays, servers for managing big spatial data, and a 3D-4K projector for presenting large, spatially complex data sets in three dimensions.

Why does this matter?

Our scholarship has real-world impacts.  We inform health policy by using combinations of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and accelerometry to provide information about when, where, and how youth use public space for physical activity. We improve community outreach by federal agencies by constructing maps of perceived risk associated with recreational activity in recently remediated urban rivers. We strive to understand the interactions between disturbance, such as fire and insects, and the built environment, and the impacts of those interactions on protected and natural areas. We inform public use management in protected areas for greater sustainability by understanding patterns of use and impacts.

Learn more about GIST projects and programs in PRTM.
Learn more about the NCSU Center for Geospatial Analytics.

Learn more about Geospatial Methods & Models:

Current Projects

Featured Project: National Data Standard for Trails for the National Park Services

Graduate Faculty Engaged in Research in this Arena

Perver Baran, Bethany CuttsJ. Aaron HippYu-Fai Leung, Jelena Vukomanovic