University of South Florida, Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies


The Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies is designed in response to the growing need for coordination and collaboration of teaching and research efforts that involve the implementation of geomatic techniques. Geomatics subsumes the art, science, and technologies related to the management of geographically and spatially referenced information. This rapidly expanding field includes a wide range of activities such as the acquisition and analysis of site-specific data for innovative architectural conceptual design, fabrication, and inspection; manufacturing and reverse engineering; archaeological documentation and preservation; historical and legal archiving; transportation research, design, and engineering; biomedical engineering; and forensic science. As well, land-use and development surveys and cultural and environmental resource management are improved through the application of geomatics along with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies.

To this point, the Alliance has focused on cultural resource and heritage management data collection and the preparation and post-processing of those data for analytical survey. These collection methods include a suite of cutting edge techniques collectively known as High Definition Documentation Survey (HDDS). At the center of these data collection and analytical methods are various types of three-dimensional scanning procedures. The uniqueness of the Alliance’s approach is the integration of these new progressive technologies with other conventional data collection and survey methods. The aggregate of these multifaceted systems expands the sphere of applicability to a broad range of academic disciplines that span the physical, social, and biological sciences. The results are diverse commercial applications that involve research and collaboration with the private, public, and government sectors.

The Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies uses a suite of techniques to capture highly accurate spatial data at a variety of scales and perspectives. These data can then be used to measure, quantify, analyze, visualize, model, and replicate objects, structures, or landscapes. Applications for the acquisition and management of these spatial data include scientific, administrative, legal and technical operations.

Our research orientation is toward the fields of heritage preservation, archaeological documentation, architectural design and fabrication, transportation systems planning, and cartographic production. These techniques and methods, however, are easily adapted to numerous other lines of inquiry and are available to disciplines in the physical, social, ands biological sciences.

The spatial technologies are used collectively in a method known as High Definition Documentation Survey (HDDS). At the core of HDDS are various types of extremely precise three-dimensional scanners that permit the rapid acquisition of extremely dense spatial data. Additional technologies are also used to augment, enhance, and enrich the data sets. The specific combination of technologies is dependent upon the objectives and needs of the individual project.

HDDS is subsumed under the classification of geometrics, which is a modern scientific term that describes a rapidly evolving discipline that uses an integrated approach to include the acquisition, analysis, measurement, management, storage, and display of spatial data. These data come from many sources, including earth orbiting satellites, air and sea-borne sensors, as well as ground based instruments. The data are processed and manipulated with state-of-the-art information technology using computer software and hardware. It has applications in all disciplines that depend on spatial data, including environmental studies, planning, engineering, navigation, geology and geophysics, oceanography, land development and land ownership and tourism. It is thus fundamental to all the geoscience disciplines which use spatially related data.

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