The Environmental Data Center (EDC) is a Geographic Information System (GIS) and spatial data analysis lab at URI. The EDC is the center of technical expertise in GIS for the state of Rhode Island. Major areas of research are spatial data modeling, ecological mapping, and data integration for environmental applications.
The mission of the EDC is to support the use of contemporary tools of spatial data processing and electronic dissemination in the analysis and distribution of environmental data. This is achieved through collaborative research projects with faculty in the Department of Natural Resources Science, The College of the Environment and Life Science, URI and with agencies external to URI.
Established in 1986, the EDC was a lead cooperator in a joint project between the URI Department of Natural Resources Science and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. This project eventually became known as the Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS). At the time, the goal of the RIGIS was to develop a comprehensive and detailed GIS database of the State’s natural resources and to use these data and GIS tools to assist in the management and protection of these resources. Since 1986, considerable attention has been given to developing and distributing accurate and up-to-date GIS data to RI’s land managers.