The State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System (LREIS) was founded in 1985. It is the earliest GIS research organization in China and one of the earliest GIS research institutes in the world.
The laboratory has always emphasized on theoretical and technological researches of Geo-information science, as well as facilitated domestic and international cooperation to support GIS applications in all fields. It forms a base for high level GIS professional training, and guides the direction of GIS development in China.
Its main research fields and objectives are as follows:
- To explore the frontiers of Geo-science, and develop the original and integrated theories and methodologies in the field of Geo-information science. It focuses on the research of spatio-temporal patterns of land surface processes and their mechanism, spatial cognition theories, and grid computation, and tries to resolve the major research problems of spatial information retrieval, information assimilation, scales, and methods of artificial intelligence.
- Be geared to the needs of national development, develop thematic information systems, and implement spatial information systems in resources, environment, ecosystem, public security, so as to provide credible support for sustainable development of national economy.
- To develop GIS software with independent intellectual property rights based on “data-model-software-system” integrated geographic information technologies.
- To study on the standards of spatial data and metadata, build national wide platform and data sharing network of resource and environment data.
Since its foundation, LREIS has taken on more than 100 research projects supported by national 973 program, 863 program of Ministry of Science and Technology of China, Natural Science Foundations of China (NSFC), knowledge innovation program of Chinese Academy of Science, national and local governments, and international cooperation programs, which are related to various aspects of geographic information science including principles and theories of GI Science, remote sensing image information extraction, spatial data security, spatio-temporal data mining, geographic information pattern discovery, high ability geo-computation, virtual reality and visualization, crucial techniques and software platform of GIS, regional pattern of global change and carbon recycle, continental ecosystem monitoring and evaluation, ocean and coastal remote sensing and GIS, national resource and environmental databases, geographical data integrating and sharing. There are more than 100 books and atlas, and more than 1000 papers that have been published. More than 40 patents have been registered under the name of LREIS, including GIS software “SuperMap”, a spatial data management platform, software for spatial data analysis and modeling, etc. LREIS has been awarded many times for its achievements by national and provincial governments.
The state key laboratory is consists of five laboratories/centers:
- Laboratory of resource and environment information mechanism and application, which emphasizes on the research of basic theories and methodologies in GI Science, geographic cognition, and land surface processes and mechanism.
- Center of resource and environment data, which studies the standards of spatial data and metadata, data sharing, and build national sharing database of resources and environmental science data.
- Laboratories of cartography, which research on cartography, representation, analysis, and transform of geo-spatial data.
- Center of GIS industrialization, which focuses on the frontiers of GI Science, develop GIS software, and applies pilot systems as well.
- Center of global change information, which focuses on development of global change information, calculation of ecological factors by remote sensing.
LREIS manages GIS Theories and Methodologies Committee of Chinese Association for Geographic Information System, and Cartography and GIS Committee of the Geographic Society of China. It also participates in Geographical Information Science Commission of International Geographic Union, and is the member of Open GIS Consortium. In 1986, the laboratory was accepted as the member of National Remote Sensing Center of China, and then it founded the Department of Geographic Information System of the center. The Chinese center of Open Source Geospatial Foundation was established in LREIS in 2006.
1．Research on Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Land Surface Processes and Their Mechanism
Have developed systemic methods and procedures for studying the processes and spatial pattern of Earth surface systems basing on spatial-temporal information modeling. The system includes 1) An optimized three-layer spatial data sampling model which significantly increases the effectiveness of spatial sampling; 2) A high-precision curved-surface simulating method (HPSM) based on curved-surface theory; 3) Methods and models for spatial data mining of large spatial databases which have been applied in seismic data analysis and information extraction from remotely sensed data; 4) Methods for integrating the processes and spatial patterns of LUCC using Chinese LUCC datasets in 1990s to 2005. With this system of methods and procedures we are able to analyze at macro scale the mechanism of land surface ecological processes under the effect of both climate and land use changes, and develop this topic into a major research direction. Furthermore, we have analyzed the spatial patterns of modern land use changes and its processes and mechanism in China, and quantified the effect of climatic change and modern LUCC on the productivity of agricultural lands in China. We have also mapped the spatial distribution of soil carbon storage in China. All of these studies provide a solid scientific basis for land use planning, ecosystem management in China, and for negotiating and fulfilling of international climate accords.
2．Application and Demonstration of Geographic Information System
With the supports of the National High Technology Research Program of China, NSFC, government and industry projects, applications and demonstration systems of GIS techniques have been developed to meet the needs of national development. Basing on the research of GIS spatial data organization, geographic models integration, spatio-temporal processes modeling and forecasting, we studied and developed data structures and models for representing multidimensional and dynamic spatio-temporal data, and improved techniques for resources and environmental analysis with the concepts of grid system and geographic units. We developed information systems for application and demonstration in many areas, including flood disaster monitoring and warning systems, earthquake disaster emergency response system, public health emergency command system, military command system, soil and water conservation information system, ocean fishery information system, coast environment inspection and evaluation information system, arid area environment evaluation information system, land management information system, intelligent traffic information system, and city planning management information system. This has played an important role in the adoption of GIS technology for public uses.
3．Development of Crucial GIS Technologies and Software Systems with Independent Intellectual Property Rights
Have researched on crucial technologies encountered in spatial data organization, data storage, data indexing, and distributed computing which concerns spatial entities and their relationship, and developed a GIS package—SuperMap with independent intellectual property rights. SuperMap consists of a series of products: component-based GIS developing platform “SuperMap Objects”, Internet GIS developing platform “SuperMap IS”, embedded GIS developing platform “eSuperMap”, desktop GIS software “SuperMap Deskpro”, editing software “SuperMap Editor”, professional survey software “SuperMap Survey”, professional land management information system software “SuperMap LIS”, and form/report generation software “SuperForm”. SuperMap can be operated on large servers running Unix operating system. It can handle large spatial data sets in the size of terabyte (TB) and support distributed computing over local area network or wide area network.
We have also developed a spatial database managing system which provides a platform for organizing, storing, and accessing spatial data. This system has been tested and applied in managing large national map databases.
As who first put forward the concept of self-adaptive spatial information visualization, we have developed a prototype of self-adaptive information system, produced a series of electronic maps based on this concept.
4．Geospatial Database Construction and Sharing
Have established primary national wide geo-databases of resource, environmental, and ecological data, and a network system for geospatial data sharing, which now play an important role in study of global change, construction of national ecological environments, and electronic governmental affairs. The databases includes multi-temporal series of national land use at the scale of 1:100 000, 1:250 000, and 1:1 000 000; soil types at scale of 1:1 000 000; lakes at scale of 1:100 000 and 1:1 000 000; swamps and marshes at scale of 1: 100 000; deserts at scale of 1:100 000. We also catalogued the attributes and spatial information for glaciers, natural resources, environment, population and economy, and compiled a spatial database of national wide data of population, GDP, production values of different industries in1995 and 2000 with 1×1 km resolution. As to imagery data, there are geo-registrated and topographic corrected mosaic of Landsat TM images for three periods of 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, annually NDVI images from 1988 to 2000, and MODIS images and its products from April 2004 till now. Our products also include electronic version of natural geography atlas, electronic version of China environment and sustainable development atlas, 30-second resolution global digital elevation model database, 4- mile resolution global vegetation index database from 1984 to 1995, global population distribution database, 5000-year earthquake catalogue database, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau database, Loess Plateau database, Yellow River Delta database, and so on.
A scientific sharing database network of earth system science has been established for public uses.