The Spatial Sciences Laboratory (SSL) began in 1982 as a remote sensing and GIS laboratory in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. As technology developed, the laboratory grew beyond its facilities capabilities. In 1994, the SSL at Texas A&M University was founded as a state-of-the-art mapping facility through a university-industry partnership agreement among Intergraph, Inc., Trimble Navigation, and Texas A&M University as the Mapping Sciences Laboratory. At its inception, the MSL was named as the first of only five Centers of Excellence in the Spatial Sciences by Intergraph Corporation. Since that time, an interdisciplinary team of faculty and research scientists have used the SSL facilities to conduct research projects and teaching activities in environmental and resource management issues at multiple scales.
During the past six years, the SSL has forged close ties with federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as private industry and foreign government agencies. In 1999, the laboratory changed its name from the Mapping Sciences Laboratory to the Spatial Science Laboratory under the new direction of Dr. Raghavan Srinivasan. This change came about with the increase in demand for spatial technology and to identify the important functions of the laboratory beyond that of simply making maps.
We envision that the next generation of environmental monitoring systems will rely on the seamless integration of GIS, Remote Sensing, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to process real-time data from multiple data sources.