The National Centre for Geocomputation was established in 2004 after the University received a €5m grant from Science Foundation Ireland. The Centre’s research focuses on the capture, storage, analysis, and visualization of spatial data. We use various kinds of technologies used to capture 3D data including lasers and airborne vehicles - we are also developing new ways of capturing the data. However, these methods can collect very large amounts of data, so when the data has been captured we are also developing tools to process and access it.
Our other key areas of research are the analysis and visualization of spatial data. In addition to working with the kind of data we capture ourselves, we also work with secondary data sources, for example analyzing crime patterns, house prices and health data. A major breakthrough in this work is the technique of Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) – a widely used technique. Two of the creators of GWR are currently working in the NCG, and we are currently actively involved in developing this methodology and producing open source software in R to implement the technique.