Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & GIS Research Laboratories
The GIS and GIS Research Laboratories house a unique collection of high-end mapping and GIS facilities that offer a user-friendly environment to students for hands-on practicals, small-group projects, workshops, and other research activities.
The Laboratories have a local area network of 25 desktop computers and two servers housing the mass storage devices and applications software. A wide variety of input-output devices featuring digitising tablets, image/slide scanners, colour scanners, colour laser printers, large format colour plotters, pocket PCs or Personal Data Assistants, GPS receivers, and laptop computers are available. A large suite of applications software provides state-of-the-art capabilities for spatial data processing, image analysis, mapping, modelling, statistical analysis, and visualization. The GIS Laboratory also holds a small collection of digital data (maps, orthophotos, satellite imageries) of selected areas of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta for teaching and research purposes.
Geomorphology & Hydrology Laboratory
The Geomorphology & Hydrology Laboratory is equipped with instruments for analyzing and testing of regolith and sediment samples, simulation work within the fields of geomorphology and hydrology, dry sieving, wet sieving, microscopic examination of sediments, investigation of processes shaping landforms, soil strength determination and associated tests. The Laboratory has equipment for environmental monitoring such as sound level meter, real-time aerosol monitor, indoor air quality monitor and multi-gas monitor. Other major equipment available includes: filtering unit, vacuum pump, conductivity meter, pH meter, casagrande apparatus, linear shrinkage apparatus, cone penetrometer, rain gauge, dust collector, BOD incubator, and suspended solid measuring unit. The Department has recently purchased a Gamma Spectroscopy System.
Soils & Biogeography Laboratory
The Soils & Biogeography Laboratory is equipped to carry out a full range of physical and chemical analysis of soil, plant, water and environmental samples for research purposes. In recent years, it has acquired a number of modern and sophisticated machines to replace the traditional form of manual analyzing methods. This has greatly improved the efficiency and accuracy in sample analysis. The major equipment available in the Laboratory include: atomic absorption spectrophotometer, inductively coupled plasma spectrometer, laser-diffraction particle size analyzer, microwave digestion oven, CHNS/O elemental analyzer, automatic extractor for cation exchange capacity, pressure-plate and tension-table apparatus, tensiometer, permeameter, porosimeter, as well as a wide range of field equipment.
Urban & Transport Research Laboratory
The Urban & Transport Research Laboratory provides a user-friendly environment to students for small-group projects, tutorials, seminars, workshops, and other research activities. The Laboratory is equipped with some of the most up-to-date information technology facilities and is configured in a flexible manner to meet the needs of innovative teaching and learning. The Laboratory is open to both graduate and undergraduate students.
The Map Library, although a Departmental Library, is open to all full-time staff and students of HKU after they have completed registration procedures and been issued with a Map Library card. Access and use by other persons is by prior arrangement with the Department. It has a collection of over 19,000 map items (with particular emphasis on Hong Kong, and East & Southeast Asia); a rapidly growing collection of over 12,700 air photos (especially on Hong Kong); a sizeable number of atlases, wall maps, marine charts, satellite images, cartobibliographies, audio and video tapes, and CD-ROMs. It is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Hong Kong and nearby region. The Library also houses more than 1,600 geography dissertations and postgraduate theses, completed from 1968 onwards. These are available for reference use only within the Map Library.
A reduction/enlargement engineering copier is available for reproducing A4 to A0 sized maps for academic use (subject to copyright constraints). A colour photo copier is also available for color-copying of materials for academic purpose. A schedule of charges for the use of copying facilities is posted on the Map Library's webpage.
General Computer Facilities
The Department provides sizeable resources to cater for computer needs of staff and students. Two levels of services are available for teaching and research: workstation systems and clusters of PCs.
Workstations are housed in GIS Research Laboratories and are dedicated to postgraduate teaching and research purposes.
PCs are available for use by students in two locations: GIS Research Laboratories and Map Library. All PCs are equipped with word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. In addition, PCs in GIS Research Laboratories are installed with applications that provide state-of-the-art capabilities for spatial data processing, modeling, statistical analysis, as well as the manipulation of other essentials such as aerial photographs and satellite imageries.
Map Library provides an online catalogue service. It allows users to search most available resources in Map Library through internet.