GIS & Data Lab
The GIS & Data Lab, housed on the 1st floor of Rotch Library (7-238), is available for use during Rotch’s operating hours. Computers and in-person help is available for the MIT Community only. See Data Services for more info on how to get help.
Using the lab
A valid MIT ID is required for access to the lab. The lab may occasionally be reserved in part or full for workshops. Information on closures for workshops will be posted on this website.
COVID-19 updates: Temporary remote access to computers
Due to COVID-19, there is no in-person computer use available at this time. The GIS & Data Lab staff are temporarily allowing all computers to be available via remote access, pending approval, and primarily for those actively working with installed software. Follow these procedures for access:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request to reserve a computer before use and include the following:
- Your name
- The dates you would like to use the computer (cannot exceed 1 week)
- A sentence about the MIT-related work you will be doing
- GIS & Data Lab staff will review the request. If approved, staff will tell you which computer to use and send you further instructions on how to access the machine.
- On the first day of your reservation, and once your analysis is running, lock the computer so as to avoid disruption of processing. Never shut down a computer.
- As soon as your analysis is finished, transfer all data off the computer and delete it. Unlock the computer and email staff to let them know you have finished. If you need to use the computer after your reservation has ended, email email@example.com to request an extension.
The GIS & Data Lab is open to all MIT community members. A reservation is required if you will be using a computer remotely.
- Computers: 16 are available in the Lab and 1 in the XR space (reserved for immersive technologies and group work). In-person access is available during Rotch’s operating hours (see Covid-19 updates above for info on remote access). MIT Athena (kerberos) is required for login on all computers.
- Higher performance computers: 4 of the 16 computers have an additional 32GB ram (64GB), an extra NVIDIA GeForce 1080Ti graphics card, and additional disk space. These machines are intended to support long-term processing jobs.
Upon logging off, all files will be cleared. For temporary data storage, utilize the shared drives, accessible via the File Explorer path: This PC > UserData[# of computer] > UserFiles > and create a folder using your kerberos name (this allows staff to contact you). Mislabeled folders will be deleted. The GIS & Data lab is not an archive and data could be deleted at any time; be sure to properly manage and back up your data. For help with data management or storage, contact Data Management Services.
Computers should never be shut down to allow for shared drive access at all times (locking of machines is allowed during remote access only).
- Use of installed software on the computers takes priority over other uses of the machines. See full list of software below.
- A reservation is required if you will not be using a computer in person. Computers that are locked but have no reservation will be restarted.
- You may be asked to end an analysis if the machines are needed for other uses.
- If you do not return on the last day of your reservation to unlock the computer, it will be restarted so that others may use it.
- Please do not log into the computer after your reservation has ended as others may be using the machine.
- Lab staff are not responsible for monitoring your analysis. The GIS & Data Lab is open to all MIT community members. Computers could inadvertently get re-started or unplugged.
The following software is installed on all computers unless otherwise indicated. Use of licensed software is restricted to members of the MIT community for the purposes of research, education, and scholarship. Additional software may be requested pending relevance, cost, and licensing terms by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of licensed software is restricted to members of the MIT community for the purposes of research, education, and scholarship. Under MIT’s licenses, users generally may not:
- redistribute the software or materials or permit use to anyone other than a member of the MIT community.
- remove, obscure, or modify any copyright or other notices included in the software or materials.
- use the software or materials for commercial purposes.
Leaving MIT: When a member of the organization terminates affiliation with the organization or a member’s affiliation with the organization is terminated by the organization or a person not affiliated with the organization leaves campus, the member or person must destroy all personal copies of the software or derived data. Users are individually responsible for compliance with these terms.