The PSTC provides a centralized and coordinated set of services that promotes the use of spatial methods and spatial thinking for the analysis of population problems. These services are tied to the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) initiative at Brown, which has matured into program that is now administered by the PSTC. Specific objectives include providing technical support to individual projects that use spatial data and methods, developing new projects that incorporate spatial perspectives, and providing workshops and training programs that stimulate the development of new skills and knowledge of spatial applications. S4 has developed particular expertise in innovative methods of using spatial data to address important social issues.
PSTC associates benefit from the following spatial analysis services and events:
- Consultation on spatial projects
- Training in spatial analysis through the GIS Institute
- Colloquium series on spatial topics
- Research and data dissemination
S4 is housed in a suite of 12 offices that comprises the entire third floor of Maxcy Hall at Brown. Maxcy Hall also houses the Department of Sociology. S4 space includes a conference room, staff offices, and workspace for faculty and graduate research assistants whose projects draw heavily on spatial computing infrastructure. S4 has 2 dual-processor servers in the basement of Maxcy Hall as well as a shared testing server available to the staff for program development. These machines are maintained by the Sociology Department's computer professional who also works closely with the PSTC computer-core staff based in Mencoff Hall.
All staff have high-end PCs with the necessary power required to process large spatial data files.
Access to Services
All PSTC faculty associates and their population research activities are eligible for services from this core.