Spring 2014 Scholars’ Lab GIS Workshop Series

All sessions are one hour and assume attendees have no previous experience using GIS.  Sessions will be hands-on with step-by-step tutorials with expert assistance.  All sessions will be taught on Wednesdays from 10AM to 11AM in the Alderman Electronic Classroom, ALD 421 (adjacent to the Scholars’ Lab) and are free to attend and are open to the UVa and larger Charlottesville community.

February 5th
Making Your First Map with ArcGIS
Here’s your chance to get started with geographic information systems software in a friendly, jargon-free environment.  This workshop introduces the skills you need to make your own maps.  Along the way you’ll get a taste of Earth’s most popular GIS software (ArcGIS) and a gentle introduction to cartography. You’ll leave with your own cartographic masterpieces and tips for learning more in your pursuit of mappiness at UVa. 

February 12th
Getting Your Data on a Map
Do you have a list of Lat/Lon coordinates or addresses you would like to see on a map?  We will show you how to do just that.  Through ArcGIS’s Add XY data tool and Geocoding (address matching), it is easy to take your tabular lists and generate points on a map.

February 19th
Georeferencing a Map
Would you like to see historic map overlaid on modern aerial photography?  Do you need to extract features of a map for use in GIS?  Georeferencing is the first step.  We will show you how to take a scan of a paper map and align in it in ArcGIS.

February 26th
Easy Demographics
Need to make a quick demographic map or religious adherence?  This workshop will show you how easily navigate Social Explorer.  This powerful online application makes it easy to create maps with contemporary and historic census data and religious information.

March 5th
Historic Census Data
Would you like to map the poverty in Philadelphia around the turn of the 20th Century?  How about a racial breakdown by state in the 1860s?  This workshop will focus on how to download historic census boundary and tabular data to make historic demographic maps.

March 19th
Collecting Your Own Spatial Data
Research projects often rely on fieldwork to build new datasets.  In this workshop we’ll focus on tools for spatial data collection. First we’ll take a quick look behind the curtain to see how GPS really works and how to use that knowledge to our advantage.  Then we’ll evaluate free or low-cost options to gather locations and associated attributes using handheld GPS devices, smartphones, and apps.  This workshop will introduce you to a range of devices and methods for mobile spatial data collection.

March 26th
Making Your First Map with QGIS
Here’s your chance to get started with geographic information systems software in a friendly, jargon-free environment.  This one-hour workshop introduces the skills you need to make your own maps.  Along the way you’ll get a taste of Earth’s most popular open source GIS software (QGIS) and a gentle introduction to cartography.  You’ll leave with your own cartographic masterpieces and tips for learning more in your pursuit of mappiness at UVa.

April 2nd
Quantum GIS – Adding Remote Data Services
Would you like to show the live weather radar on your map?  How about other live and/or free data?  This workshop will show you how to add open web service (OWS) layers to Quantum GIS and use them in a map.

April 9th
Working With Rasters Using Open Source Tools
QGIS is a popular open source software for working with spatial data.  The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) is an open source utility library for raster processing that’s integrated with QGIS.  In this workshop we will use QGIS and GDAL with freely available datasets to create elevation contour lines and identify the highest and lowest elevation points inside a study area.  Gain the skills you need to perform your own terrain analysis using free open source tools.     

April 16th
Learning Old-School Mapping Techniques
How did folks make maps before GPS and satellite imagery?  In this workshop we’ll focus on plane table mapping.  Using just a flat surface, a sheet of paper, a straight edge, and a pencil we’ll learn techniques to create accurate maps for large geographic areas.   With plane table mapping, if you can see it, you can map it.  

GIS Specialist with the University of Virginia Library where he builds spatial data collections, teaches GIS courses, and provides GIS user support. His research work includes various demographic, neighborhood indicator, and funding analysis projects in and around Richmond and various environmental science and humanities GIS projects. Chris is a certified GIS professional (GISP).

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