Introduction to Geospatial Data Visualization I

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

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Course Open to: 
Students on-site
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Course Description: 

Geospatial Technologies (GT) became essential tools not only in academic research but also in our daily life. Application of GT includes (but not limited to) data collection, storage, visualization and analysis. The range of these technologies as well as their potential application is wide and user’s choice depends on issues concerned, goals to be achieved and level of computer literacy.

The aim of this course is to develop basic understanding of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) principles, to get acquainted with spatially referenced data and to foster some basic skills in its visualization (mapping). The online sessions provide both technologies’ theoretical understanding and practical use for mapping societal and environmental phenomena.

The course gives a brief introduction to alternative technologies of data collection (satellite imagery, crowdsourcing, expert knowledge, etc), different maps design for different purposes (internet, journal publications, etc.). Several geospatial data file formats will be introduced (vector, raster). Many geospatial datasets are freely available for researchers online, yet they are greatly underutilized. Participants will learn what kind of data can be stored in these datasets, how to obtain, develop and share such datasets.

Both desktop and online GT solutions (GoogleEarthPro, Google Maps, ArcGISonline, QuantumGIS) will be reviewed in order to build up students’ interest and ability to apply these tools in both academic research and further professional career. QuantumGIS (qGIS), the most popular and widespread open-source free GIS package, will be used as the main software package for illustrating the techniques of geospatial data collection, generation, and visualization. Working with qGIS on mapping exercises will help participants to learn the basics of a typical GIS package and mapping principles.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course students will understand the processes of:

• acquiring geospatial information from different sources;

• creating simple maps using basic mapping packages (GEPro, qGIS) and online mapping tools.

The course is organized as a series of short online presentations followed by practicals (detailed video instructions) and individual work on maps development.