Exploring and Visualising Geographic Information for Social Scientists

Exploring and Visualising Geographic Information for Social Scientists
Dr Ellie Bates, University of Edinburgh
Dr William Mackaness, University of Edinburgh
Tuesday 16th-Wednesday 17th June 2015
University of Edinburgh, School of Geosciences, 2.02

The aim of this two-day course is to provide people who have no experience of digital map making or GIS but would like to be able to produce map visualisations to put in briefing papers / journal articles / PhD theses etc. This will draw on data used within the crime strand on crime trends in local neighbourhoods. Open source software: the Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis software GeoDa and the GIS software Quantum GIS will be used in practical sessions.

The course will particularly focus on exploring and mapping data released pre-aggregated to a commonly used geographical unit (polygon area) such as the standard statistical geographies data zones, super output areas or census tracts (for example Census data or data released by Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics). It will also briefly consider how to produce maps providing context about an area (e.g. roads, rivers, administrative boundaries) and how you might visualise your own individual level data with a geographic identifier (e.g. a postcode) at a point or aggregate level.

Learning outcomes – The course will give participants:

  • A knowledge of the functional capabilities of GIS
  • An understanding of ways in which we can analyse geographic information
  • Knowledge and experience of visualising geographic information
  • A brief introduction to some key sources of socio-economic data and related geographic contextual data available within the UK.
  • Knowledge and experience of methods they can use to map their own  data

All participants must be competent in the use of a PC and the Windows environment and have some experience of using either, a spreadsheet package (e.g. Microsoft Excel, Open Office Calc), or,  a statistical software package with a data viewer or browser (e.g. SPSS or Stata). Participants must indicate in their application what they wish to achieve from the course and how they plan to employ the techniques that will be taught.

There are 15 places available on the course and places will be allocated following a process of application.

To apply for this event, a completed on-line application form should be submitted by 12 noon on 30th April 2015.  Successful applicants will be notified by 11th May 2015. Full details>

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