Monthly Archives: October 2008

An Introduction to GIS for the Social Sciences

This Friday 10/31 between 10:30 – 12:30pm, EDS will offer the An Intro  to GIS for the Social Sciences workshop led by James Quinn, who is the GIS Analyst for ISERP.

This two hour workshop aims to show how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be applied as an analytical tool to answer questions in the social sciences.  Participants will learn how to think spatially through the development and understanding of some basic principles behind GIS, and how GIS can be integrated into their own research.

There will also be a hands-on component working with ESRI ArcGIS software, where participants will identify clusters of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood for targeting screening programs using blood samples and US Census data.

No prior experience with GIS is required to attend, however, it would be beneficial to have taken the EDS Intro to GIS workshop.

US Census & GIS

Friday October 24th from 10:30 – 12:30pm we’re holding another GIS workshop.

The workshop gives an overview of the Decennial Census as an important source population and housing data for use in mapping applications and is led by Jane Weintrop, the Data Services Librarian and Head of EDS.

In addition to the overview there will be a hands-on exercise that serves as an introduction to Census Bureau’s web portal, American FactFinder. Participants will learn how to join data tables to spatial layers and create a thematic map using Census data.

No prior experience with GIS is necessary to attend.

Intro to GIS Materials

Now that the Intro to GIS workshops are over we’re posting the presentation and the first exercise which originally came from the National Park Service Introduction to ArcGIS 9 for Land Management Agencies course Materials. I’ve modified it a bit focusing on datasets in our collection.  I’m also including a document describing shapefiles.

Scanned Map Index

We have created a layer that serves as an index to the growing scanned map collection from the Lehman library.  The index is available in shapefile format and can be freely downloaded, the metadata record is available in the CU Spatial Data Catalog.

Each feature represents the approximate extent of a map sheet or map set.  Attribute information includes the name of the map, a URL to the metadata record in the CUL Spatial Data catalog and a URL to a thumbnail detail of the map. This dataset will be updated regularly.

Working with NYC Spatial Data Workshop

As mentioned in today’s GIS workshop, I’m including both the presentation and the exercise using data from BYTES and Infoshare.

More or less, here’s a list of the websites we looked at, many of which can also be found on the EDS website Spatial Data webpage:

Another resource I did not mention but is well worth the time to check out is the NYPL Map Division blog which lists some of the unique maps and images available in their collection. Not only is this a valuable resource for maps related to NYC, but make sure to take a look at the attachments. Included in some of the posts are kml & kmz index files.

Also, for historic maps look through both the David Rumsey Map Collection and in the Library of Congress Map Collections. Everything in both of these sites are downloadable as high resolution images.