Credit Courses

Several departments and schools at Harvard offer courses teaching GIS or using GIS as a core technology in an application discipline.  

In addition to the courses listed here, you may find new offerings by searching the Harvard Course Catalog for any courses that contain the keywords of 'GIS' or 'Map' in their descriptions. For GIS courses offered by the Division of Continuing Education, search here

See also: Teaching

GOV 94DN - Mapping Social and Environmental Space

This seminar will use mapping as a methodological technique to examine social and environmental issues. Students will be expected to use mapping software to examine spatial data for a location and topic of their choice for their final paper. Weekly discussions will be conducted in class on various mapping related topics. References will range from books like "How to lie with Maps" to current journal articles examining the use of GIS in social science.

...

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GOV 1021 - Spatial Models of Social Science

This course will survey the theory and application of airborne and satellite remote sensing, primarily as a tool for spatial social science. Students will learn the basics of electromagnetic radiation, reflection and absorption, satellite and sensor technology, and digital image analysis, with a focus on data acquisition and preparation. Students will learn the use of software for image processing and analysis, the fundamentals of raster GIS, and the use of a scriptable online platform for quick remote processing. Applications will have a social focus, including urbanization and...

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GOV 1008 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

This courses teaches the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a collection of hardware and software tools that allow users to visualize and analyze geographic data in its spatial configuration. Students will learn the theory of geospatial analysis alongside practical methods for acquiring, manipulating, displaying, and analyzing cartographic data.

Course catalog listing

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VIS 2128 - Spatial Analysis

Planners today have access to unprecedented amounts of data on the built environment and the people who use it. These data come from a wide variety of sources ranging from traditional administrative data and survey data to emerging sources of passively-collected and crowdsourced data. By then end of this course, you will be able to confidently navigate unfamiliar datasets and create information that you can use to (1) improve your own understanding of places and spatial phenomena at the national, regional, and neighborhood scales and (2) communicate your ideas and conclusions to others....

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GHP 534 - Introduction to Spatial Methods for Public Health

This is an introductory level course in the conceptual and analytic tools used to understand how spatial distributions of exposure impact on processes and patterns of disease. It covers methods that allow: (i) examination of patterns of health and disease in place and time, (ii) application of geospatial technologies and methods for epidemiology, (iii) analysis of time-space relations, (iv) identification of clusters and diffusion of disease, and (v) study of geographical epidemiology of selected infectious and noninfectious diseases.Course Activities: Assigned readings must be read in...

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GENED 1098 - Natural Disasters

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, claim thousands of lives and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage each year. Moreover, changes in Earth's climate are raising sea level, changing precipitation patterns, and likely causing an increase in the occurrence of damaging storms, putting more of our increasing exposed global population at risk. In this course we develop an understanding of these natural hazards from an earth science perspective, and examine several case studies to assess their catastrophic impacts. Given our scientific understanding of these...

Read more about GENED 1098 - Natural Disasters

ANTHRO 2020 - GIS & Spatial Analysis In Archaeology

An introduction to the GIS and remote sensing methods used by archaeologists to document and analyze datasets at the scale of the site and the region. This class will involve the hands-on use of printed maps, aerial photography, satellite imagery, digital terrain models, GPS-based observations, and UAV (drone) photogrammetry to approach archaeological research questions. Students will gain competence in creating spatial data for fieldwork, print publication, and online visualization (web maps and 3D modeling), and in basic spatial analysis of archaeological datasets.  Labs will use...

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CSCI E-8 Web GIS: Technologies and Applications

Web GIS, as the combination of the web and GIS (Geographic Information Systems), is a new and promising field. It has unlocked the power of GIS, and put online maps and geospatial intelligence in the offices of millions and the hands of billions. This course aims to provide students with the essential web GIS knowledge needed for managing web GIS projects, teach students the latest web GIS technologies needed for building modern web GIS applications, and inspire students with real world case studies. This course focuses on Esri's web GIS platform, the most widely used GIS technology in...

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ISMT E-158 - Remote Sensing Data and Applications

This course introduces students to remote sensing data, methods and tools used for the study of global environmental change. The growing concern about human impact on the environment has led to the development of new observation and analysis tools to tackle and monitor types, magnitudes, and rates of environmental changes. Timely observations by Earth observation (EO) satellite systems and improved mapping and analysis tools are enabling a better understanding of the environmental interactions that underlie our Earth systems, which is critical for developing sustainable solutions. This...

Read more about ISMT E-158 - Remote Sensing Data and Applications

ISMT E-150 - Introduction to GIS

This course introduces the concepts and components of a geographic information system (GIS). It also teaches the essential skills of spatial data management, analysis, and visualization through the use of the ArcGIS software package. Upon completion of this course, students understand the fundamental concepts of a GIS including spatial data models, spatial analysis, and cartographic principles. They also gain hands-on training in spatial data collection, editing, transformation, and mapping, as well as spatial analysis operations such as location-based query, address geocoding, terrain...

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GHP 538 - Field Methods in Humanitarian Crises II

The purpose of field methods in humanitarian crisis II expands research methods to include network sampling of difficult to reach populations. Use of remote sensing and GIS for sampling, mixed methods and interdisciplinary approaches that involve epidemiology with other methodologies, such as climate modeling and big data analysis will be reviewed. Integrated into the course will be the use of digital tools for sampling, data management and analysis.

...

Read more about GHP 538 - Field Methods in Humanitarian Crises II

GOV 1021 - Spatial Models of Social Science

This course will survey the theory and application of airborne and satellite remote sensing, primarily as a tool for spatial social science. Students will learn the basics of electromagnetic radiation, reflection and absorption, satellite and sensor technology, and digital image analysis, with a focus on data acquisition and preparation. Students will learn the use of software for image processing and analysis, the fundamentals of raster GIS, and the use of a scriptable online platform for quick remote processing. Applications will have a social focus, including urbanization and...

Read more about GOV 1021 - Spatial Models of Social Science

GHP 534 - Introduction to Spatial Methods for Public Health

This is an introductory level course in the conceptual and analytic tools used to understand how spatial distributions of exposure impact on processes and patterns of disease. It covers methods that allow: (i) examination of patterns of health and disease in place and time, (ii) application of geospatial technologies and methods for epidemiology, (iii) analysis of time-space relations, (iv) identification of clusters and diffusion of disease, and (v) study of geographical epidemiology of selected infectious and noninfectious diseases.

...

Read more about GHP 534 - Introduction to Spatial Methods for Public Health

ENVR E-118B - Sustainable Tourism, Regional Planning, and Geodesign

This course introduces the basic principles of tourism master planning, enabling students to learn how communities, governments, business, and civil society can take a more inclusive and sustainable approach to planning tourism destinations worldwide. Students learn to present quantitative and qualitative economic, sociocultural, and environmental data to determine the best management of vital natural and social resources, and to build scenarios that include the impacts of climate change, including approaches to mitigation and adaptation, over the next 20-30 years. A live interactive...

Read more about ENVR E-118B - Sustainable Tourism, Regional Planning, and Geodesign

CSCI E-8 - Web GIS: Technologies and Applications

Web GIS, the combination of the web and geographic information systems (GIS), is a promising field. It has extended the power of GIS from local servers to the cloud, and put online maps and geospatial intelligence in the offices of millions and the hands of billions. This course aims to provide students with the essential knowledge needed for managing web GIS projects, teach students the latest geospatial cloud technologies needed for building modern web GIS applications, and inspire students with real world case studies. This course focuses on Esri's geospatial cloud, the most widely...

Read more about CSCI E-8 - Web GIS: Technologies and Applications

VIS 2129 - Spatial Analysis and the Built Environment

Urban planners engage in many complex processes that defy easy representation. This course provides first-semester urban planning students with the graphic and technical skills needed to reason, design, and communicate these processes with geospatial data. This knowledge will be embedded within a larger critical framework that addresses the cultural history of categorization, data collection, and cartography as tools of persuasion for organizing space. Visual expression is one of the most compelling methods to describe the physical environment, and students will learn techniques...

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ISMT E-158 - Remote Sensing Data and Applications

This course introduces students to remote sensing data, methods and tools used for the study of global environmental change. The growing concern about human impact on the environment has led to the development of new observation and analysis tools to tackle and monitor types, magnitudes, and rates of environmental changes. Timely observations by Earth observation (EO) satellite systems and improved mapping and analysis tools are enabling a better understanding of the environmental interactions that underlie our Earth systems, which is critical for developing sustainable solutions. This...

Read more about ISMT E-158 - Remote Sensing Data and Applications

ISMT E-150 - Introduction to GIS

This course introduces the concepts and components of a geographic information system (GIS). It also teaches the essential skills of spatial data management, analysis, and visualization through the use of the ArcGIS software package. Upon completion of this course, students understand the fundamental concepts of a GIS including spatial data models, spatial analysis, and cartographic principles. They also gain hands-on training in spatial data collection, editing, transformation, and mapping, as well as spatial analysis operations such as location-based query, address geocoding, terrain...

Read more about ISMT E-150 - Introduction to GIS

HIST 1947 - The Imperial Map: Geographic Information in the Age of Empire

Maps and empires have entangled histories. In this course we will examine the evolution of geographic information technology and the way imperial states and subjects used atlases, boundary surveys, town plans, and topographical maps to manage information flows and generate political and cultural capital. We will learn to speak the language of maps: particularly maps of the Russian Empire. Through units devoted to Siberia, the Black Sea, and European Russia, we will reconstruct the history of an empire through maps held right here at Harvard.

...

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GOV 94DN - Mapping Social and Environmental Space

This seminar will use mapping as a methodological technique to examine social and environmental issues. Students will be expected to use mapping software to examine spatial data for a location and topic of their choice for their final paper. Weekly discussions will be conducted in class on various mapping related topics. References will range from books like "How to lie with Maps" to current journal articles examining the use of GIS in social science.

...

Read more about GOV 94DN - Mapping Social and Environmental Space

GOV 1008 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

This courses teaches the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a collection of hardware and software tools that allow users to visualize and analyze geographic data in its spatial configuration. Students will learn the theory of geospatial analysis alongside practical methods for acquiring, manipulating, displaying, and analyzing cartographic data.

Course Catalog Listing

Instructor...

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GENED 1098 - Natural Disasters

From Mexico to India, San Francisco to Tokyo, natural disasters have shaped both the surface of our planet and the development of civilizations. These catastrophes claim thousands of lives and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage each year, and the impact of natural disasters is only increasing as a result of human population growth and urbanization. This course uses the methods and skills associated with earth science to help you to develop an understanding of both the causes and impacts of these events. By the end of this course, then, you will be able to understand the ways in...

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GHP 538 - Field Methods in Humanitarian Crises II

The purpose of field methods in humanitarian crisis II expands research methods to include network sampling of difficult to reach populations. Use of remote sensing and GIS for sampling, mixed methods and interdisciplinary approaches that involve epidemiology with other methodologies, such as climate modeling and big data analysis will be reviewed. Integrated into the course will be the use of digital tools for sampling, data management and analysis.

Course Catalog...

Read more about GHP 538 - Field Methods in Humanitarian Crises II

GHP 534 - Introduction to Spatial Methods for Public Health

This is an introductory level course in the conceptual and analytic tools used to understand how spatial distributions of exposure impact on processes and patterns of disease. It covers methods that allow: (i) examination of patterns of health and disease in place and time, (ii) application of geospatial technologies and methods for epidemiology, (iii) analysis of time-space relations, (iv) identification of clusters and diffusion of disease, and (v) study of geographical epidemiology of selected infectious and noninfectious diseases.

...

Read more about GHP 534 - Introduction to Spatial Methods for Public Health

GOV 94DN - Mapping Social and Environmental Space

This seminar will use mapping as a methodological technique to examine social and environmental issues. Students will be expected to use mapping software to examine spatial data for a location and topic of their choice for their final paper. Weekly discussions will be conducted in class on various mapping related topics. References will range from books like "How to lie with Maps" to current journal articles examining the use of GIS in social science.

...

Read more about GOV 94DN - Mapping Social and Environmental Space

GENED 1098 - Natural Disasters

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, claim thousands of lives and cause tens of billions of dollars in damage each year. Moreover, changes in Earth's climate are raising sea level, changing precipitation patterns, and likely causing an increase in the occurrence of damaging storms, putting more of our increasing exposed global population at risk. In this course we develop an understanding of these natural hazards from an earth science perspective, and examine several case studies to assess their catastrophic impacts. Given our scientific understanding of these...

Read more about GENED 1098 - Natural Disasters

ENVR E-118B - Sustainable Tourism, Regional Planning, and Geodesign

This course introduces the basic principles of tourism master planning, enabling students to learn how communities, governments, business, and civil society can take a more inclusive and sustainable approach to planning tourism destinations worldwide. Students learn to present quantitative and qualitative economic, sociocultural, and environmental data to determine the best management of vital natural and social resources, and to build scenarios that include the impacts of climate change, including approaches to mitigation and adaptation, over the next 20-30 years. A live interactive...

Read more about ENVR E-118B - Sustainable Tourism, Regional Planning, and Geodesign
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