Introduction to PostGIS

PostGreSQL is a powerful open source object-relational database system. PostGIS provides spatial objects for PostgreSQL database with numerous spatial data processing capabilities. In this CGA's self-led tutorial the widely used geospatial relational database PostgreSQL/ PostGIS, will be introduced. Installation and configuration of PostGIS on an Amazon instance will be covered followed by spatial data loading, the use of Spatial SQL for spatial analysis, and export of results. The use of QGIS as a PostGIS query and...

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Wrangling Data Into Maps

Objectives of this video tutorial are: 1) To learn how to assemble different forms of data into a publishable map using ArcGIS software, and to 2) Learn the fundamentals of map making, and gain insight into what skills and knowledge are required to be a successful map maker.  After learning the basics of GIS data query and display, students will perform geocoding, table join, and add XY data. 

Watch the workshop presentation (15 min. video).


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Basic Introduction to GIS

This workshop is offered every semester as a basic introduction to GIS.   The topics covered are:

1. What is GIS, mapping, and spatial data.

2. GIS data types  and file formats.

3. GIS analysis, problem solving, and case studies.

Learning objectives:
To gain an understanding of what GIS is and how it can be used.
To practice using WEB GIS and Desktop GIS.

The 2-hour program is free for people with a valid Harvard ID. For others there is a $100 registration fee...

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Cartography Workshop

This full-day workshop taught via Zoom video confernce focuses on the visual representation of geographic information. The first part will explore general reference cartography, and the fundamentals of conventional reference mapping. The second part will focus on statistical thematic cartography, and the use of GIS to generate visual representations of spatial information using both desktop (...

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GeoInquiries for teaching Map-Based Concepts

Esri GeoInquiries for schools are short, standards-based inquiry activities for teaching map-based concepts found in commonly used textbooks, mainly for K-12 classroom use.  The CGA has made available all the GeoInquiries modules in the Harvard ArcGIS Online Organizational account.  They are available from the Content tab for all members in the organization, and updates by Esri will be reflected as they become available.

GeoInquiry collections are available for American LiteratureMathematics...

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GIS Training Manual for Historians

For those of you who are curious about the use of geographic information systems (GIS) for historical research but who lack training in the use of the technology. The manual may be downloaded free of charge, along with all of the data necessary for the exercises, and you may also download the free, open-source GIS software, which is used for the first 10 of 14 exercises. You will find all of this material at the URL:


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GIS Institute

GIS Institute: Immersive Training for Spatial Research

Twice a year in January and June, Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) offers a two-week training course in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and its application to research. The program is designed for Harvard graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty, and staff, as well as external researchers who want to integrate spatial thinking, incorporate GIS methods and tools, and map communication into their research.  Over the course of two weeks, participants will experience...

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