Open Source GIS Working Group

Learn GIS in the Company of Digital Humanists and Digital Scientists

We meet from 12-1 p.m. on most Thursdays in 800FA of the Central Library. Newcomers are always welcome! Check the schedule below for details about topics. Also see our Github repository for code samples. Contact Lindsey Fox with any questions or see the FAQs below.

Basics of GIS

Session Three

Fundamentals of Cartography

Frequently Asked Questions

Why learn GIS?
GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, is a extremely useful data visualization and investagion tool. GIS can be used to not only identify patterns and analyze them, but also display those results in a meaningful manner.

What do we do?
In this working group we look at various open source GIS tools. Some of these tools include: PosgreSQL/PostGIS, Mapbox/Leaflet, Geoserver, and QGIS. Many of these programs are used to create, store, edit, serve out, and analyze geographic data.

Why GIS for Digital Science?
GIS has long been used for analyzeing and interpretting geographic data, commonly used in the sciences. If you have lots of data in different formats, like CSV, JSON, XML, or relational databases, GIS is capable of integrating that data for analysis and display.

What if I'm new to GIS?
We strive to make our sessions accessible to users at any level, including complete beginners. We always start each meeting with review of a basic topic and encourage newcomers to pair with more experienced participants.

What should I bring?
If you can, please bring a laptop with you to the sessions. If you don't have a laptop, you can always check one out from the library. We're agnostic about operating systems—Linux, OSX or Windows are all fine.

Can I join anytime?
Yes! We try to keep our sessions as modular as possible. If you need help with anything we've covered in a previous session, we'd be glad to bring you up to speed. We strive to be a friendly and welcoming group at all times.


Date Location Topic Session Notes
9/8/2016 800FA, Central Library Welcome Session: Overview of Creating a Basic Online Mapping Template
9/15/2016 800FA, Central Library QGIS- Learn to Georeference Historic Maps Notes
9/22/2016 800FA, Central Library Mapbox- Working with your Georeferenced Map Notes
9/29/2016 800FA, Central Library GitHub- Working with the GitHub Mapping Template Notes
10/7/2016 800FA, Central Library Cloudant- Creating Your Map Data Notes
10/14/2016 Fall Break No Session
10/20/2016 800FA, Central Library Cloudant Review and Troubleshooting
10/28/2016 800FA, Central Library Edit CSS and HTML- Customizing Your Mapping Application!
11/3/2016 800FA, Central Library Map Show and Tell
11/10/2016 800FA, Central Library Spring Schedule Review and Closing Discussion
11/17/2016 through 1/12/2016 Fall Hiatus No Session
1/19/2017 800FA, Central Library Welcome/Agenda/Installing QGIS Notes
1/26/2017 800FA, Central Library Making a Map Notes
2/2/2017 800FA, Central Library Working with Attributes Notes
2/9/2017 800FA, Central Library Importing Spreadsheets and Performing Table Joins
2/16/2017 800FA, Central Library Basic Vector Styling
2/23/2017 800FA, Central Library Basic Vector Styling
3/2/2017 800FA, Central Library Map Troubleshooting/ Open Session
3/9/2017 No Meeting: Spring Break No Session
3/16/2017 800FA, Central Library Basic Raster Styling
3/23/2017 800FA, Central Library Working with Projections
3/30/2017 800FA, Central Library Performing Spatial Joins
4/6/2017 800FA, Central Library Analysis Tools: Points in a Polygon Example
4/13/2017 800FA, Central Library Performing Spatial Queries
4/20/2017 800FA, Central Library Map Show and Tell/ Closing Session
4/27/2017 through 8/16/2017 Summer Hiatus No Session