2nd Brown Bag DH Workshop: Creating your own maps using GIS tools (2015-05-19)

The original collaborative note can be found at: https://goo.gl/huS75G


Notes for MPIWG Brown Bag DH workshop #2

Creating your own maps with GIS tools

Date: 2015-05-19

Who: Erna, Donatella, Joana, Hartmut, Catherine, Lino, Robert, Sebastian, Dirk, Honghong, Kaijun, Elena, Shih-Pei

0. What is your need? The purposes of creating maps

  • To visualize research materials / results in geospatial space => To analyze data spatially

  • To be able to draw a map for my research by myself

  • To show to people: put in my papers/books or on some website (static v.s. interactive)

  • statistical analysis, statistical correlations

  • example: http://english.pobediteli.ru/flash.html

  • ...more?

1. Problems encountered

  • where to start

  • Excel does not work with GIS software. But this is solvable because Excel can be easily converted to compatible software (for instance, Textwrangler - a free software, installed by the IT in our macs). Excel is not ideal to type in coordinates, but it can also be done.

  • Some areas of the world are not well represented in the usual projections. But GIS allows you to choose the projection most suitable for you.

2. Basics about GIS (Geospatial Information Systems)

  • The differences between creating maps by Photoshop and by GIS tools

  • A GIS map (or “layer”) is a database (or simply say, a table) with geospatial attribute (point - one XY coordinate; or polygon - a sequence of XYs).

  • In addition to the geospatial attribute, in your table you can have whatever columns you need. These columns can be displayed (as texts) or used to dynamically render the style (shape, size, color) of the points/lines on your map.

  • Steps you might need to create maps

    • Your data: dots, lines, polygons: manually drawn or automatically rendered by importing a table (your data!), convert data in textWrangler (or any other software that can create .csv)

    • Background maps: to layer your data with

3. Tools one can use

4. Future workshops

  • June 2nd, 11:30-13:00: a hands-on workshop on GIS! (Quantum GIS) by Catherine Milova

  • June 8th or 9th: a regular Brown Bag meeting on text-mining? (Ask Robert)

  • June 23rd, 14:00-18:00: a Dept. II workshop (open to all) on Academic Workflow organized by Sietske Fransen and Anna-Maria Meister

  • No meetings in July and August


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