On Thursday, July 30, the Research Commons jointly sponsored a day-long Geographic Information Systems (GIS) workshop in Thompson Library with the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA).
The event, called “GIS for the Rest of Us,” brought together a group of about 60 Ohio State faculty, staff, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students spanning nine different Colleges at Ohio State, including: Arts and Sciences; Engineering; the Fisher College of Business; Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; the John Glenn College of Public Affairs; Medicine; Nursing; Public Health; and Social Work. Within the College of Arts and Sciences, disciplines spanning the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and natural and physical sciences were all represented by workshop participants.
In addition to the Ohio State participants, several attendees visited us from off-campus, representing a variety of organizations including the City of Columbus, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, National Audobon Society, and United Way of Central Ohio. The diversity of the workshop participants illustrates the widespread interdisciplinary interest in GIS and the recognition that geospatial concepts, tools, and technologies are applicable in a wide array of research fields and workplace settings.
The event began with presentations from two graduate students in the Department of Geography. Calvin Tribby, a Ph.D. student, oriented workshop participants to the concept of “thinking spatially,” and Ryan Crumley, a recent Master’s graduate, explained how he used GIS to pinpoint water sample locations during his research on Peruvian glaciers (pictured above).
From 10am to 3pm, workshop participants rotated through four different one-hour stations. Josh Sadvari, GIS Specialist for the University Libraries, led a session on getting started with ArcGIS Online. Jason Cervenec and Ryan Crumley of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center led two sessions covering basic and more advanced features of Google Earth. Matthew Adair of CURA led a session on using Esri Story Maps to create a spatial narrative with photos, text, and location data.
Given the amount of interest generated by this workshop, we plan to offer additional sessions in the future on each of these different tools and look forward to future collaborations with our friends at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center and CURA! Stay informed by following us on Twitter at: @OSUrescommons.
If you have questions about how you might use GIS tools and technologies in your own teaching or research, or you would like assistance locating geospatial data for your work, please contact Josh Sadvari at email@example.com.