Visualizing Data with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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Librarians in academic and research institutions are increasingly involved in the curation and visualization of data created by their organizations. This presentation, presented as part of a session on "The Data Librarian" at the Internet Librarian International 2013 conference, explored how information professionals can use open source GIS software to add value to data.

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Visualizing Data with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

  1. 1. Data Visualization with GIS Kate Dougherty, University of Arkansas Internet Librarian International October 16, 2013
  2. 2. What is GIS? • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a computer-based method for collecting, managing, analyzing, modeling, and presenting geographic or spatial data. • Can overlay maps and datasets and query them in terms of their spatial relationships to each other.
  3. 3. Vector Data Individual features: – Points for cities – Roads – Boundaries Raster Data Continuous or gridded data: – Air photos – Satellite imagery – Scanned maps
  4. 4. What is GIS Used For? • • • • • Identifying conservation areas Vehicle routing Siting new facilities Market and demographic research Much more!
  5. 5. Where does the data come from? • Federal – Geo.data.gov – Many countries have a central GIS portal • State GIS portals • Local (counties/cities) – Quality & availability of local portals vary widely • Educational institutions • Non-profits • Commercial sources
  6. 6. Types of GIS Software “GIS Lite” Professional • Focus on display: • Focus on analysis: – – – – Google Earth Google Maps BatchGeo Many others – – – – Esri’s ArcGIS/ArcMap Quantum GIS GRASS Others
  7. 7. Quantum GIS (QGIS) • Open source professional-level software – From the Open Source Geospatial Foundation http://www.qgis.org/
  8. 8. Click to add data Table of contents that shows & organizes the project’s layers. The “data frame” that displays the spatial data.
  9. 9. “Lightweight” Applications • GeoCommons.com • Google Maps/Google Fusion Tables • BatchGeo.com • Simply Map (subscription) • Policy Map (subscription)
  10. 10. GeoCommons.com • Platform for sharing and • Upload & map data (files up to 20 MB) visualization of data through maps • Analyze data • Open source • Use or combine with others’ data to create • Cloud-based new maps
  11. 11. Description for field Check to get summary statistics
  12. 12. Summary statistics for fields where we checked “Categorize”.
  13. 13. Analysis
  14. 14. Sample “GIS Lite” Projects for Libraries
  15. 15. http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/project_details.cfm?id=747&index=747&domain=#.Ua0SofwoZIY.twitter
  16. 16. Thank You! Kate Dougherty Geosciences and Maps Librarian University of Arkansas kdough03@gmail.com Twitter: @kate_dougherty Background: Geologic Map of County Clare, http://frackingfreeireland.org/info-to-download/maps/

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