Exploring and Visualising Geographic Information for Social Scientists



Applications for this course are now closed. If you would like to be added to the waiting list please contact info@aqmen.ac.uk

1-3 June 2016 
Edinburgh Training and Conference Centre, St Mary's Street, Edinburgh

This course is aimed at people who have no experience of digital map making or GIS. The three day course will provide delegates with the skills to be able to produce map visualisations to put in briefing papers / journal articles / PhD theses etc. This will draw on data used in research by the AQMeN Crime and Victimisation strand on crime trends in local neighbourhoods. Open source software: the Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis software GeoDa and the GIS software Quantum GIS will be used in practical sessions.

The first two days of the course will focus particularly on exploring and mapping data released pre-aggregated to a commonly used geographical unit (polygon area) such as the standard statistical geographies data zones, super output areas or census tracts (for example Census data or data released by Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics). We will also briefly look at how to produce maps providing context about an area (e.g. roads, rivers, administrative boundaries) and how you might visualise your own individual level data with a geographic identifier at an aggregate level.

The third day will give participants an introduction to the key exploratory spatial data analysis concepts of spatial autocorrelation and Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA). Day 3 will focus on how to explore and visualise whether there are underlying spatial associations in data relating to place (e.g. data on neighbourhoods or regions) and understanding why this might be useful.

Learning outcomes –

The course will give participants:

Days 1 and 2

  • A knowledge of the functional capabilities of GIS
  • An understanding of ways in which we can analyse geographic information
  • Knowledge and experience of visualising geographic information
  • A brief introduction to some key sources of socio-economic data and related geographic contextual data available within the UK
  • Knowledge and experience of methods they can use to map their own data

Day 3

  • An understanding of the concept of spatial autocorrelation
  • A brief introduction to different types of spatial weights
  • Knowledge and experience in how test for global spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) and discussion of its’ possible implications for data analysis
  • An understanding and experience of how to explore local spatial associations within and between data using Local Indicators of Spatial Association focusing on how to test for and visualise two types of LISA (Local Moran’s I and Getis and Ord’s Gi and Gi*)
  • A brief introduction to some of the issues around assessing significance of LISA measures
  • A brief discussion of the potential implications of spatial association in data for wider data analysis

Criteria for selection:

All participants must be competent in the use of a PC and the Windows environment and have some experience of using either, a spreadsheet package (e.g. Microsoft Excel, Open Office Calc), or, a statistical software package with a data viewer of browser (e.g. SPSS or Stata). Participants must indicate in their application what they wish to achieve from the course and how they plan to employ the techniques that will be taught.

Participants can attend all 3 days, just days 1 and 2, or just day 3.

For participants attending just Days 1 and 2, or all 3 days of the course, no prior knowledge of GIS is presumed.

Participants attending day 3 only must have a basic knowledge of GIS and ways to visualise geographic information; have some experience of mapping their own data, and either be familiar with visualising geographic information using either R, a GIS package such as ArcGIS, MapInfo or Quantum GIS, or have used Geoda previously before the course

Course costs:
This training course is offered free of charge to doctoral students registered on a social science degree programme at a Scottish University or to doctoral students studying at an ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Centre.

Remaining places will be open to others for a fee:

Doctoral students studying at a non-DTC institution £90
Academic staff, ESRC funded researchers and UK registered charitable organisations £180
Others £750

Please note that AQMeN can only accept payment for training via the University of Edinburgh ePay system.  We are unable to issue invoices or accept cheques for payment. All payments must be received within 14 days of a place being offered otherwise the place will be released. Payment should not be made until you have received confirmation that you have been allocated a place on the course.

Application process:
There are 18 places available on the course and places will be allocated following a process of application.

To apply for this event, a completed on-line application form should be submitted.  Successful applicants will be notified by 27th April 2016.

Travel and accommodation bursaries:
Doctoral students registered on a social science degree programme at a Scottish university or at an ESRC-funded DTC may be eligible to claim travel and/or accommodation costs to attend.

In order to be eligible for a bursary you must reside outside Edinburgh and attend a university outside Edinburgh.  Reimbursement can only take place if you follow the reimbursement process detailed below and bursaries for eligible students will be capped at the following rates:

Travel time (by rail) from Edinburgh Maximum Travel Contribution
Accommodation Contribution
Up to 1 hour (travelling each day)    3 return trips @£25/trip = £75 NIL
Up to 1 hour(with accomodation) 1 return trip @£25/trip = £25 Up to 2 nights accomodation at maximum £60 per night
Up to 2 hours 1 return trip @£50/trip = £50 Up to 2 nights accomodation at maximum £60 per night
Over 2 hours 1 return trip @£100/trip = £100    Up to 2 nights accomodation at maximum £60 per night

Reimbursement process:
Students are responsible for arranging travel and/or accommodation (if applicable) themselves and will only be reimbursed upon presentation of original receipts (no photocopies or credit card receipts will be accepted) and completion of the relevant expense claim form which will be provided post-event.

AQMeN will not reimburse the following costs (unless agreed prior to the event):

  • Mileage
  • First class travel
  • Meals or room service
  • Inter-city travel (e.g. buses to and from event venue)
  • Taxi fares
  • Credit card fees
  • Sundries (e.g.wireless internet access or newspapers at accommodation)

All expense claims and receipts must be received by the AQMeN office no later than 2 weeks following the last day of the event in order to be eligible for reimbursement.

Cancellation and Non-attendance:
By applying for this course, you are expected to attend for the full duration.  Failure to attend all sessions (unless by prior agreement with the AQMeN core team) may result in a charge of £50 per day of the course missed, non-reimbursement of expenses and ineligibility to be  considered for future AQMeN training courses and events.

Non-paying delegates
If after receiving an allocated place on the course you are no longer able to attend, you must notify AQMeN as soon as possible to allow the place to be offered to someone on the waiting list.  Failure to do so may result in a charge of £50 per day of the course, non-reimbursement of expenses and ineligibility to be  considered for future AQMeN training courses and events.

Paying delegates
Course fees are non-refundable.  In exceptional circumstances a refund may by permitted at the discretion of the AQMeN Research and Development Manager.

If you have any questions regarding the course, please feel free to contact events@aqmen.ac.uk or + 44 (0) 131 650 2105

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 09:30 to Friday, June 3, 2016 - 17:00
Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue, 16 St Mary's St, Edinburgh EH1 1SU

Research Strand: