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Yale GIS Accelerator Winter 2024 (HYBRID) - Participation by Application and Selection Process

Yale Library's GIS Support Services is pleased to announce the Yale GIS Accelerator Winter 2024, a one-week-long GIS instruction program for Yale affiliates who need to learn and integrate GIS into their projects but find it difficult to register for a semester-long GIS course.

The Yale GIS Accelerator has been designed for those who have a project and dataset, and need support to learn principles of GIS and spatial data management. Registration selection will be based on the necessity of geospatial analysis for their current and proposed projects. 


No prior experience with GIS is expected from Accelerator participants. However, working knowledge of Windows is assumed.  Mac and Linux users can prepare by learning how to use File Explorer to find and manage files in Windows, how to launch programs from the Start Menu, how to unzip downloads, and how to copy/ paste text. 


Jill Kelly is the primary GIS instructor at the Yale School of Public Health.  She also teaches GIS in the Government Department of Harvard University, Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Studies Program. Her research focuses on the development and application of GIS and other spatial methods to study environmental phenomena. Jill is a geospatial generalist with interests in morphology, areal aggregation, and raster analysis. Her dissertation research explored the spatial aggregation of lidar measurements in predicting spatially explicit estimates of forest biomass.



Using a Guided Practice pedagogical strategy, participants will be given an introduction to tools for analyzing, manipulating, and visualizing spatial data. The focus will be on a fundamental understanding of data structures for representing spatial information and different methods to generate insights from them. At the end of the Accelerator, participants will have a solid foundation in the use of GIS and will be able to:

  • identify and use spatial data types and formats
  • process non-spatial data for mapping (display XY, geocode, join, georeference, digitize new features)
  • produce maps of layered spatial data with appropriate symbology, coordinate systems, legends, etc.
  • understand basic principles of cartography and the uses of 3D visualization
  • perform basic spatial analytic techniques to enhance understanding of spatial data (spatial join, buffer, intersect, union, compute distances, topographic analysis, map algebra, etc.)
  • understand the basics of spatial statistics (specifically spatial autocorrelation and its effects in OLS regression)
  • use an online sharing system for broad distribution of mapped results
  • identify ethical considerations in GIS analysis, geospatial research, and cartographic visualization and protect the locational data privacy of research subjects and communities


Please review the DETAILED SCHEDULE
DATES: JANUARY 8-12, 2024
TIME: 9 am - 5 :30 pm EDT
LOCATION: HYBRID: Marx Library Classroom (C27) and via Zoom (Link will be emailed to registrants)

9 am-12 pm - Morning lectures and labs
12-1 pm - Lunch break (unless the schedule shows a different time)
1-4:30 pm -  Afternoon lectures and labs
4:30-5:30 pm - GIS Lab support by the Yale Library's GIS Support Services Team

Software Used: ArcGIS Pro

  • In-person attendees: We will provide a lab computer
  • Zoom attendees: If you currently do not have access to ArcGIS Pro, please prepare in advance:


Open to Yale members only
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, December 1st, 2023.

APPLICATION FORM - after the deadline, please add your name to the interest list if you want to be informed about future Yale GIS accelerators.
NOTIFICATION DATE: Selected participants will be notified by Friday, December 8, 2023, and will be invited to a preliminary data readiness interview on the week of December 11, 2023. If selected applicants are no longer available to join the accelerator, we will notify the next applicant(s) on the waitlist.

Please fill out the application form. The workshop organizers will shortlist those ready to participate in this GIS accelerator. Please read to get examples of how to fill out the two major questions:

  1. Part of the GIS Accelerator is set aside to help you apply the techniques you will learn to a project of your own choosing.  Briefly describe a spatial research project you will use to reinforce your learning during the GIS Accelerator course.  For example:
    • “My dissertation studies forest degradation over time. I hope to make several maps of forest inventory plots measured at different time points, as well as the entire study area. I would also like to learn how to visualize changes in local temperature, rainfall, and land use over the years covered by my research.”
    • “My research is concerned with domestic violence in Louisiana.  Because of IRB restrictions, I cannot use my actual study data in this course, so I will pursue a related project evaluating the placement, accessibility, and coverage of domestic violence support centers in Baton Rouge.”
  2. As best you can, briefly describe the data you will bring to the Accelerator to support that practice.
    • “My project relies entirely on publicly available data from the US Census. Before the start of the Accelerator, I will acquire textfiles of tract-level data downloaded from data.census.gov.”
    • “Last summer, I collected 150 GPS points representing the locations of doorways in the ruins of Pompei. I will bring those coordinates as a .gpx file exported from my device.”

Note: The Marx Library GIS team can help you to identify relevant data in appropriate formats. If you need help, please reserve a GIS consultation.

Please email miriam.olivares@yale.edu with any questions about this training.

Related LibGuide: Geographic Information Systems at Yale by Miriam Olivares

Friday, January 12, 2024
9:00am - 5:30pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
  Data Visualization     GIS & Geospatial  

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Miriam Olivares
Miriam Olivares