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Yale GIS Accelerator Fall 2021 (Online) In-Person

Marx Science and Social Science Library is pleased to announce the inaugural offering of the Yale GIS Accelerator Fall 2021, 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 Fall 2021 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. 


Those interested please apply through this registration page by November 12, 2021. Selected participants will be notified by November 19, 2021, and will be invited to a preliminary data readiness interview in late November.

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 the 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
LOCATION: Zoom (Link will be emailed to registrants)

8:30 am-12 pm - Morning lectures and labs
12-1 pm - Lunch break
1-4:30 pm -  Afternoon lectures and labs
4:30-5:30 pm - GIS Lab support by the Marx Geospatial Team

Software Used: ArcGIS Pro


Open to Yale members
Application deadline:
November 12, 2021.
After the deadline, please add your name to the wait-list if you want to be informed about future GIS accelerators. 

Please fill out the form below. The workshop organizers will short-list those ready to take this GIS accelerator. Please read to get examples on 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 workshop.

Related LibGuide: Geographic Information Systems at Yale by Miriam Olivares

Dates & Times:
8:30am - 5:30pm, Monday, December 13, 2021
8:30am - 5:30pm, Tuesday, December 14, 2021
8:30am - 5:30pm, Wednesday, December 15, 2021
8:30am - 5:30pm, Thursday, December 16, 2021
8:30am - 5:30pm, Friday, December 17, 2021
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Zoom Session - CSSSI (online only_1)
  GIS & Geospatial     Marx Science and Social Science Library  
Registration has closed. (This event has to be booked as part of a series)

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Miriam Olivares
Miriam Olivares