Celebrate Geography Awareness Week with the Washington University Libraries

Geography Awareness Week (GAW) takes place November 10-16. An international event that promotes the importance of geography in people’s lives, GAW was created by a joint resolution in the U.S. Congress in 1987 and is held annually on the third week of November.

To celebrate the week, on November 11-15, staff members from the University Libraries’ Data Services unit will lead a series of free workshops in John M. Olin Library. We hope you can join us!

Geography and GIS

More than just memorizing the location of countries and capitals, geography is a broad subject. It’s an investigation of the relationship of various physical and social phenomena within and across spaces and places. While there are continuing discussions regarding the definitions of space and place, in general terms, according to geographer John Agnew, space pertains to location, and place is an attachment to a particular space or a lived space.

One way in which these relationships can be investigated is through geographic information systems (GIS), computer systems used to manage, analyze, and visualize geospatial data. When integrating GIS into a research project with community partners, important factors need to be established from the start, such as what will and will not be mapped, who will own the data, and how to divide the work between community partners and researchers.

Register for GIS Workshops

The free workshops in Olin Library will explore the process of using GIS in community-based research and introduce participants to a variety of GIS software and online platforms, such as QGIS and ESRI StoryMap. Workshops on how programming languages such Python and R can be used to manipulate and visualize geospatial data will also take place.

WashU has a diverse community of GIS users that encompasses faculty, staff, and students from a variety of disciplines and departments. During the workshops, we will highlight these members and their work. An interactive pop-up exhibit in the lobby of Olin Library will showcase a WashU project that uses GIS.

Go here to register for the workshops. Anyone who participates in at least two sessions will receive a gift! Follow the Washington University Libraries on Facebook and Twitter (@WUSTLibraries) for GAW updates and use the hashtags #GAWatWashU, #GeoWeek, and #geographyawarenessweek when attending the workshops.



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