Carleton Spatial Modeling Workshop
Dec. 3-5, 2007

What can Geographic Information System (GIS) do for your teaching and research? GIS means different things to different people. For some, GIS is simply a hot mapping technology that allows anyone to become a cartographer. For the overzealous, GIS can answer all questions. Neither is true.

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • provide an overview of the type of questions that can be asked of GIS
  • enable participants to effectively incorporate spatial analysis and reasoning skills into their own empirical research and teaching.

Key topics that will be covered include:

  • how are spatial data represented in computers and what are some of the issues associated with such a representation?
  • What makes spatial data special?
  • What are the key concepts, procedures, and issues in analyzing spatial data?

The workshop is structured around a combined lecture format and hands-on lab exercises. Although we will use the ArcGIS 9.2 spatial analysis software, the focus of the workshop is on spatial analysis, not on the software.

What is attractive about GIS is its analytical structure, which is independent of academic disciplines and applications. Historically, GIS was mainly used in the natural sciences (such as biology, chemistry, or geology). With the exception of archeology, GIS was rarely used in the social sciences and the humanities. That is changing very rapidly, with applications emerging in many disciplines.

This workshop is the first of several GIS workshops that will be conducted over the next three years. For more information, please contact Tsegaye H. Nega (