Spatial data are data that include location information (usually a set of geographic coordinates) in addition to a set of attributes that describe phenomena at that location. Spatial data is generated by governmental agencies, private companies, academics, and the crowd. In fact, many people interact with and use spatial data to solve problems of biodiversity, or natural resource extraction, and to understand demographics, land use patterns, or historical trends, among many other projects. In the first half of the workshop, you will learn about spatial data infrastructure initiatives, geospatial data clearinghouses, and the differences between raster and vector spatial data. In the second half, we will practice evaluating some spatial datasets in relation to a specific research project that requires spatial data.
Instructor: Jessica Benner, Librarian, Carnegie Mellon University