Open-source classes on open-source mapping with QGIS and PostGIS.
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README.md

Open-Source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Data Visualization Training Courses

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Background

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) employs over 4,500 people and is responsible for one of the most complex urban transportation networks in the country. Building, maintaining, and improving a network of over 6,000 miles of streets, 12,000 miles of sidewalks, and 789 bridges and tunnels requires a staff trained in the latest tools and techniques for managing and analyzing this data. Central to this work are the various geographic information systems (GIS) with which DOT employees can create, visualize, and analyze spatial data quickly and accurately, communicating critical information to decision makers and members of the public.

While GIS applications are often critical to the task of analysts, they aren’t simple to use and require training before users are able to fully utilize the myriad of features they offer. DOT has made a commitment to explore the use of open source software solutions, a cost-effective way to acquire software that is often free to use and customize, but doesn’t come with the same vendor support proprietary software solutions provide. Users often need training in not only the basics of the particular program they’re using, but an awareness of the various resources available through tutorials, blogs, and other online documentation to support their work. Building proficiency with these systems will enable DOT employees to more fully utilize these valuable tools, accomplishing their important work in a quick, reliable manner.

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Courses

In order to build proficiency in the use of the open source GIS applications, Datapolitan will design and deliver the following courses during Fiscal Year 2015-2016:

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Introduction to GIS Fundamentals

Summary

A full-day course for up to 25 employees in basic spatial concepts and key features of ArcGIS for loading, styling, and analyzing spatial data with an emphasis on using real-world data to answer interesting and important analytical and operational questions. No experience with spatial data or GIS applications is assumed.

Goals

  • Provide an introduction to basic spatial concepts, including vector layers, raster layers, coordinate reference systems, spatial data types, and spatial file formats
  • Provide an introduction to geospatial information systems (GIS), including how to create, load, and manage spatial data in ArcGIS, an open source desktop GIS application
  • Begin providing proficiency in using a GIS application through various in-class exercises that introduce and reinforce basic functionality and workflow processes

Terminal Learning Objectives

  • Participants will have a basic understanding of key concepts in geospatial analysis
  • Participants will be familiar with basic geospatial operations using ArcGIS
  • Participants will have practiced basic spatial analytical tasks with real-world data to answer practical problems similar to their daily tasks

Key Audience

  • Junior analysts and other entry-level employees with minimal to no training and experience working with spatial data and GIS applications
  • Managers, supervisors, and team leaders supervising spatial analysts with minimal to no knowledge and experience in spatial analytic tasks and tools
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Intermediate GIS: Spatial Analysis with QGIS and PostGIS

Summary

A full-day course for up to 20 employees familiar with how to load and visualize spatial data in QGIS or another GIS applications. The course will cover how to load, process, and analyze real-world data using an open source spatial relational databases with QGIS to answer interesting and important analytical questions.

Goals

  • Provide a review of key spatial concepts and GIS functions in QGIS
  • Demonstrate the process for connecting to a spatial relational database in QGIS
  • Introduce the structured query language (SQL) for querying an open source relational database (PostGIS)
  • Practice writing queries in SQL to accomplish key spatial analytical tasks with real-world data to answer meaningful analytical questions

Terminal Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be familiar with using QGIS to accomplish more sophisticated spatial operations
  • Participants will be familiar with the process for connecting and analyzing data in QGIS stored in a PostGIS spatial database using SQL
  • Participants will be more familiar with key techniques in spatial analysis using SQL
  • Participants will be familiar with sources of technical information and support for using QGIS and PostGIS

Key Audience

  • Analysts and other employees with experience analyzing and visualizing spatial data using GIS applications
  • Technology professionals responsible for collecting, processing, and storing spatial data in support of agency operations
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Course Structure and Content

Each course will be designed as a collaborative, hands-on, dynamic experience for participants. The Introduction to GIS Fundamentals and Intermediate GIS classes will be one (1) day classes, running from 9 am to 4 pm, with a one (1) hour lunch break. While the course content will closely follow the outlines above, the actual content for each course will be the responsibility of the course designer and instructor. Any deviations from the above course content will be consistent with creating the relevant and engaging educational environment DOT is seeking for its employees. The DOT Learning Center will be provided draft copies of the materials in advance for their review and input.

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Scope of Services

Datapolitan will be responsible for the following:

  • Designing and delivering the courses listed above on a date mutually agreed upon by Datapolitan and DOT at a location provided by the DOT Learning Center
  • Hiring, managing, and compensation of instructors and training assistants for these courses
  • Any instructors other than Richard Dunks will be subject to approval by the DOT Learning Center
  • Providing all training manuals and any additional learning materials for each participant and a copy of the materials to the DOT Learning Center staff for their records
  • Providing basic course descriptions and other basic material for promotional purposes
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