The Location of Justice Map Published with Urban Omnibus

The Center for Spatial Research, with Urban Omnibus, has just published an interactive map that locates the diverse sites and institutions that comprise the New York City criminal justice system. The map is part of Urban Omnibus’s new series, The Location of Justice, which examines “the pervasive and often overlooked infrastructure of criminal justice in New York and the spaces that could serve a more just city.”

The map was built and designed by Laura Kurgan, Juan Saldarriaga, and Jochen Hartmann at the Center for Spatial Research based on data that was originally compiled by Emily Schmidt of the Architectural League. Additional research contributions were made by Olivia Schwob, Ayluonne Terieszkiewicz, Maya Tellman, and Nishant Jacob.

For more information and to view the map visit Urban Omnibus here

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Launch of Points Unknown

Points Unknown, a new collaboration between the Center for Spatial Research, Brown Institute and Faculty from the Journalism School, launched a five-week course module this week for students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Points Unknown aims to bridge practices of journalism, data science, urbanism and cartography to develop new reporting practices among Columbia’s journalism students and new modes of design practice for GSAPP students. During the 2017-2018 academic year the collaboration will result in three five-week module courses for Journalism School students as well as a semester-long course for GSAPP students (to be taught in Spring 2018). The Points Unknown curriculum is designed by CSR Researchers Juan Francisco Saldarriaga and Grga Basic, with Marguerite Holloway and Michael Krisch of the Journalism School and the Brown Institute, respectively.

More details about the course as well as resources for mapping in storytelling can be found at pointsunknown.github.io.

Points Unknown is generously funded by the Collaboratory Fellows Fund, a new university-wide program that seeks to promote new cross disciplinary collaborations that support data literacy for students across the University. 

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Center For Spatial Research Awarded Collaboratory Fellows Grant

The Center for Spatial Research is pleased to announce our selection with the Brown Institute as inaugural recipients of Columbia University’s Collaboratory Fellows Grant for Points Unknown: New frameworks for investigation and creative expression through mapping.

Aimed at advancing education that combines data science or computational expertise with domain expertise, the Collaboratory Fellows Grant is intended to support pairs of instructors (one with data science or computational expertise and the other with domain expertise) to develop and co-teach new educational offerings that can help fulfill the data literacy requirements of a discipline, specific cohort of students, or domain.

Points Unknown will offer journalism students formal training in GIS and web-based mapping, both as a product in stories and as an important tool for reporting. Concurrently, the program will provide GSAPP students an introduction to spatial data analysis through the lens of journalism, helping them use investigative methods that can be integrated into a design process.

Jointly founded by the Data Science Institute and Columbia Entrepreneurship, The Collaboratory@Columbia is a university-wide program that seeks to provide the resources and tools required to ensure that all Columbia University students receive the education and training that they need to lead in today’s data-rich world.

More on the Collaboratory Fellows Fund is available here

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Mapathon for Puerto Rico featured by PBS NewsHour
Corinne Segal for PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour features the mapathon organized by the Columbia's Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities and the Columbia Libraries with the assistance from CSR Researcher, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga and CSR steering committee member Manan Ahmed. Over sixty students, faculty, and staff gathered on Friday, September 29 to map the hardest hit rural areas of Puerto Rico using OpenStreetMap. 

Read the full article here

 

 

 

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Mapathon for Puerto Rico featured in New York Times
Photo credit: Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times

The New York Times features the mapathon organized by the Columbia's Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities and the Columbia Libraries with the support from CSR Researcher, Juan Francisco Saldarriaga and CSR steering committe member Manan Ahmed. Over sixty students, faculty, and staff gathered on Friday, September 29 to map the hardest hit rural areas of Puerto Rico using OpenStreetMap. 

Read the full article here

 

 

 

 

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Apply for Fall 2017 Student Positions

The Center for Spatial Research is seeking student assistants for the Fall 2017 semester.

Students will be responsible for data analysis, visualization, map design, and will support research on projects dealing with our current research focus: conflict urbanism. Students will work extensively with spatial data including mining and analyzing data, processing and collecting data, and/or visualizing data in compelling and innovative ways. Working in close collaboration with principal investigators, students will produce work for inclusion in papers, multi-media projects, and exhibitions.

Candidates must have experience with GIS and Adobe Creative Suite. In addition, please let us know if you have experience with any of the following tools: Processing, Python, D3, R, APIs, Microsoft Access, SQL, Stata/SPSS, HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

We are seeking candidates who have experience with computational tools but are also eager to acquire additional skills through the course of their work with us. CSR researchers will mentor successful candidates and match them with projects which help them build additional fluencies with computational methods.

Positions are 10-20 hours per week. Hours are negotiated on a per-student basis. All positions are $15/hour. Please note positions are only available for continuing GSAPP students.

Please send a letter of interest, CV, and relevant work examples to info@c4sr.columbia.edu. For further information please visit c4sr.columbia.edu

Applications due September 15, 2017, materials will be reviewed in the order there are received. 

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Mapping for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities 
This course provides an introduction to critical mapping theory and geographic information systems tools.
   
Description

We are in the midst of a technological revolution, resulting in seemingly endless amounts of data and the computing technologies to analyze it. From motion sensing to location tracking to GIS, much of this data is spatial, resulting in the ability to represent and understand the world and our relationship to in in new and previously impossibly ways. In response, our relationship to the spaces we inhabit and those that we don't has shifted: we are challenged to make sense of spaces we have never visited, and deeply analyze those that we frequent.

This course provides an introduction to critical mapping theory and geographic information systems tools. Of particular interest to Humanities students, we will address both historical and contemporary questions of space and mapping. Through the use of open-source GIS software (qGIS) and open data (OpenStreetMap) students will learn how to critically use mapping tools and geographic data for spatial analysis and representation. In addition to using existing data, students will also be able to create or bring their own sets of data and questions from other courses and will be able to work with these in our class.

Using a hybrid flipped-classroom/seminar approach, students will work through web tutorials and hands-on in-class exercises to gain a better understanding of how these tools and data can be leveraged to analyze, represent and study past or present urban phenomena.

View the course listing in the GSAPP course catalog here.

 
Conflict Urbanism: InfraPolitics
This seminar focuses on infrastructure as a major force in shaping cities, as well as a medium through which the politics of urbanization is visible. 
   
Description

This seminar focuses on infrastructure as a major force in shaping cities, as well as a medium through which the politics of urbanization is visible. Our work will address historical comparison and the politics of mapping by focusing on three cities and three continents – Mumbai, Johannesburg and Medellin.

The cities have been chosen because they offer important ways to think about how infrastructure organizes social life, and its ongoing political effects. By exploring different histories of how space is governed, segregated, or utilized as a key economic resource, we want seminar participants to think about the significance of space and spatial regulation in structuring social relations.

Our work will be organized around a set of keywords: informality (Mumbai), apartheid (Johannesburg), and populism (Medellin)--that are entry points for thinking about the infrastructure of inequality. Each of the case studies uses a critical event as a point of entry for asking how land, capital, government, and the social relations of daily life structure, and are in turn structured by spatial order.

Visualizing and mapping thus form key techniques for linking urban history with contemporary urbanism, and for thinking about the materiality of spatial politics.

Note: This is the third in a series of multidisciplinary Mellon seminars on the topic of Conflict Urbanism, as part of a multi-university initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities.    

This year Conflict Urbanism is being offered in the Fall, and not in the Spring semester.

 
Fall 2017 GIS Workshops

The Center for Spatial Research will be offering a workshop series in fall 2017 designed to give a basic introduction to core concepts and methods for work with geographic information systems in the urban humanities. The hands-on workshop series aims to contribute to existing campus-wide GIS resources, and is thus tailored to students doing coursework and research in the urban humanities with no prior GIS experience. It is open to students from all schools at Columbia University.

Interested participants must register for one session of each workshop. The registration period closed on September 22nd.

Participants must bring their own laptop to each session – workshops will use QGIS a free and open source software that runs on both Mac and Windows operating systems. 

Thinking in Space: an Introduction to QGIS (3 hours)

Session A: September 26, 5-8pm; Session B – September 29, 1-4pm

This workshop will introduce participants to core concepts of geographic information systems (GIS) through the open source GIS software QGIS. Participants will learn how to create maps of existing spatial datasets, formulate and answer spatial questions, and design compelling maps.

After this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Add layers to a map project
  • Comprehend the components of a shapefile
  • Design a compelling map composition
  • Perform basic queries on a GIS dataset, using both tabular and spatial queries 
  • Perform a table join to add additional data to an existing shapefile’s attribute table

Data in Space: Creating Spatial Data from Historical or Analog Sources (3 hours)

Session A – October 10, 5-8pm; Session B – October 13, 1-4pm

This workshop will introduce participants to methods for creating data for historical GIS applications. The workshop will cover how to give geographic coordinates (georeference) scanned historical maps using QGIS, as well as how to digitize (trace) features from this scanned map to create new shapefiles. These are two key ways of creating spatial data from historical or other sources. Additional online tools for georeferencing scanned maps will also be introduced.

After this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Gain fluency in geo-referencing scanned paper maps
  • Understand how to create new datasets by digitizing features from a scanned paper map
  • Understand principals behind how to encode qualitative or quantitative data in spreadsheets to work with in a GIS
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