Mapping for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
This hybrid theory/practice course provides an introduction to critical mapping discourse and geographic information systems tools. Fall 2018.
   
Description

What role does cartography play in our relationship to space? How does technology make sense of places to which we have never been? Through what material practices are data produced, and how are they located? As a result, what cultural attitudes inhabit our maps, how do they (re)produce our environment, and how can they be contested?

This hybrid theory/practice course provides an introduction to critical mapping discourse and geographic information systems tools. Of particular interest to humanities students, it examines both historical and contemporary questions with reference to the technology of mapping. Additionally, through the use of open-source GIS software (QGIS), browser-based technologies (Mapbox, Mongo DB), and open data (OpenStreetMap), students will learn how to critically use mapping tools and geographic data for spatial analysis and representation. Each class has two parts as a result: in the first half of each meeting we will discuss weekly readings, while the second half serves as a flipped-classroom to address technical and conceptual issues arising from take-home GIS tutorials. The final weeks of the semester will be devoted to developing students' own critical cartographic research.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • critically read a map
  • investigate the cultural attitudes and technologies behind cartographic practices
  • use QGIS to analyze and present geographic information
  • build location aware dynamic maps for mobile devices
  • make intentional design decisions when creating maps

 

Fall 2018 Registration

Fridays 9 -11am 

408 Avery Hall 

3 points

Call number: 78446

Open to students within GSAS, GSAPP, Barnard and Columbia Colleges, and others by permission.

 
Apply for Summer 2018 Student Positions

The Center for Spatial Research is seeking student candidates for both full-time and part-time positions during Summer 2018.

Students will be responsible for data analysis, visualization, map design, and 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, a working knowledge of some of the following tools is a plus: 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 internship. CSR researchers will mentor successful candidates and match them with projects which help them build additional fluencies with computational methods.

Full-time positions are 35 hours per week for up to twelve weeks. Part-time work will be negotiated by student/project. All positions are $15/hour. Please note, positions are only available for continuing students at Columbia University. Positions open to both graduate and undergraduate students. 

Please send a letter of interest, CV, and relevant work examples to info@c4sr.columbia.edu with the subject "Application: Summer 2018 Student Positions". 

Applications will be reviewed in the order there are received. 

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Call for Applications: Research Scholar for Historical GIS and Visualization

The Center for Spatial Research is pleased to announce a call for applications for a full-time Associate Research Scholar position for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The position, within the Center for Spatial Research (CSR) will focus on critical work with Geographic Information Systems and design for a new grant-funded project mapping historical New York. We invite applications from candidates with a strong interest in interdisciplinary work whose research practices combine GIS-based methods and strong visual design. The position is for one year and renewable for up to three additional semesters.

The position will report to the Director of CSR and will be part of a collaborative project team between CSR and the Department of History. The incumbent will work closely with a postdoctoral fellow in History and Principal Investigators to: develop methodologies for historical geographic information systems research, including geocoding census records; create compelling visualizations of research outcomes for broad public audiences; participate in writing and creating maps and visualizations for papers and other publications in journal and multimedia formats; and develop curricula and teaching materials related to this research. Successful candidates must have experience and interest in using GIS-based research practices to open up new questions in, and modes of representation of, urban environments.

Position Qualifications:

Candidates must hold a Master’s degree or the equivalent. Successful candidates will have robust experience with GIS-based research, and methodology design as well as a range of other computational tools for urban research and must be eager to acquire additional skills through their work with CSR. Experience with historical GIS research is a plus.

The Center’s projects typically draw on a range of tools including: GIS (ESRI and Open Source); R; Python; Adobe Creative Suite; mapping and visualization libraries such as Leaflet, Processing, D3, APIs, HTML5, CSS and Javascript. The candidate is not required to know all of these tools, but a willingness to learn new software, the most up to date tools, and a collaborative spirit is a requirement of the job.

Candidates will have the ability to do collaborative and cross-disciplinary research and the ability to convey specialized knowledge to students and faculty working in the Center. Candidates should demonstrate ability to show how their own fields of specialty intersect with or bring new tools and research methods to research in the urban humanities. Preferred qualifications include publication in recognized media and conference presentations.

Candidates for professional officer of research positions are expected to have established their ability to conduct original, independent research a field of the humanities. Associate research scholars' qualifications and contributions to their fields of research must be equivalent to those of an assistant professor.

Please visit our online application site at: https://academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=65699

for further information about this position and to submit your application. You will be asked to submit your 1-2 page letter of interest, CV, and a portfolio which demonstrates your work and research experiences. Review of applications will begin February 1, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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Mapping Historical New York Receives $1 Million Grant

The Center for Spatial Research is pleased to announce a new $1 million grant recieved from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to create web-based, interactive maps of Manhattan and Brooklyn during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The three-year project is a collaboration of Columbia’s History Department and the Columbia Center for Spatial Research in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP).

Mapping Historical New York will create digitized maps of the two boroughs as well as detailed neighborhood case studies. The maps will capture two major transformations of the city at the turn of the 20th century: demographic changes resulting from immigration; and changes in land use resulting from the incorporation of parts of Long Island (Brooklyn and Queens) into city in the 1890s. The website and maps created by the project will be freely accessible to the public.

The project aims to both create the interactive maps and to train faculty and students in digital research and teaching methods, by incorporating them into the project’s design and execution and in courses on New York, immigration, and urban history.

The principal investigators for the project are Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History; Rebecca Kobrin, Russell and Bettina Knapp Associate Professor of American Jewish History; and Laura Kurgan, Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Spatial Research.

Seth Schwartz, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization and chair of the History Department, said, “Thanks to the Gardiner foundation, we have an exciting opportunity to use cutting-edge digital methods in historical research and teaching. We look forward to collaborating with the Center for Spatial Research in GSAPP.”

"GSAPP has a long legacy of studying housing and preservation in New York City, and it will be exciting for the university's research to be made more accessible through Laura Kurgan's Center for Spatial Research and its pioneering forms of visualization," said Amale Andraos, Dean of Columbia GSAPP.

Read the full press release here.

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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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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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Mapping for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities 
This course provides an introduction to critical mapping theory and geographic information systems tools.
   
Description Fall 2017

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.

 
Mapping Workshops During NYCDH Week

Michelle McSweeney and Dare Brawley will offer two introductory GIS workshops as part of this year’s New York City Digital Humanities Week. NYCDH Week offers students, faculty, librarians, and researchers the opportunity to take advantage of workshops in the digital humanities offered at universities across the city. Check out the full schedule of NYCDH Week workshops here. All workshops are free and open to the public.

This year the Center for Spatial Research will offer two workshops, both hosted at Studio@Butler:

Introduction to Mapping with QGIS
February 7 from 3 – 5pm
Studio@Butler
Please register here.

Making Maps into Webmaps with Leaflet.js
February 8 from 1 – 3pm
Studio@Butler
Please register here.

We hope you can join us!

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Apply for Summer 2017 Course for Faculty: Mapping for the Urban Humanities
Above: faculty participants collaboratively developing mapping-based assignments during the Summer 2016 Mapping for the Urban Humanities course.

With the Dean of Humanities we are pleased to invite interested Columbia University faculty to participate in Mapping for the Urban Humanities: A Summer Institute.

During the two-week Mellon-funded "bootcamp" faculty will learn key skills in mapping, data visualization, and data collection that they can incorporate into their research and teaching. Space is limited. Interested faculty are encouraged to apply by January 27, 2017.

About the Workshop: The workshop will be held from 1:00-5:30pmMay 22, 2017 – June 2, 2017 with an optional third week practicum from June 5-9, 2017. No class will be held on Memorial Day, May 29. If you are interested in taking the course but the timing poses a problem please email Dare Brawley (dare.brawley@columbia.edu) with the dates and times you could commit to attending. 

Eligibility: This course is open to faculty from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Barnard College and to research scholars and doctoral candidates.

Our Motivations: Today, ever-increasing quantities of data are available to scholars and urbanists. However, work with data has largely been the province of data-scientists and policy-oriented social scientists, who have not always been eager to interrogate the limits of their data. Conversely, scholars in the humanities and design practitioners who could offer important critical perspectives on data often lack the technical training to understand data-driven tools and methods. 

The institute will give professors of the urban humanities the ability to make their courses places where students who might not otherwise take computer science classes can learn how to use computational tools to tackle humanistic questions. Students who sign up to learn about nineteenth century Bombay or London in the novels of Charles Dickens will complete their courses having also become conversant with GIS, HTML, Excel, and Python. This summer intensive faculty workshop is the first step in adapting a "writing across the curriculum" model to working with data.

More information about the course as well as materials from the summer 2016 course, including the syllabi that were developed during that course are available here.

How to Apply: Interested faculty should apply by sending the following materials to info@c4sr.columbia.edu by January 27, 2017.

  • A one page statement that describes your interest in acquiring digital and computational skills.
  • The course syllabus, or research brief, that you hope to workshop during the summer intensive.  
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