Making maps for complete beginners: An introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Sebastijan Sekulic
Tuesday 25 September 2018

BEGIN is collaborating with CAPOD to provide training in GIS for researchers and postgraduate students at the University of St Andrews. The next instalment of this course will be in October:


Date: Tue 16 Oct 2018
Time: 1000-1700
Key details: Explore the spatial dimensions of your data and transform your boring spreadsheets into engaging and informative maps. No previous GIS knowledge required. You must bring a laptop with the latest version of free QGIS software installed.

Course information

This course will introduce students to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The basic structures of GI data, vector and raster, will be explained alongside key applications and uses. Students will be introduced to basic mapping and spatial analysis in QGIS, which is a free and open source software, available for most platforms. The course will support studies from any discipline where GIS mapping is of interest, including geography, history, environmental sciences, biology, international relations and archaeology. No previous knowledge of GIS is required.

The workshop will consist of two lectures (30 min each) and two labs (remaining time). The lecture will provide theoretical support for the labs, in which the participants will have hands-on activities in QGIS to familiarise themselves with the software and develop their skills.

You must bring a laptop with the latest version of QGIS installed.  Lunch is provided.

Course pre-work

Must have the latest version of QGIS installed on your laptop. We will email you a link for downloading the latest version 1 week before the workshop.

What previous participants have said about this course:

  • “Excellent, well worth attending if you are a complete beginner.”
  • “Excellent basic introduction to the programme. Lots of time to work through examples and questions.”
  • “Very useful and powerful tool to show your spatial data.”
  • “Feel better able to use data like this in my own research.”


Aims and objectives

By the end of this workshop you should be able to:

  • Understand the basic structures of spatial data
  • Understand spatial distortions on maps
  • Display spatial data into a map
  • Perform basic spatial analysis.

See the details and book the course through the CAPOD course booking system.

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