Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Postgraduate course: GIS for onomasts

Course dates
28 October 2014 - 30 October 2014
Peder Gammeltoft, Associate Professor, Department of Nordic Research
University of Glasgow, Scotland.
address and room number will be provided shortly.
2,3 points

PhD School at the Faculty of Humanities at University of Copenhagen


This course is aimed particularly at postgraduate students engaged in the field of onomastics, i.e. the study of place-names and personal names, etc. The course will enable participants to become familiar with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and to use it as an integral part of their research.

GIS software has traditionally been proprietory and available only at a high price. This course will – in accordance with the open source policies of the Danish State – make use of the QGIS software which is free for all to download and use. In addition, QGIS has the advantage of being able to work with almost all known GIS software standards, such as ArcGIS and MapInfo, etc. Additionally, QGIS is available on most platforms, Windows, Mac OS, Linux – incl. Ubuntu.


Why is GIS important for onomastic research?

Virtually all names have a geographical reference – named localities denote landscape and man-made features, named persons originate from this or that town or parish. This means that onomastic data are well-suited for geographical analyses, something in which GIS excels.
Not only will GIS enable you to make nice distribution maps, GIS will also be able to undertake analyses that would otherwise be difficult to undertake, such as proximity analyses to other names or to special geographical features.

What will I learn?

The course will partly be an introduction to GIS and how it works and partly a course in using QGIS. This means that skills such as upload of data and creation, manipulation and presentation of data will be taught, as will the course give useful hints to where relevant data may be harvested. At the end of the course each participant will be able to use QGIS as a research tool for academic research. For in-depth information, see below under Course details.

How long is the course?

GIS for onomasts is a three-day course, run jointly between University of Glasgow and University of Copenhagen. Glasgow houses the venue and Copenhagen takes care of the administrative side of things, including course accreditation. The course is accredited at 2.3 ECTS and will take place 28.-30. October 2014 at University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Course details

The course material will consist of a text book, a course manual and a set of course data examples. The text book is Anita Graser’s Learning QGIS 2.0 (- if possible get it as both printed and as ebook). This is a general introduction to QGIS and contains the basic information about using this software. The course manual and course data examples will contain examples specifically for use in an onomastic context – and will be provided closer to the course start.

All participants must bring their own computer with QGIS preinstalled. How to do so is described in Chapter one of the text book. Chapters 1 and 2 must have been read through, although it is advised that the entire text book has been read prior to the course start. The course manual and course data examples will be used during the course.
Maximum number of attendants: 15.

ECTS: 2,3.

Registration: Please register via the link in the box on the right before the 6th of October 2014.

Day 1
10.00-10.30      Welcome and introduction to the course.
10.30-11.00      PhD students presenting themselves and stating level of GIS knowledge.
11.15-12.30      General introduction to GIS
12.30-14.00      Lunch break
14.00-16.30      Introducing QGIS, learning the basics
                             (Open GIS layers from various sources, change appearance of data, etc.)

Day 2
09.00-10.00      Creating GIS layers in QGIS
                             (Point layers, line layers, polygon layers)
10.00-10.45      Assignments (creating GIS layers)
11.00-11.45      Georeferencing digitised paper maps
                             (Upload of digital maps and positioning them geographically correct)
11.45-12.30      Assignments (georeferencing)
12.30-14.00      Lunch break
14.00-15.00      Creating  unique datasets from existing and new sourses
(Manipulating – cutting, dividing and adding – to create an administratively relevant polygon
15.15-16.30      Assignment (creating a parish map from an existing polygon map)

Day 3
09.00-10.00      Analysing onomastic data in QGIS
                             (distribution densities, distance to water, sea, calculating slope, etc.)
10.00-10.45      Assignments (making analyses in QGIS)
11.00-11.45      Presenting onomastic GIS data
                             (digital output, print, images, etc.)
11.45-12.30      Assignments (creating nice output files)
12.30-14.00      Lunch break
14.00-15.00      Rounding up, discussing GIS as a research tool for onomastics
15.15-16.00      Evaluation