Image: Alexandre Pellaes via Unsplash


This event is a hands-on workshop on Geographic Information Systems for social scientists with no experience in QGIS.


Geographical and georeferenced data are gaining increasing importance in social science research. For example, it is becoming more common to add geographical data related to the social or physical environment as contextual variables to social surveys or to aggregate social survey results at various geographical scales. Using geographical data in our research necessitates additional analytical skills and workflows, usually related to some sort of Geographical Information System (GIS). GIS can be defined as a collection of tools to process, analyze and visualize data containing spatial information; such tools have been developed as “packages” for statistical software R or for the programming language Python, but these require intermediate to advanced coding skills. On the other hand, there are also GIS software solutions by various corporations which may be unaffordable for certain contexts, such as independent researchers of non-governmental organisations.

For this workshop we will be using the free and open source software QGIS, which is widely available and fully maintained by a strong community of volunteers and supporting organisations. In addition to the main QGIS software, there is a wide range of training material produced by the QGIS community and many educational and research institutes.

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use QGIS for basic data processing and introductory spatial analysis. They will also learn about common GIS formats, importing data, processing them for further analysis and mapping their results.

Presenter: Dr Serafeim Alvanides, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences


13:00-13:30: Introduction: GIS what is it and how to use it
13:30-13:35: Exercise 1: QGIS Warm up
13:35-14:00: GIS formats and Tabular Data Processing
14:00-14:45: Exercise 2: Working with attribute tables
14:45-15:00: Break
15:00-15:30: Spatial data analysis and mapping
15:30-16:15: Exercise 3: Working with spatial data
16:15-16:30: Closing, Q & A


Event details

Start time
Tue 12 Jul 2022 13:00 CEST
End time
Tue 12 Jul 2022 16:30 CEST
Online workshop
Skill level
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences