Humanitarian Geospatial Technology Virtual Workshop

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The Humanitarian Geospatial Technology Virtual Workshop will introduce participants to spatial technologies and spatial analytical methods currently and potentially used in the humanitarian and disaster-response sectors. This online course is led by the Signal Program on Human Security & Technology and the Humanitarian Geoanalytics Research & Education Program at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Through a combination of synchronous lectures, discussions, and an online forum, students will be able to explore and envision how critical geographies, data ethics, and geospatial technologies can improve humanitarian research, preparedness, and response. Participants will be able to learn from and engage with course faculty who are experienced in geospatial analysis and spatial epidemiology and have extensive expertise in analyzing satellite imagery in diverse humanitarian emergencies.

This course will not teach the technical use of GIS or remote sensing, but will introduce tools, concepts, and techniques used in geospatial analysis, and will support students’ independent use of whichever tools are familiar to them.

Workshop schedule

The course will be conducted entirely online in a series of five modules held over Zoom every Wednesday between January 6 – February 3, 2021. Each module will take place from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM in the New York time zone (EST / GMT-5). Online attendance is required at every module.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the spatial tools and methodologies that are currently being utilized within humanitarian, human rights and disaster research, prevention, and response;
  2. Reflect on existing power structures of data, diversity of narratives, and digital colonialism as it affects the humanitarian space;
  3. Critically review the limitations, ethics, and challenges of spatial data and methods in the humanitarian sector;
  4. Learn the subjectivity of the visualization of spatial data and ways to clearly communicate outcomes; and
  5. Understand how spatial technologies can be leveraged to explore and address diverse thematic areas relevant to the humanitarian sector in novel ways.

Fee information

General Admission: $600 USD Global South Organizations: $400 Students, Freelancers: $275

Course fees include access to synchronous online modules and resources provided on Canvas LMS.

How to register

You may register for this course by clicking the "Register" button on this webpage and filling out the registration form: