DSL Workshops

The Brock University Digital Scholarship Lab offers workshops open to anyone interested in computational programming, data management, and geographic information systems (GIS). We also collaborate with instructors to schedule class workshops that fit your unique course curriculum. Expert staff are also available for individual or small group consultations.

Current Workshops

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS, or geographic systems, are used everywhere, every day. You, who are reading this now, have used it. But what is it? What does it do? When have you used it? This session will offer an introduction to what GIS is and how it is used, from intensive research to everyday life.

Introduction to ArcGIS Pro

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to create maps and analyze geospatial data. GIS tools can be used to create data visualizations for a variety projects and its functionality is not constrained to geographical research projects alone. In the introductory level workshop you will learn basic functionality of Esri’s front-running software, ArcGIS ProAlthough previous experience with GIS is helpful, beginners are always welcome.  This workshop is a great first step in determining if GIS can be applied to your research projects and presentations.

ArcGIS Pro – Level 2 

This workshop walks attendees through the process of acquiring census data, geographic boundary files and preparing these data for visualization using ArcGIS Pro. Previous GIS experience is beneficial but not required as this workshop serves to learn more about the ArcGIS Pro environment while using the Canadian Census as a major data source.

Zotero is a citation tracking platform that can be used with multiple citation formats. It allows you to create your own library, manage collections of sources, as well as quickly and easily create in-text citations and bibliographies. This workshop will guide you through the installation of this tool and the most effective ways to use it. Hands-on practice will ensure users are comfortable with the tool before leaving the workshop. 

Command Line is a user interface for users to interact with computer programs using textual commands.  This is an introductory workshop that will teach individuals how to use Command Line to automate repetitive processes and computer tasks.  Attendees will explore the BASH shell and will learn about a series of tiny programs that interact well with the Command Line Interface.

Git is a very useful version control system that allows for efficient and effective project collaboration. Git and GitHub allow multiple people to share and edit projects, as well as track revisions. This workshop is ideal for individuals who are working on a group research project, want to connect with other GitHub users, or simply would like more information on this innovative tool.

OpenRefine is a data management tool that allows you to work with CSV data in intuitive and efficient ways.  OpenRefine allows you to spot trends in your data, ensure accuracy, and perform transformations to all rows of data based on formulas.  OpenRefine quickly takes messy data and transforms it into a more comprehensive format. This tutorial starts at the very beginning and provides hands-on examples for you to explore.

PowerBI is a powerful analytics tool that allows you to easily transform your data into useful visualizations. Create insights to enable fast and easy data analysis, share data with colleagues, collaborate with others and enhance your research papers and presentations. This workshop will provide you with an introduction on using this tool effectively.

Python is one of the most popular programming languages.  It allows you to compete tasks more efficiently and integrate systems more effectively.

Introduction to Python teaches how to perform basic data analysis using Python. This workshop is geared to beginners.

Python Level 2 looks at more complex topics within Python including:

  • Dictionaries
  • Lists
  • Grabbing information from the Web
  • Extended features with additional libraries

R is an Open software environment for statistical computing and graphics that is a popular programming language across academic fields. In this workshop you will learn how to perform basic data analysis using R. This workshop is an introductory level where beginners are encouraged.

Library / Software Carpentry is part of an international initiative to help Librarians and Information Workers develop skills around coding and data analysis. Despite its name this workshop is useful for anyone who would like to learn tools that manipulate data. Areas of study include: data introduction (which includes an introduction to regular expressions), using the Command Line Interface to automate tasks, using OpenRefine to manipulate data, and an introduction to Git. This workshop is not useful to Librarians alone. It is worthwhile for anyone who is interested in learning computational programming skills. .


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