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.

DSL workshop in progress
Classroom A/Computer Lab

Current Workshops

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.

ArcGIS StoryMaps is a unique way to present information for the world to experience. Story maps combine narrative text, images, videos and even interactive maps using a web-based authoring platform. This workshop will offer hands-on experience creating an ArcGIS story map.

Library / Software / Data 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. .

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.

Research often involves computational demands that exceed the resources contained within a laboratory or research institute. Some common research computing challenges include data storage, execution of large scale computational cycles, as well as access to advanced research computing (ARC) expertise. This presentation provides an introduction to the ARC resources offered by the Compute Canada Federation with demonstrations of accessing the national storage infrastructure, executing programs on the national general purpose compute clusters as well as a tour of the documentation, support and training materials

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.

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.

Power BI 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. The DSL offers an introductory level workshop that will provide you with hands-on experience to get started with using this tool effectively, as well as a more advanced workshop that teaches more of Power BI’s functionality.

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.

Tableau is an extremely powerful data analysis and visualization tool that allows you to work with large or small data sets quickly and easily. This hands-on workshop  will guide learners through importing data, creating various effective data visualizations, conducting data analysis and creating dashboards and stories. This session will also cover best practices for creating data visualizations for various purposes and how to share the results with others.


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