Geo-spatial and environmental analysis on open-source software workshops

ESC 110 See map

Dr. Giuseppe Amatulli and Dr. Adam Wilson

Three workshops will be offered during the Fall 2014 semester to provide an overview of computational methods for performing spatial biodiversity analyses using open-source software.  This fall we will cover Geographic Information Systems using GRASS and Parallel Processing using R under the Linux Operating System.

Workshop location: ESC 110

(Environmental Sciences Center, 21 Sachem Street, across the hall from the Center for Earth Observation

Workshop times & dates:

  • Workshop 1: Thursday, September 25th  (4pm to 7pm)
  • Workshop 2: Thursday, October 16th       (4pm to 7pm)
  • Workshop 3: Thursday, November 6th    (4pm to 7pm)

Workshop 1: Introduction to Linux as platform for open source spatial analysis

This introductory session will focus upon the fundamental concepts and skills needed to begin using Linux OS for the exploration and analysis of spatial data. During the first half of the workshop, we will install a Linux Virtual Machine (LVM) on your lap-top and explore the materials available at . During the second half of the workshop we, will learn essential Linux commands to navigate directories, copy and move files, compress/uncompress files, etc. 

This workshop assumes NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE of any programming language or Linux OS functionality, but does require working knowledge of the fundamentals of an Operating Systems (Files, Folders, etc…). The LVM installed during this workshop will be used during the full workshop series.

Workshop 2: Introduction to GRASS GIS

 This workshop introduces students to the powerful Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) software to manipulate raster and vector format. We will see the graphical user interface but also we will use simple BASH scripts to automate many common geo-data processing tasks such as cropping and re-projecting images. You will learn how to script processes for complex geo-functions.

This workshop assumes BASIC KNOWLEDGE of BASH command lines (acquired during Workshop 1) and basic knowledge of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing concepts (projection, spectral signature, etc…). Participants will need a pre-installed Linux Virtual Machine in their own laptops to follow the workshop.

Workshop 3: Parallel processing in R with foreach package

R has become the lingua franca across the environmental and biological sciences.  Today many computers have multiple processors (cores) that R can use to speed up processing.  In this workshop we will introduce various methods to parallelize processing with a focus on the foreach package.  

This workshop assumes BASIC KNOWLEDGE of programming in R and preferably some experience writing loops and functions in R.  Participants will need to bring a laptop with R installed (and preferably RStudio) to follow the workshop. 

Contact Giuseppe Amatulli with any questions.