Introduction to Creation and Use of GIS Maps: Applications for Social Services | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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Introduction to Creation and Use of GIS Maps: Applications for Social Services


Registration deadline: June 5th

This workshop will be conducted via a virtual Zoom meeting online format and Canvas. Access to a computer/laptop with internet access is required. Please contact Professional Development with any questions.

15 CEUs/CPH units - (10 live, 5 self-paced)

Maria Gandarilla Ocampo, MSW
Adjunct Faculty, Brown School

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a system for collecting, storing, displaying, and analyzing spatial data. This will serve as an introduction to applications of GIS and data mapping for social work and public health issues. You will be introduced to the visual storytelling and data analysis power of creating maps, with hands-on experience in basic GIS skills. Methods for applying GIS techniques and other spatial mapping tools for data visualization will be introduced. Examples of GIS maps used to illuminate public health and social work topics will be analyzed. Learn about mapping terminology and how to produce and analyze digital data maps.

Note: Basic knowledge of descriptive statistics is highly recommended to get the most benefit from this class. The software used within this class functions best in a PC environment. We encourage students to review these specifications to make sure their computer can support the software. Students who do not have access to a PC computer should contact the Summer Institute office prior to registering at

Workshop will consist of daily live Zoom webinars from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., and additional course material in Canvas. Virtual office hours from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. will be available daily.

Class size is limited to 20.

$650 General admission
$450 Non-profit/government employees (1st Summer Institute class)
$400 Non-profit/government employees (Additional Summer Institute classes)

This class will include both degree-seeking graduate students and practicing professionals. Individuals registering through Professional Development will receive continuing education units - but not academic credit - for the class.

Recommended reading purchase of Understanding GIS: An ARGIS Pro Project Workbook is optional.

Important Notice:  A recent Chrome update is causing some registrations completed with Chrome to post in our software with missing data. For the present, we recommend using an alternative browser (such as Firefox, Explorer, Edge or Safari). Chrome users may experience a delay with registration confirmations.

About the Instructor:

Portrait of Bob Mai

Maria is a second-year social work doctoral student whose research focuses on child maltreatment epidemiology and the use of big data to inform child welfare research, policy, and practice. Given the significant impact of geographic and social factors on child maltreatment, Maria became interested in using GIS mapping to better understand the prevalence and incidence of child maltreatment within its physical and social context. Realizing the invaluable insight provided by looking at data within its geographical context, Maria is excited to integrate mapping into her child maltreatment work.

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