Introduction to Creation and Use of GIS Maps: Applications for Social Services

June 12, 2023 -June 16, 2023

1:00 – 3:00 p.m., each day

Registration deadline: June 2nd

This course will be conducted via a virtual Zoom meeting 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
PhD Student, Brown School

Eugen Resendiz Bontrud, MPP
PhD Student, 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

The course will consist of daily live Zoom webinars from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Central Time), and additional course material in Canvas.

Recommended reading purchase of Understanding GIS: An ArcGIS Pro Project Workbook- 4th Edition is optional.

Class size is limited to 25.

$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.

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About the Instructors:

Maria Gandarilla Ocampo

Maria is the Programming Officer for the Graduate & Professional Student Advisory Council (GPAC) to the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and a 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.

Eugen Resendiz Bontrud

Eugen is a Doctoral Student working on the PARCS (Park Activity, Recreation, and Community Study) project with Brown School faculty. She earned her master of public policy (MPP), and her Bachelor’s in Architecture from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico. Eugen is passionate about promoting a stronger multidisciplinary work between public health and urban research by using methodologies from both study areas. Her research interests include Urban Health, Physical Activity and its relationship to the Built Environment, Health disparities in LMICs, Urban Policy for Health, and chronic disease prevention.

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