mapping Archive

Intro to GIS Using Open Source Software

The practicum is a day-long (9am to 4:30pm) event that takes place on a Friday. at Baruch Newman Library, 151 East 25th Street. For more information, go here:

Participants will:

  • Add data to GIS software and navigate a GIS interface
  • Perform basic geoprocessing operations for preparing vector GIS data
  • Convert text-based data to a GIS data format
  • Conduct geographic analyses using standard GIS tools and vector data
  • Create thematic maps using the principles of map projections, data classification, symbolization, and cartographic design
  • Locate GIS data on the web and consider the merits of different data sources
  • Demonstrate competency with a specific GIS package (open source QGIS)
  • Identify other GIS topics (tools and techniques for analysis), data formats (raster, vector), and software (open source and ArcGIS) to pursue for future study
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**EVENT CANCELED ** Reflections on Mapping the (Queer) Personal Past


The  Graduate Center Library and the Futures Initiative regret that this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule very soon and will post details on once they are confirmed.

On May 23rd 2008, a call for participants arrived in my inbox. It read:

Living in an (In)Visible World: Lesbians and Queer Women’s Spaces and Economies in New York City (1983-2008)

Since I was around, I didn’t hesitate to volunteer as a human subject. As a participant, I had the opportunity to “share my stories and insights” since I came out “between 1983 and 2008 and spent the majority of that time in New York City.” Participation involved three meetings including three focus groups, or two focus groups and a one-on-one interview.

On Thursday, July 10th 2008, at the Graduate Center, 8-10pm, I had my first focus group. I recall the rectangular table and the large map. Around the table sat myself and a handful of other self-identified lesbians. Initially, I felt hesitant as the youngest of the bunch. Having come out at 16, I didn’t find my teen years a valid mapping point. It was Geiseking’s direction, prompting, and theoretical underpinnings of making our experiences tangible through mapping that led me to consider the worth of my personal past. I understood that my memory had a visual queue, which led to a point on a map. Unlike any of the other dykes in the room, I had to mark down “Little West 12th Street,” – where I made my first queer friends, or certain spots on the Christopher Street Pier (before the renovation) – where I watched the houses battle, or the original location of the New Neutral Zone – where I organized FIERCE campaigns. And then there was the spot of my first kiss, against the Hudson… I placed point after point after point. We all did. Together, in that room, we created a queer constellation on the New York City stratosphere.

Reflecting on the mapping of my queer personal past is why I’m particularly interested in this upcoming presentation by Jen Jack Geiseking. I can’t help but wonder, what happened to all of those stories and insights? Years later, what is the imprint of this mapping? Next Thursday, February 19th we find out! Jack is going to come full circle and discuss “Queering the Map.”

Below is the official description. I hope to see you there!
Eventbrite - Queering the Map (Jen Jack Gieseking)

In The Practice of Everyday Life, de Certeau writes that “What the map cuts up, the story cuts across.” But what if the everyday stories you seek are already cut up by centuries of structural inequality and oppression, such as those of lesbians and queer women?

In this talk on “Queering the Map,” Jack Gieseking investigates what can be gained for the study of queer lives and spaces by bringing together the isolated but overlapping stories of lesbians and queer women in maps, from the hand-drawn to the most technologically advanced and interactive.

Drawing upon qualitative and quantitative work on lesbians’ and queer women’s spaces and economies in New York City from 1983 to 2008—including multi-generational focus groups and mental maps, archival research and GIS—Gieseking works through three different types of mapping methods and platforms within a participatory action research framework. Through a close analysis of mental maps, QGIS, and TileMill/Mapbox, they suggest that the spatial and verbal can both obfuscate or illuminate understandings of everyday life. It is the queer practice of holding these seeming binaries in tension that reveals the most rich and complicated knowledge.

Jen Jack Gieseking is a sociocultural geographer, feminist and queer theorist, and urban environmental psychologist. S/he is engaged in research on co-productions of space and identity in digital and material environments, with a focus on sexual and gender identities. Jack’s work pays special attention to how such productions support or inhibit social, spatial, and economic justice. S/he is working on his first monograph, Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queer Women, 1983-2008. S/he is New Media & Data Visualization Postdoctoral Fellow at Bowdoin College where he is helping to found the entirely new interdisciplinary program of Digital and Computational Studies.
Jack’s first book is The People, Place, and Space Reader, co-edited with William Mangold, Cindi Katz, Setha Low, and Susan Saegert, and recently out with Routledge. S/he has held fellowships with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as German Chancellor Fellow; The Center for Place, Culture, and Politics; The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies; and the Woodrow Wilson Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellows Program. Jack has published inJournal of Urban Affairs, Qualitative Inquiry, Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy, Antipode, and Radical History Review, and has contributed to HASTAC as well. S/he also writes about her research as a blogger with the Huffington Post Gay Voices.

Embedding and Mapping the Futures at CUNY

(Déjà vu? This is a very slight reworking of a post from the Futures Initiative blog.)

Mapping the Futures of Higher Education has an embedded librarian for its first course. This direct relationship with the Graduate Center library ensures that students in the course will have direct access to library resources. Although all graduate students at the GC do indeed have direct access, an embedded librarian provides a ensured direct link to the library and its resources for the duration of the course. As geography/ placement/location often informs access, the embedded librarian will act as a co-teaching and service entity, sitting side-by-side students and professors, jumping in when necessary, adding tips and recommendations to resources already available at the library and beyond CUNY.

What is an Embedded Librarian?

One potential visualization of an embedded librarian in the classroom, is lots of floating parts, no longer static, multiple resources being applied at once. The featured image by masha krasnova-shabaeva explains it well.

Image: the_classroom (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) masha krasnova-shabaeva

Image: the_classroom (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) masha krasnova-shabaeva

The etymology for “embed” is according to the library’s electronic subscription to the OED states, [en- prefix1, in- prefix1 + bed n.], or “in-bed,” although, now Embed is now the more common form. Although the term implies a bed in which to lay, and the act of being within, it’s origins assume an affixed state. The modern day embed is similar to that of the source code for uploading media onto a website. If one finds a youtube video that they’d like to feature on their website, for example, the embed code will allow the video to be hosted on the youtube’s server, but viewable on the personal site. An embed ensures that the host capabilities are present and accessible to the front-facing platform. This current use of the term is synonymous with its original purpose of the concept of affixing an object, or attaching. For the Mapping the Futures course, the librarian will embed, and affix herself to the course.

Embed in librarianship is related to librarian and faculty relationships, ensuring that a librarian is affixed or attached to a faculty’s course. An “embedded librarian” finds placement within the course for however the professor and students requires, usually based on the needs of the course syllabus and level of student and library engagement. Each embedded librarian relationship appears differently.The November 2014 Special Issue of DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal publishing library and information professionals on related issues, includes 4 papers on the theme ‘Embedded Librarianship.’ Seeing the article titles and reading the abstracts will offer insight to the world of libraries and our interactions with faculty.

How does an Embedded Librarian work within the CUNY model?

Googlemap embed on the CUNY website. Click for live map:

Googlemap embed on the CUNY website. Click for live map:

The CUNY model, as the largest public university of its kind in the country, is ideal for embedded librarianship. Many campuses engage in this model for their instruction programs on the undergraduate level. The Library Information Literacy Advisory Committee (LILAC) is the library faculty committee formed to promote the integration of information literacy across the City University of New York, charged by the Council of Chief Librarians and the University Librarian. LILAC hosts its’ website on the CUNY Commons for increased access to projects in-formation. The Graduate Center representative on the LILAC committee, Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, is the embedded librarian for the Mapping the Futures course.

Shawn, the Mapping the Futures embedded librarian, presented, “Teaching & Assessing Information Literacy for grad students at the From Stale to Stellar 2014 annual LILAC spring event, where she discussed the relationship of CUNY graduate students as adjunct instructors at other CUNY campuses, and how this relationship to libraries at GC and across CUNY was an integral component of adequate information literacy for students across New York City. Shawn was also, alongside Chief Librarian, Polly Thisthlethwaite, embedded in the JustPublics@365‘s Participatory Open Online Course or POOC: Reassessing Inequality & Reimagining the 21st Century: East Harlem Focus in Spring 2014, working with Professor Jessie Daniels to create open access reading materials for an international student audience. Remaining within the CUNY landscape, however, as doctoral and masters students furnish classrooms throughout CUNY as students and professors, LILAC and other CUNY librarians envision the CUNY model as a network of students and faculty interconnected among the boroughs.

Mapping the Futures of Higher Education Student Map 

Student Map of NYC for the first Mapping the Futures of Higher Education Spring Course Maps points of nine campuses where enrolled GC doctoral and masters students will teach across CUNY

Student Map of NYC for the first Mapping the Futures of Higher Education Spring Course Maps points of nine campuses where enrolled GC doctoral and masters students will teach across CUNY – see more:

The Mapping the Futures course will hold students teaching across nine campuses, across multiple disciplines of the eleven senior colleges, seven community colleges, The Macaulay Honors College and five graduate and professional schools, located throughout the city’s five boroughs. The Student Map of NYC is the first geo-spatial representation of the live course. The course is using MapsMarker, a wordpress plug-in using Leaflet, an open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps.

As the embedded librarian continues to work with students of the Mapping the Futures course, she will offer dedicated appointment hours, resources to libraries and librarians across CUNY, specifically at campuses for which courses are being taught, with hands-on, one-on-one instruction for resources needed for the course. These nine campuses equal over 400 librarians total, all of whom will continue to form the mapped network of higher education.

Data for Social Justice: Mapping Data

This class, third in a series, will explore both free and subscription GIS resources that can be used to create compelling maps that advance social justice causes. Instructor: GC Adjunct Librarian Margaret Smith Register HERE

You may also be interested in

Data for Social Justice, part 1: Finding Data, March 6

This class will introduce various sources of data (including demographic, economic, and social data) that can be analyzed and mapped to advance social justice initiatives.

Data for Social Justice, part 2: Analyzing Data, March 13

This class will explore both free and subscribed GIS resources that can be used to create compelling maps that advance social justice causes.

Spring (mostly) Library Workshops

Spring 2014 Graduate Center Library workshops cover a variety of strategies, tools, and methods in sessions co-hosted by OpenCUNY,  NYPL, LACUNY, and JustPublics@365. Additional events listed here include GC Digital Fellows workshops. Check the library calendar and GC Digital Fellows workshops for additions; email with questions. RSVP for location.


GC Digital Fellows Workshop: Cloud Storage: How to Keep Your Citations and Sources in the Same Place (While Not Losing Your Dissertation)

Wednesday, February 26, 6:30-8:30 pm, Room C196.03  (rsvp) This workshop will introduce digital storage, citation, and note taking tools with a focus on the best ways to organize and back up your research. We will cover a range of tools including Zotero, Evernote, Drop Box, and Google Drive. The workshop will be hosted by Erin Glass and Keith Miyake.

Intro to Zotero

February 27 & March 4 (full) Want to organize article citations and PDFs that you gather? Tired of manually entering citations and bibliographies into your papers? Want to share your research resources with a larger academic community? Use a reference manager such as Zotero or RefWorks. This 90-minute hands-on workshop covers the basics of Zotero including how to add references to Zotero from library databases, websites, and Google Scholar, how to use Zotero to easily add citations to Word documents, and how to create a stand-alone bibliography. Both sessions are full. Instead, schedule a one-on-one appointment with a librarian to learn Zotero. Duration 45-60 minutes.

Looking Beyond the Blog: How can you build your digital presence?

February 28, 4.30-6 (no rsvp) Graduate Center, 5414. Join OpenCUNY, Graduate Center librarians, and fellow students to discuss what it means to look “beyond the blog” and to consider how we can represent ourselves online. More at


Basic SPSS 

March 5, 6.30-8pm (rsvp) A general overview of the SPSS statistical package: What is it? What can it do? What do you need to know to get started? Host: GC Adjunct Librarian Margaret Smith

GC Digital Fellows Workshop: Organizing Your Research with Reference Management Software: Zotero & Mendeley

Wednesday, March 5, 6:30-8:30 pm, Room C196.03 (rsvp) This workshop introduces two popular reference and citation management systems, Zotero and Mendeley Desktop. Great for beginners who want to learn how to organize their references and automatically generate citations and bibliographies. The workshop will be hosted by Erin Glass and Keith Miyake.


March 6, 12-1pm (full) A hands-on overview of the installation, selecting a theme, installing plug-ins, and basic functions of the popular open source WordPress blogging platform. Host: GC Digital Services Librarian Stephen Klein.

GC Digital Fellows Workshop: WordPress 2: Enhancing Your Digital Academic Identity

Tuesday, March 11th 2014, 6:30-8:30pm Room C196.03 (rsvp) This workshop will focus on improving the appearance and functionality of your existing WordPress site.  We will review some of the basic components of WordPress from our previous workshop (WordPress 1: Establishing a Digital Identity*) then move on to discuss plugins, widgets, and analytics. We will continue working with WordPress on the CUNY Academic Commons (if you do not have a CUNY Academic Commons account, sign up for one here).  The workshop will be hosted by Andrew G. McKinney and Laura Kane.

Advanced SPSS 

March 26, 6.30-8pm (rsvp) A hands-on workshop investigating SPSS in more depth: How do you enter and explore data with SPSS? How do you manage and analyze your data? Host: GC Adjunct Librarian Margaret Smith

Data for Social Justice part 1: Finding Data 

March 6, 6.30-8pm (rsvp) Introduces sources of data (demographic, economic, and social data) applied to illustrate social justice initiatives. Host: GC Adjunct Librarian Margaret Smith

Data for Social Justice part 2: Analyzing and Visualizing Data 

March 13, 6.30-8pm (rsvp) Reviews web applications and software for analyzing and visualizing demographic, economic, and social data. Host: GC Adjunct Librarian Margaret Smith

Data for Social Justice: Mapping Data 

March 27, 6.30-8pm (rsvp) Explore both free and subscription GIS resources to map social science data. Host: GC Adjunct Librarian Margaret Smith

Open Books, Not Open Wallets: How Open Educational Resources Help Students Spend Less and Learn More 

March 7, 10-12pm (no rsvp) Graduate Center Segal Theatre, 1st floor. Sponsored by the LACUNY Scholarly Communications Roundtable, the CUNY Office of Library Services, and Just Publics@365. Do your students sometimes resist buying textbooks and other course materials? Open educational resources (OERs) are free or low-cost online textbooks that save students money. Evidence suggests that OERs also facilitate deeper engagement with course material and more focused teaching and learning. Faculty across CUNY who have developed, customized, and used OERs will share experiences and strategies.

Research in Literature at the NYPL 

March 21, 2-3 pm (rsvp NYPL Main Branch at Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street. Librarians from NYPL’s Berg Collection of English and American Literature and the Humanities & LGBT Collections explain how to locate items across the NYPL’s special collections. The class will highlight the NYPL library catalog and full-text databases not otherwise available at CUNY.


Research in Art and Art History at the NYPL

April 2, 6-7 pm (rsvp NYPL Main Branch, Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street. NYPL’s Art & Architecture, Photography, and Prints divisions librarians explain how to search for what you want and to find what might surprise you. The class will also highlight use of the NYPL library catalog and full-text databases not otherwise available at CUNY.

Measuring and Increasing Your Scholarly Impact

April 9, 6.30-8pm (rsvp) Introducing metrics academic currently use to evaluate scholarly journals, authors, and articles, with discussion about the impact open access makes as measured by these tools. Host: GC Adjunct Librarian Margaret Smith

Research in History at the NYPL

April 9, 6-7 pm (rsvp NYPL Main Branch, Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street. Librarians from NYPL’s Manuscripts and Archives and Rare Book Division explain how to locate items across the NYPL’s special collections. The class will also highlight use of the NYPL library catalog and full-text databases not otherwise available at CUNY.

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