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Center for Geographic Analysis Harvard University. CGA is a member organization of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS ). CGA has 3 full time staff and several part time members CGA’s website:

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Center for Geographic Analysis Harvard University

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Center for geographic analysis harvard university l.jpg

Center for Geographic AnalysisHarvard University

  • CGA is a member organization of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS

  • CGA has 3 full time staff and several part time members CGA’s website:

  • CGA services are available to all schools, departments and other organizations across Harvard.

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CGA Goals

  • CGA focuses on research and education in the field of spatial analysis and geographic information.

  • The Center’s goal is to work with entities across the university to

    • strengthen university-wide GIS infrastructure and services;

    • provide a common platform for the integration of spatial data from diverse sources and knowledge from multiple disciplines;

    • enable scholarly research that would use, improve or study geospatial analysis techniques; and

    • improve the ability to teach GIS and spatial analysis at all levels across the university.

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CGA Basic Services

  • Maintaining help desks in both campuses;

  • Consulting with students, faculty, and staff on research and teachingprojects;

  • Consulting on grant proposals;

  • Providing non-credit group instruction in geospatial software applications on a regular basis;

  • Assessing, organizing, financing for, and maintaining university site licenses for software;

  • Providing hardware and support for geospatial tools;

  • Undertaking initiatives that improve the university infrastructure in relation to geographic analysis.

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Research Consultation

  • Data issues, e.g.

    • Public and commercial data sources

    • Data collection and management techniques

    • Data conversion, scanning, digitizing, etc.

  • Hardware/software issues, e.g.

    • What GPS to buy – accuracy, compatibility, etc.

    • Which software to use for various tasks

  • Methodology issues, e.g.

    • How to select parameters in spatial interpolation

    • How to build location-allocation models

  • Visualization issues, e.g.

    • How to do 3-D maps or time-series animation

    • How to allow users make interactive maps from a web browser

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Project Partnership

  • Jointly write grant proposal

  • Manage contracts, outsource data development or programming tasks

  • Perform analysis for a project

  • Automate analysis procedures

  • Write technical documents, users manuals, training materials, etc.

  • Conduct customized training for long term project assistants

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Instructional Service

  • Semester courses in Faculty of Arts and Sciences

  • Winter recess courses in Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health

  • Non-credit GIS training seminars

  • Customized GIS course modules in various courses (e.g. history, business, government)

  • Extension school courses in GIS

  • Online tutorials and self-learning materials

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CGA Software Administration

Site licensed software

  • ESRI – complete suite of products (ArcGIS) and extensions

  • Leica Geosystems - ERDAS Imagine

  • Safe Software – FME

  • Clark Labs - IDRISI Andes, Land Change Modeller

  • Google Earth Pro (260)

  • Arc2Earth Pro (1)

  • Global Mapper (1)

  • ESRI Business Analyst 2006 (1)

  • Trimble Pathfinder Office (1), Trimble GPS Correct (2)

  • Garmin MapSource (2)

  • Visual Learning Systems - Feature Analyst for ERDAS Imagine (1)

  • Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, VPN Client.

Other software (number of licenses)

Other relevant software available free for Harvard use at

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Infrastructure Maintenance

  • Computer labs on both campuses

  • GPS and field data collection equipments in loan

  • CGA Website

  • Monthly Newsletters

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Academic Events

  • Workshops (symposium, mini-conference)

    • CGA Launch / GIS symposium (May 2006)

    • Remote Sensing Workshop (Feb. 2007)

    • Georeferencing Workshop (March 2008)

    • Executive Session on Situational Awareness: Assuring Cross-Boundary Information Sharing in a Geospatial Environment (May 2008)

  • Academic Seminar Series and Colloquia

  • Technical Seminars (monthly)

  • Student Awards

    • Howard T. Fisher Prize in GIS for undergraduate and graduate students

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Data explosion

Satellite image resolution changes

GPS accuracy improves

Local Positioning Systems

Analytical advancement

Geometry and topology

Spatial statistics and geo-statistics

Pattern recognition and feature extraction

System evolution

from individual/group to enterprise/societal

Data volume

Computational intensity

Multi-dimensional visualization

Geo-referencing non-spatial data

Representing phenomena without finite geographic location

Opportunities and Challenges

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Internet Batch Geocoding:

Google Earth Download:

Surgical Safety Web Map:

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Mapping the Record of American Democracy (ROAD) 1984-1990

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Spatial-Temporal 3d Visualization of Globalization

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Spatial Overlay Analysis

  • Locate urbanized


  • Estimate the

    population of each

    urbanized area

  • Outline the extent

    of each urbanized


  • Distribute rural


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Hypothetical Sea Level Rises in the Gulf of Mexico

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Interactive public web maps created by CGA:

Africa Map

Fall of the Roman Empire

Chinese Earthquake Web Map

China Earthquake Geospatial Research Portal

Surgical Safety Web Map

More on all of these at:

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Our website:http://gis.harvard.eduContact Us:[email protected] Address:Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University1737 Cambridge St.Cambridge, MA02138

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