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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
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.
cga goals
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.
cga basic services
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.
research consultation
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
project partnership
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
instructional service
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
cga software administration
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

infrastructure maintenance
Infrastructure Maintenance
  • Computer labs on both campuses
  • GPS and field data collection equipments in loan
  • CGA Website
  • Monthly Newsletters
academic events
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
opportunities and challenges
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
Internet Batch Geocoding:

Google Earth Download:

Surgical Safety Web Map:


Spatial Overlay Analysis

  • Locate urbanized


  • Estimate the

population of each

urbanized area

  • Outline the extent

of each urbanized


  • Distribute rural


interactive public web maps created by cga
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:


Our website:http://gis.harvard.eduContact Us:contact@cga.harvard.eduMailing Address:Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University1737 Cambridge St.Cambridge, MA02138