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2008 CGA Conference: Challenges of and solutions for assigning geographic location to digital information - a cross-disciplinary problem

March 21, 2008

This free workshop was intended for Harvard faculty, student, staff and affiliates in all disciplines who are interested in assigning geographic location to digital information. The workshop was designed to introduce the general concept and broad scope of georeferencing; explain why georeferencing is useful to many disciplines; explore common issues and challenges, and exchange methodologies, standards, and achievements.

The workshop primarily focused on georeferencing of digital records in museums, libraries, data archives and research collections, which includes gazetteer building, geo-tagging unstructured text, and address geocoding. It left out raster image georeferencing and global positioning systems from its panel discussions. Below are the presentations.

2008 CGA Conference Presentations

James Hanken (video)    
Director of Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Keynote Address:
Strategies for Cross-Disciplinary Georeferenced Information Services 
Linda L. Hill, part I   &   Part II (video)     PPTX     PDF    
Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara (Emeritus)

Panel: "Challenges and Potentials of Georeferencing" 
Moderator: Linda Ford (video)


Building Biodiversity Information Infrastructure: Anticipating Avian Influenza Spread Patterns 
A. Townsend Peterson (video)     PPT     PDF    
University of Kansas

Trees and Timber in the Ancient Mediterranean: Where and When? 
Joseph A. Greene (video)     PPT     PDF    
Semitic Museum, Harvard University

Developing a Culture of Information Stewardship At the Graduate School of Design 
Paul Cote (video)     PPT     PDF    
Harvard Graduate School of Design

Georeferencing Historical Placenames and Tracking Changes Over Time 
Lex Berman (video)     PPT     PDF    
China Historical GIS Project

Global Infectious Disease Surveillance Through Automated Multi-Lingual Georeferencing of Internet Media Reports 
John S. Brownstein, PhD (video)     PDF    
Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Informatics Program, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Inequality and Health across Time and Space: Methodologic Issues in Georeferencing Health Data for Studies of Health Disparities 
Jarvis T. Chen (video)    
Harvard School of Public Health

Georeferencing in the Social Sciences – Promise and Peril 
Micah Altman (video)     PPT     PDF    
Harvard University, Archival Director, Henry A. Murray Research Archive, Associate Director, Harvard-MIT Data Center, Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences

Panel: "Practices and Solutions for Georeferencing (I)" 
Moderator: Paul Cote (video)


What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: Uncertainties in Georeferencing 
John Wieczorek (video)     PPT     PDF    
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley

BioGeomancer: Semi-Automated Georeferencing Engine 
PPT     PDF    
by John Wieczorek, Aaron Steele, Dave Neufeld, P. Bryan Heidorn, Robert Guralnick, Reed Beaman, Chris Frazier, Paul Flemons, Nelson Rios, Greg Hill, Youjun Guo

Exposing the Long Tail of Geography in Text 
John Frank (video)     PDF 

GeoAtom, OGC, and the Geospatial Enablement of Everything 
Joshua Lieberman (video)     PDF     PPT    
Traverse Technologies & Open Geospatial Consortium

Historical Named Entity Identification 
Gregory Crane (video)    
Perseus Digital Library, Tufts University

Panel: "Practices and Solutions for Georeferencing (II)" 
Moderator: Stephen Ervin


Open Discussion from the previous panels, with the addition of Nancy Krieger
Video, part I     Video, part II     Video, part III    

Closing Remarks 
Linda Hill

2008 CGA Conference Posters


Developing a universal water resource assessment model for sustainable water security:
The case of Kanagawa Basin, Japan and the Mekong River Basin
by Akiyuki Kawasaki 1)2)3), Srikantha Herath 2), Kimiro Meguro 3)
1) Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Center for Geographic Analysis; 2) Environment and Sustainable Development Programme, United Nations University; 3) Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo

Development of Abomey, capital of the former West African kingdom of Dahomey:
Using GIS to identify spatial-temporal patterns
by William Haveman

Digitizing the Fall of Roman Empire and Medieval Europe   (PDF)
Guoping Huang, Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard Unversity
Michael McCormick, Department of History, Harvard University

Georeferencing and Visualization of Italian Migration Data   (PDF)
Teresa Fiore, Visiting Assistant Professor and Lauro De Bosis Fellow 2007-2008, Harvard University
Je Blossom, Senior GIS Specialist, Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University

Georeferencing Historic Maps   (PDF)
Bonnie Burns, Harvard Map Collection

Georeferencing Massachusetts Fishes   (PDF)
by Andrew D. Williston and Karsten E. Hartel
Ichthyology Department, Museum of Comparative Zoology

Plant and fungal diversity in western Sichuan and eastern Xizang (Tibet), China   (PDF)
by David Boufford 1, Susan Kelley 1 , Richard Ree 2
1 Harvard University Herbaria; 2 The Field Museum, Chicago, IL

Space-Time Modeling and Boundary Analysis   (PDF)
by Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, Rima Izem & Kevin Bartz

Handouts & Additional Reference Materials


Program for Georeferencing Workshop (PDF)

Workshop Agenda 
PPT     PDF    

Case Study: Lessons Learned and Best Practices Realized from Geocoding Adjundicated Properties in New Orleans, Louisiana (PDF)

Georeferencing Images in ArcMap (PDF)

Georeferencing Tutorials and Recommended Practices (PDF)

Web 2.0 and GIS: From Ptolemy to Tufte and Beyond (PDF)