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2012 CGA Conference: Re-Mapping Africa in GIS: From Humanities to Health

March 29, 2012 to March 30, 2012

Harvard University
CGIS South Building, Tsai Auditorium, Concourse Level
1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Suzanne Preston Blier, Harvard University
Julia Finkelstein, Cornell University & Harvard CGA

View schedule with speaker and title (updated 03/28/12)

View Conference Program with abstracts and speaker bios (updated 03/28/12)


This two-day conference brought together scholars on GIS and Africa to share their knowledge and experiences; to explore the potential of geospatial methods in the social sciences, further humanities scholarship by critically engaging GIS methods, and promote interdisciplinary collaborative research in health and humanities in the continent of Africa. The conference was free and open to all.

The objective was to explore the application of geographic information systems (GIS) methods to health and humanities work in Africa, bringing together scholars from across various disciplines whose research offers answers to key questions involving Africa. Scholars represent research interests in an array of disciplines, among these health, demography, government, geology, geography, biology, archaeology, economics, architecture, and art history.

The first day of this conference included a hands-on training workshop on WorldMap functionality and a web-based interactive demo of the WorldMap web mapping platform for interested individuals and groups in Africa and other parts of the world. The second day featured the keynote address, followed by a series of panels presenting lightning talks on topics including politics, environment, health, change, diversity and technologies.

The title of the keynote address, "Putting Peace on the Map" by Patrick Vinck, Research Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health and Associate Faculty with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, elicited both the broad reach and historical and contemporary importance of issues that will be addressed here.

2012 Conference Presentations

Opening Remarks (YouTube video)
Caroline Elkins

Suzanne Blier & Julia Finkelstein

Keynote Address:






Methodologies and Technology

Closing Remarks