Libraries to offer free workshops on data analysis, mapping applications

January 18, 2016

The Data Learning Center in the University Libraries will offer a number of free workshops this semester for faculty, staff and students. Faculty and staff should register using the Learning Resource Network ( and students should email

Focus on ArcGIS Online: Web mapping tool for interdisciplinary applications

4-5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27, 211A Pattee Library, University Park

Tara LaLonde, GIS specialist in the University Libraries will provide an introduction to ArcGIS Online, a Web mapping application that can be used to communicate many spatial research interests across disciplines. Participants will explore applications created with ArcGIS Online and work with a sample dataset for Centre County, Pennsylvania, to learn the functionality of ArcGIS Online Web maps and applications. In addition to learning how maps can enhance understanding of relationships and enhance project presentations, participants will gain hands-on experience creating a Web map.

Getting your map project started!

4-5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, 211A Pattee Library, University Park

This session, also conducted by LaLonde, will provide an overview of key elements and decision factors for the inclusion of a map or spatial component in a project related to a class assignment, thesis or individual research. Elements discussed will include project planning principles, spatial thinking concepts and more. This session will present items to consider in relation to mapping and working with geospatial data.

Publishing social science data: your other publication

1-2:30 p.m., Thursday, March 17, 211A Pattee Library, University Park

Stephen Woods, social sciences librarian, will provide an overview of the process for publishing social science data in ICPSR, a premier data archive. Participants will be introduced to Nesstar Publisher and Collectica tools that will assist in describing data using DDI, a core meta-data standard for social science data. There will also be a brief introduction to Open ICPSR, a data archive solution and a comparison of Open ICPSR with other, fee-based solutions. In this session, participants will learn about data discovery solutions that utilize elements of data description to highlight ways a researcher’s data can potentially be discovered.

A world of census data

1-2 p.m., Thursday, March 31, 211A Pattee Library, University Park

This session, conducted by Woods, will explore the wealth of census data from around the world that are available to Penn State researchers as well as from free sources outside of the library’s collection. The presentation will discuss limitations such as language, format and reporting.

All of the above sessions will be available for remote participation at

Text Analysis Using R: An Introduction

Session 1 (in-person): 1:30-3 p.m., Thursday, April 21, 302 Paterno Library, University Park

Session 2 (remote): 10-11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 26:

Text analysis is the process of extracting information from text using a blend of statistical, computational and linguistic techniques, and can be useful for qualitative research. Stefanie Austin, statistical information specialist, will present a hands-on workshop exploring the basics of text analysis using R, a free, open-source software for statistical computing and graphics. Participants may bring content of their own, but sample files will be provided. In-person and remote sessions will be offered separately in order to better serve both groups of participants. Remote participants are encouraged to download and install R before the session by visiting While there are no prerequisites for this workshop, a general familiarity with R is useful.

If you are interested in registering for a workshop and anticipate needing accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Tara Lalonde at 814-863-5753 or in advance of your participation.

The Data Learning Center, located in 208 Paterno Library, offers services related to data discovery, geospatial analysis and statistical analysis. Services include one-on-one consultations, training workshops, software access, guest instruction, and data resources. The center is staffed by librarians, subject specialists and students. Appointments are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. Drop-in hours (no appointment needed) are available from 3-5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Last Updated June 17, 2020