I’ve been really busy with my Data Science course, holidays and work in general. But I just saw some info about a course I really would like to sit for. The Geo folks at CUNY Hunter have put together a great course that they did for the first time this past August (2014) and will be doing so again in January 2015. I missed out on the August course due to sheer forgetfulness.

I have preliminary approval to take this course and am looking forward to it. I’ve copied all the info below.

OPEN SOURCE GIS - all the text and info below was lifted from the CUNY Website

“This was a great course. It outlined very well the world of FOSS to me. The emphasis on code and scripting was useful since this is how most of these tools operate.”

One-week professional training course offered at Department of Geography, Hunter College, CUNY January 19-23, 2015, 9AM to 5PM

Course Description

This five day course will span the entire range of GIS data capturing, management, analysis, and visualization of geographic information using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). These different elements of the GIS workflow will be discussed over the first four days and will then be applied in a final project completed on Friday. The course will combine lectures with hands-on sessions where participants will work with different free and open source GIS packages. Computers and server space to run the exercises will be provided. Participants will be issued a certificate of participation upon successful completion of their final projects. Since we expect participants from different organizations in the tri-state area, this training course also presents an excellent networking opportunity.


  • Introduction and overview of the course
  • FOSS Desktop GIS ‐ QGIS and friends
  • Tools and tricks of the trade


  • Setting up a FOSS test environment
  • PostGIS and friends
  • Data exchange formats


  • Spatial data analysis and exchange
  • R and friends
  • Python and scripting


  • Visualization and Web mapping
  • CartoDB, Leaflet and friends
  • GeoServer and friends


  • Transitioning to FOSS
  • Final project ‐ putting it all together
  • Wrap-up and Q & A

Target audience

The course is designed for experienced GIS users who want to broaden their skill set with expertise in the ever-growing world of free and open source GIS. Participants are expected to have a technical background and an interest in developing comprehensive workflows using multiple software components. While we do not require any programming experience, we will be working on the command line and developing some small scripts. Participants should hence be curious to master these valuable skills.


Carson Farmer and Carsten Kessler are Associate Directors of the Center for Advanced Research of Spatial Information (CARSI Lab) and Assistant Professors for Geographic Information Science in the Department of Geography at Hunter College ‐ CUNY.

Carson has been working with open source GIS projects, including as core developer for QGIS, since 2007. His research interests revolve around movements and flows of individuals, information, and commodities within urban environments, and the development and implementation of novel spatial analysis methods and software aimed at characterizing these flows.

Carsten has extensive experience in projects around open data and the exchange of geographic information, both in international research projects and as a consultant. His research interests are in the areas of information integration, volunteered geographic information, emergency management, and collaborative and participatory GIS.

Both instructors will be present for the duration of the course to support the participants in the hands-on exercises.

Location, registration and fees

The course will be held at the Department of Geography’s computer lab in the Hunter North building at Lexington and 68th Street, Manhattan. Tuition fee for this course is $1800 and includes access to computers and server space to run the exercises.