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Geospatial Data


Census 01 - Census data for digital mapping This multi-part tutorial series walks through important steps for mapping with census data including acquiring, downloading, and cleaning census data.


OSM 01 - Extracting OpenStreetMap data This tutorial covers exporting OpenStreetMap (OSM) data including waterways, transport, points of interest, land use, and buildings.

OSM 02 - Extracting OpenStreetMap data by feature This tutorial covers exporting OpenStreetMap (OSM) data by a specified feature, such as restaurants, bathrooms, cafes, malls, and so on.


Research 01 - DIY Metadata This template provides suggestions for information to include when documenting self-authored GIS datasets.


Georeferencing 01 - In the browser using Allmaps This tutorial outlines the process for georeferencing a map from directly from the Harvard Libraries digital collections.

Georeferencing 02 - With QGIS This tutorial describes georeferencing a map image file (.PNG, .JPEG, or .TIFF).

Georeferencing 03 - With ArcGIS PRO This tutorial goes through how to georeference a map image file in ArcGIS Pro.


QGIS 01 - Downloading QGIS This tutorial provides instructions and tips for downloading QGIS, a free desktop software for processing, analysing, and visualizing map data.

QGIS 02 - Adding a basemap to a mapping project This tutorial describes adding a basemap to a QGIS project as a reference layer.

QGIS 03 - Adding a vector dataset to a mapping project This tutorial discusses vector data formats (points, lines, and polygons), their relevance to GIS, and adding these formats to a QGIS mapping project.

QGIS 04 - Adding a spreadsheet to a mapping project This tutorial explains adding a spreadsheet or table of data (.xlsx or .csv) to a QGIS project so that the contents of the file can become map data.

QGIS 05 - Performing a table join This tutorial and reference guide covers the concepts behind table joins and instructions for performing them using QGIS.

QGIS 06 - Exporting selected features This tutorial provides an examples for filtering a dataset down based on some criteria, and exporting the results to a new GIS dataset.

QGIS 07 - Changing the coordinate reference system (CRS) This tutorial and reference guide covers the basics of coordinate reference systems (CRS), highlights their importance, and provides instructions for changing a CRS when necessary.

QGIS 08 - Zooming to a layer This tutorial covers a useful tool in QGIS – zooming to a layer. This tool is helpful for locating a dataset’s extent within the larger context of a mapping project.

QGIS 09 - Clipping a dataset This tutorial and reference guide covers concepts about and instructions for clipping datasets by desired geographies, as well as tips for troubleshooting.

QGIS 10 - Adjusting a layer’s opacity This tutorial describes how to find a layer’s opacity controls in QGIS.

QGIS 11 - Normalizing a dataset This tutorial covers the concept of data normalization, and provides instructions for turning raw counts into percentages in QGIS.

ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online 01 - How to configure public sharing This reference guide provides tips for the common problem of incongruent sharing settings when trying to publish maps created in ArcGIS Online.

ArcGIS Online 02 - How to configure a StoryMap This series of videos on the Harvard Map Collection instructional Canvas page walks through setting up a StoryMap and configuring popular widgets.

ArcGIS Online 03 - How to Publish a Web Tile Layer This tutorial shows you how to upload a scanned, georeferenced map to ArcGIS Online.