This is a real new learning post for me. I attended the data mapping QGIS training in AIRO Maynooth as I do support students doing their business plans in demographic and market information and I felt as time passed that I wasn’t offering the students as good a service as I could. In short: I was lacking professional knowledge. I do work against the notion of the teacher being the source of information but in this case I lacked know how  of how to get that data. I was delighted to take the opportunity to attend training in AIRO. I have admired their work for years and used their web app for mapping data and watched how it developed. I did see its limitations for our students and thought as well that other faculties, in particular media and design, could benefit from a well informed data visualising proselytiser in the library. I think this is the very epitome of how we see ourselves in the profession of librarians as teachers and educators developing.

I realised as the day developed that I would firstly need to keep this up as a practice and that I already learnt what would be of use to my business students in the first hour.

But then we learnt to calibrate maps to different points on the globe, get the census divisions, join data sets, apply them to spacial parameters, map them, select colour heats and schemes, edit legends, overlay visualisations dynamically…

thumbnail_Dublin CIty Unemployment

…and many more things than I can possibly expect to become expert in. I look forward to working with this and developing it. I think it is an area we can really help students stand out in.

As always it’s interesting to be the student. Perhaps it was due to it being a corporate training event but a big pack of take home always makes students feel like they have received their dollar’s worth. I’ve always resisted that and to some extent we worked through a workbook which we then took home. I see how this is useful in the context of a single day as deeper learning is more difficult and being able to replicate exactly what you did in class with notes is most likely very useful. This approach is always going to lead to parts of the day where you are held up dealing with details that you assume which makes you lose track sometimes, lose concentration.


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