Understanding small areas: spatial analysis of population and neighbourhood data

Venue: Oxford Road Campus, The University of Manchester

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This two day workshop equips participants with conceptual understanding and technical skills to obtain, analyse and visualise spatial data related to populations and neighbourhoods. Using freely available data related to the UK, a series of guided workshops enable participants to:

  • obtain census and survey data related to geographic areas
  • visualise, map and explore spatial patterns within individual and neighbourhood data
  • apply a suite of powerful spatial analysis tools and techniques to address real-world policy relevant questions at the small area level
  • uncover spatial characteristics and properties of small area data
  • understand how to convert data between different geographic boundaries used for data dissemination and the limitations of doing so
  • classify small areas and individuals based on their characteristics and understand their widespread application in neighbourhood analysis
  • explore novel near-real time user-generated data from social media
  • appreciate the technical, ethical and legal challenges and opportunities for working with individual level population data.

Hands on training introduces participants to powerful spatial analysis software (ArcGIS) as well as the programming language R. Practical sessions are interspersed with lecture and discussions to contextualise and consolidate learning. Examples are drawn from the UK and are applicable in an international context and in a variety of application areas at different spatial scales.

Participants also have the chance to discuss their own related research or applications with other participants and the course tutors.

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