Skip to Main Content

GIS (Geographic Information Systems) & Remote Sensing: Community of Practice

This guide covers resources and tools helpful for people interested in GIS & remote sensing.

world map made up of tiny peopleThe GIS & Mapping Community of Practice is an informal meetup that offers participants an opportunity to get to know other people using mapping tools and techniques across campus, regardless of discipline. Whether you're just getting started exploring GIS & Mapping or a seasoned pro (or anywhere in between!), all are welcome to participate in the GIS & Mapping Community of Practice. Bring your questions and get excited to meet fellow mappers! The co-organizers for 2023-24 are Alex Brown, Tyler Marino, and Susan Powell.

Upcoming Meetups

  • Mobility & Equity Committee
    • When: Wednesday, February 21, 11am - 12:30pm
    • Where: Institute of Transportation Studies Library
    • This month we're welcoming guests from UC Berkeley's Parking & Transportation Mobility Equity Committee (MEC)! The MEC works with the main Class Pass Advisory Committee and also addresses other, non-AC Transit related matters which impact the campus: BART Discounts, Shared Micro-mobility, Seamless Bay Area and MTC related Fare Integration, and additional items to help bridge the gaps of access and mobility. We'll learn more about the long-range/equity planning that the MEC is currently working on and hear about how mapping fits into their work.
    • Registration encouraged, but not required.

Past Meetups


  • Wednesday, January 24, 11am - 12:30pm. Welcome back pizza social at the D-Lab featuring a lightning talk by Melike Sümertaş! <<in person @ D-Lab Collaboratory, Room 356, Social Sciences Building>> Melike's presentation focused on the paths she took as a new researcher in the field. She discussed the tools that she found easiest to use and that matched her research questions, ranging from Google based tools to QGIS. As an architect and urban historian, Melike is engaged with visual representation of urban knowledge in terms of maps, infographics etc. and driving new knowledge out of the analysis of urban practices and performances. Digital Humanities methods allow her to incorporate historical methods, questions, and knowledge into this as a new layer.  She illustrated these methods through a few examples of her work, which mostly feature Ottoman Istanbul. 
  • Monday, November 13, 2023, 3:10 - 4:30 pm. Exploring remote sensing with Google Earth Engine. <<in person @ Doe Library, Room 223>> Alex Brown and Tyler Marino provided a hands-on overview to exploring remote sensing imagery with Google Earth Engine.
  • Monday, September 25, 2023, 3 - 4 pm. Berkeley hills fire mapping, 1923 to today. <<in person @ 5th floor balcony of McCone Hall>> Susan Powell, Alex Brown and Tyler Marino, in collaboration with guest speaker Nico Tripcevich, provided key information on the Community of Practice as well as mapping methods and strategies for fire evacuation. Nico demoed a digital mapping application based on the historic 1923 Berkeley fire that destroyed 640 structures just north of campus.


  • Tuesday, May 2, 2023, 11am - Noon. Tour of studio.geo & end-of-year social. <<in person @ 106 McCone Hall>> We celebrated the end of the semester and learned about the work that studio.geo is doing with the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and others. studio.geo is "an experimental geographic research, teaching and design studio, located at the University of California, Berkeley. Projects hosted by the studio work across maps and media to produce critical and collaborative geographic work focused on the question of how we represent our worlds. It is a non-exclusive space and welcomes all thinkers and creators from across the Arts, Humanities and STEM, at all stages (Faculty, graduate, undergraduate), and at all levels (pro or novice)." 
  • Friday, April 28, 2023, 1 - 3pm. Planet workshop co-hosted with the GIF! <<in person @ 124 Mulford Hall>> Chippie Kislik, former ESPM PhD Student who is now working for the spatial imagery company Planet, led a workshop on how to search for, obtain, and analyze Planet imagery in ArcGIS Pro. Participants walked through the steps to find imagery in both Planet Explorer and through the Planet Add-in for ArcGIS Pro, add imagery into ArcGIS Pro, assess water and vegetation health using Planet data, create and export a map, and design a Planet Story time series slideshow.
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 11am - Noon. College of Environmental Design spotlight: Cool maps & lightning talks! This month's meetup was hosted by the Environmental Design Library & the College of Environmental Design. We got hands on with some special materials from the Environmental Design Library collections, including a Sanborn atlas, map-themed artist books, and regional planning maps. Kat Palermo, a graduate student in Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, presented a lightning talk about their research using remote sensing and spatial data analysis to explore the LA River's urban ecology.
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2023, Noon - 1:15pm. Guided tour of "Visualizing Place: Maps from The Bancroft Library" and more! (rescheduled) We rescheduled our tour of the exhibit Visualizing Place: Maps from The Bancroft Library with co-curator of the exhibit, José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez! Not only that, but we got up close and personal with a special selection of the Bancroft's maps & atlases in the Bancroft classroom!! 
  • Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 11am - 12pm. Visit to "Visualizing Place: Maps from The Bancroft Library" Bancroft Gallery.
  • Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Welcome back & pizza social hosted by the D-Lab! We met in the D-Lab Collaboratory to learn about the D-Lab's services, trainings, and spaces and get to know other folks who are interested in GIS & mapping.
  • Rescheduled to Spring in solidarity with the UAW strike. December 2, 2022. End-of-semester meetup at the D-Lab!
  • November 17, 2022. "Mappy Hour" at Jupiter's outdoor courtyard (at Shattuck and Allston), including a show-and-tell of select maps from the Earth Sciences & Map Library and a wrap-up about UC GIS Week! (Originally scheduled to be a tour of the Earth Sciences & Map Library, but moved off-campus in solidarity with the UAW strike.)
  • October 17, 2022. Virtual meeting on Zoom, with "show and tell" presentations (meeting notes). Jack Moorehead presented the map he had entered in the NACIS student poster session. Nico Tripcevich presented a web map he had built using open-source tools.
  • September 14, 2022. Inaugural meeting! Introductions and discussion of what participants want out of a Community of Practice. Held at Bechtel Terrace.

Get Connected w/ GIS!

Campus GIS & Mapping Community of Practice meetups are announced in several forums:

Interested in presenting at a future meetup or have an idea for a speaker or location? Please let us know by filling out this interest form!