Search type

Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (development)

Introducing Spatial Presentation and Analysis

Date: 16 November 2015
Time: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Instructors: Nigel De Noronha & Nick Bearman
Level: Introductory
Fee: £195 (£140 for those from educational and charitable institutions).
The Cathie Marsh Institute (CMIST) offers five free places to research staff and students within the Faculty of Humanities at The University of Manchester and the North West Doctoral Training Centre.
Postgraduate students requesting a free place will be required to provide a letter of support from their supervisor.


This one day course is designed to introduce participants to preparing, presenting and analysing spatial data. The course uses Microsoft Excel and open source application QGIS 2.10, a geographical information system and OpenGeoDa 1.6, an open source spatial analysis program. It is assumed that participants can use Excel to manipulate a simple dataset. No prior experience of QGIS or OpenGeoDa is required. We will also introduce you to an application to produce cartogram boundaries. This will enable you to produce a map with boundaries redrawn to reflect the density of an underlying variable such as population or number of households. The course uses freely available boundary data and population counts from the UK 2011 Census.

The course will cover both the theoretical and practical sides of GIS, showing you how to get data, load it in to QGIS, perform some analysis and create a publication quality map showing this analysis. We will particularly look at spatial autocorrelation (how much a variable correlates over space), spatial clustering (identifying hotspots of the population by ethnicity, class, household type or age) and spatial regression to explore the associations of other characteristics such as tenure.


You will be familiar with:

  • managing spatial data
  • the openly available geographical boundaries in the UK
  • common available analysis techniques to explore spatial autocorrelation and regression, taking into account identified spatial clustering

You will be able to:

  • produce a well-designed chloropleth map (see figure 1 for an example)
  • produce a spatial analysis of neighbourhood characteristics
  • present their results in maps and textwill provide participants with a framework for further self study following the course.

Recommended reading

  • Boundary data available at
  • QGIS software download and support at
  • OpenGeoDa software download and support at
  • Census data available at
  • Scapetoad, a free application to produce population cartograms at

About the instructors

  • Nigel De Noronha
  • Nick Bearman