Live Online Course – An Introduction To Integrating QGIS/GIS And R For Spatial Analysis

Live Online Training Course – An Introduction To Integrating QGIS/GIS And R For Spatial Analysis, 19th – 22nd October 2020

GIS In Ecology will be holding a online training course on the integration of QGIS/GIS and R for spatial analysis between the 19th and 22nd of October 2020. It will be held using the Zoom video-conferencing platform. It will consist of four three-hour sessions, and one session will need to be completed each day. However, you will have a choice of completing it between 10:00 and 13:00 British Summer (primarily for those living in Europe, Asia and Africa) or 18:00 to 21:00 British Summer Time (primarily for those living in North and South America) .This choice of time slots for each session allows participants from as wide a range of time zones to participate in the course.

Each three hour session will consist of a background talk covering a specific topic, followed by practical exercises based on instructions from one of our workbooks. While you are encouraged to remain online during the practical sessions, you can choose to go off-line as you work though the exercises (or if you need to take a break). However, if you have any questions, the course instructor will be available for you to ask any questions you wish at any point.

The course will be taught by Dr. Colin D. MacLeod, the author of An Introduction To Integrating QGIS And R for Spatial Analysis (Pictish Beast Publications) and a renowned expert in using GIS in biological and ecological research. He is also a co-author of the upcoming An Introduction To Basic Statistics For Biologists Using R, which is a practical guide to carrying out the analysis of biological data in R. This course is aimed at those who want to learn how to use and integrate QGIS (the leading freely available GIS software package) and R (the leading freely available data analysis software package). The course assumes no prior knowledge of either QGIS/GIS or R, and so is open to complete beginners as well as those how know how to use one of these software packages, and wish to learn how to integrate it with the other.

GIS and statistical analysis are two of the most fundamental software tools for modern biologists wishing to conduct spatial analyses. However, each have their own sets of software packages, and sometimes it can be difficult to know how to integrate the two. This course will provide an introduction to the integration of QGIS (the leading freely available GIS software package) and R (the leading data analysis software packages used by biologists) to create a combined tool set that makes the most of the strengths of each of these individual software packages. It will consist of a series of background sessions on using GIS and R for spatial analysis, mixed in with practical sessions where you will learn how to use QGIS, how to use R, and how to integrate two to complete a spatial analysis project. This last part will include working through an example project, starting with creating a high quality map for publication through creating raster data layers of environmental variables, joining data together based on their spatial relationships and analysing the combined data set using R (including creating summary statistics, conducting linear regressions and conducting generalised additive modelling – GAMs). While it will primarily be based around QGIS, this course is taught using software-independent approach, and it is also open to those who wish to learn how to use ArcGIS to do biological GIS.

When you attend this course you will receive a free copy of An Introduction To Integrating QGIS And R for Spatial Analysis (GIS For Biologists Workbooks) as the practical exercises in that course are based on the ones contained in that book. NOTE: If you wish to use ArcGIS software for this course, alternative materials will be provided for the practical sessions.

Attendance will be limited to a maximum of 24 people. The fees for this course are GBP 250 per person (with a discounted rate of GBP 195 for students, the unwaged and those working for registered charities). To book a place, click on the button below to pay the course fees with a credit/debit card. For more information, or if you would prefer to pay using another method (such as a bank transfer), contact info@GISinEcology.com.

Please Note: If you choose to pay using the button below, please do not make any arrangements regarding your participation until you have received an email from us confirming your booking for a specific course (this may take a couple of days, depending on how busy we are).


Fee Options



At the end of the course, all attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and completion. Each certificate is embossed with the GIS In Ecology official stamp to prevent its fraudulent reproduction. In addition, each certificate has its own unique identification number that we will record, along with your name, meaning that we can verify the authenticity of the certificates we issue (and the course you have completed) on request.

Please Note: While some statistical analysis will be conducted during this course, this is not statistical training course. Instead, its aim is to teach about all the other aspects associated with using and integrating QGIS/GIS and R for spatial analysis. This is because learning how to do statistical analyses correctly requires an entire course of its own. In addition, these subjects are not usually covered when learning about statistical modelling, but are just as essential if a spatial analysis project is to be successfully completed.

To attend this course, you must have your own laptop computer with an appropriate GIS software package installed on it. Our recommended GIS software for this course is the freely available QGIS software. For those wishing to use QGIS, you will need to download and install QGIS 2.8.3 (for those using Windows computers) or 2.8.4 (for those using Macs) rather than the latest version. The best way to download the correct version of QGIS for this course is to use the links on our GIS For Biologists webpage, which can be found here. If you would prefer to use ESRI’s ArcGIS software instead of GIS, this can be accommodated, but please let us know at the time of booking that this is the option you would like to use.

In addition, you will also need to have spreadsheet software, such as Excel, on your computer. Finally, you will also need a working copy of the free statistical software package called R. This can be downloaded from here.