GIA Pilot Hours for Social Science Research

SSRI now provides Geographic Information Analysis services to social science researchers.

Why Geographic Information Analysis (GIA)?

The prerequisite for using geographic information systems (GIS) is the availability of information on locations, the attributes of those locations, and the functional and geographic relationships among locations. The diversity of spatial data and analytical methods available to social science researchers is wide and continues to expand. Many research and policy questions faced by social scientists require analysis of complex patterns of interrelated social, behavioral, economic, and environmental phenomena. These questions inevitably involve different types of analytical units and emerging data formats used in formal spatial analysis, including point data, line data, spatial continuous or field data, and area or lattice data. To address these questions, both spatial thinking and spatial analytical perspectives have an important role to play.

The GIA Core’s contribution to social science research mirrors the trends in geospatial data collection and utilization. The GIA Core staff stays abreast of technological development in GIS, spatial analysis, and spatial statistics, and offers resources that will allow investigators to take advantage of new kinds of data services and analytical tools to generate new knowledge and investigate research questions with a spatial perspective.

Who Can Apply for and Receive Pilot Hours to Use GIA Services

To address the increasing demand, the SSRI now provides pilot hours for use of GIA services to the social science researchers at Penn State. This includes:

Service Level Details

The GIA Core services available to social science researchers can be classified into three levels:

  • Basic
    The fundamental GIA service includes, but is not limited to, geospatial data management and archiving, geocoding, mapping, the linking of individual-level data to contextual data sets, nested data construction, and basic exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA).  
  • Intermediate 
    This level of services is comprised of tasks associated with non-nested data construction, research design issues, the use of global positioning systems (GPS) and/or wireless devices, customized programming, and advanced ESDA.
  • Advanced
    The GIA Core provides advice on how to incorporate advanced spatial analysis techniques into social science research. The development of advanced spatial analysis in the past two decades has generated numerous innovative methods, such as spatial econometrics, geographically weighted regression, geostatistics, and Bayesian spatial hierarchical modeling.

Please Contact GIA

If you are interested in the GIA Core services discussed above, please contact contact the GIA Core.

Please note: All collaborations are subject to IRB approval.