NLT and General Assembly Pioneer New Class on Geospatial Data

New Light Technologies (NLT) and General Assembly are proud to have successfully launched their first joint bootcamp of its kind on Geospatial Data. The bootcamp drew participants from a wide range of industries and disciplines. Sixteen students showed for NLT Chief Scientist Ran Goldblatt’s inaugural class, where they learned about the available geo-analytical tools of today and the different ways they can be used. 

Participants gained hands-on experience analyzing satellite imagery to map fundamental phenomena occurring all over the globe. The class offered them a broad overview of geographic information sciences, different types of geospatial data, and the general field of remote sensing. It also presented sources of free satellite data they can use going forward. To teach through example, Ran showed the bootcamp participants case studies on temporal changes in urban night-time light patterns and how they linked to global deforestation trends. The rest of the evening was spent practicing concepts of machine learning applications using Google Earth Engine and walking students through several  data search and visualization exercises

“As a data scientist involved in global capacity building initiatives, part of my job involves finding ways to make non-traditional data and analytics more accessible to decision-makers and the broader public,” Dharana Rija, one the bootcamp attendees, said of the experience. “Both the content and format of Ran’s workshop allowed for participants to not only understand, but access critical geospatial insights in a matter of minutes. This is helpful for anyone wanting to better understand the utility, accessibility, and possibilities of using geo-spatial data to inform and improve decision-making.”

NLT is continually striving to inspire a new generation of data scientists and GIS professionals. We hope to partner with General Assembly in offering this workshop again later this fall, possibly expanding it into a more in-depth, two-day course.  

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