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JOB: The Spatial Information Design Lab – Research Associates, GIS Specialist

Spatial Information Design Lab Is Hiring For Multiple Positions:

The Spatial Information Design Lab is a think- and action-tank at Columbia University specializing in the visual display of spatial information about contemporary cities and events. The lab works with data about space — numeric data combined with narratives and images to design compelling visual presentations about our world today. The projects in the lab focus on linking social data with geography to help researchers and advocates communicate information clearly, responsibly, and provocatively. One of the SIDL biggest projects was the Million Dollar Blocks, the results of which created compelling graphics that had an influence on prisoner re-entry policy. The lab is an interdisciplinary team which collaborates with partners across a wide range of fields.

Research Associate: Data Interpolation | Graphic Designer | Workshop Instructor

The Spatial Information Design Lab will be collaborating with the Guggenheim Museum to work on a project ‘Stillspotting’ that will be exhibited in the museum in June 2010. Stillspotting NYC will explore the concept of stillness in a restless urban landscape. The collaboration will start as a course where students will investigate the idea of mapping noise and lack of noise in the City. Experts will be brought in from a range of disciplines to discuss the idea of noise in the City.  We have already made contact with public health experts, noise ‘consultants’, cartographers, and artists that focus on the issues of noise. As part of the project the Spatial Information Design Lab will also be producing maps and graphics that help contextual the larger Guggenheim exhibit that will include commissioned art-work that will be placed on sites through-out the City.

We are looking for a Research Associate that will work on the production of graphics for the exhibit and run design and processing workshops in conjunction with the new course.  We are looking for someone whom has a background in graphic design, but also feels comfortable working with large data sets, data analysis and data visualization tools. We are particularly interested in people who are familiar with databases and know how to translate databases for use on the web. Skills in the following software are desired: Processing, Php, MySQL (or other open source databases), HTML and web page development, and ability to interface with GIS formats.   
To apply for this position please submit a resume, cover letter, and work samples to Laura Kurgan and Sarah Williams.,

GIS Specialist

The Spatial Information Design Lab is hiring a GIS Specialist to work with on various GIS projects within the lab. The projects are wide ranging but all focus on how data can be used to understand urban social and political process.  This includes a project with the Guggenheim foundation – studying noise, Rockefeller Foundation – looking at new forms of data,  a project with Navteq and work on mapping incarceration and probation in New York City.

We are looking for someone who has at least three years experience using GIS in a professional environment. Because the research of the lab focuses on the intersection between design and spatial statistics we are interested in candidates that can create compelling visuals but can also understand statistical underpinnings of the data. We are therefore interested in candidates that are familiar with database systems, such as MsAccess and MySQL, and who are comfortable working in Stata or SPSS. Familiarity with Phython scripting and the ability to extract data from API’s would is also desirable. Competence with design software such as Adobe’s Creative Suite is essential.

The Spatial information Design Lab plays a data management and instruction role for Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP).  Therefore the GIS Specialist will also help with data collection and assist students and faculty with GIS related questions. There is also the possibility of teaching GIS instruction courses at Columbia or Barnard.

To apply for this position please submit a resume, cover letter, and work samples to Laura Kurgan and Sarah Williams.,

Research Associate: History of Data Visualization

The Spatial Information Design Lab recently received a research grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. This research project will set out to better understand the use of Data Visualization in policy, and to ascertain the usefulness and effects of this visual language in guiding decision making. Given The Spatial Information Design Labs previous work using data visualization to affect prisoner re-entry policy, this research will pay particular attention to how data visualizations strategies have had an effect on policies related to disadvantaged urban populations.

Data Visualization is an emerging field which has become increasingly popular in the press and the media, while its use in the arena of policy is still being developed and assessed. This is not to say that data visualization has not been used in policy to guide the built environment and public decision making, on the contrary, the use of a visual language to present information as maps and charts, has been extensively used historically. Research will entail researching the historical use of design and visualization in policy, and ask what is has changed as new modes of data collection, storage, and representation techniques are being employed to these ends.

We are currently looking for a research assistance with locating historical and current examples of how data visualization strategies have been used to effect policy change. The researcher will be responsible for finding examples and writing brief summaries that will be included in academic papers. We are looking for someone who has good research and writing skills.
To apply for this position please submit a resume, cover letter, and work samples to Laura Kurgan and Sarah Williams.,