Working with Maps: An Introduction to GIS, Spatial Data, and Geospatial Resources for Byzantinists

#Byzantine #Roman #art #archaeology #architecture #history #culture #heritage #highereducation #Ireland #Christian #Church #liturgy #Crusades #Templars #Hospitallers #Antiquity #Medieval #music #Greek #GPS #Geography

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and BSANA are pleased to offer a four-day geospatial workshop for graduate students and early career researchers in collaboration with Dr. Ryan Horne of the University of California, Los Angeles and Dr. Becky Seifred of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Working with Maps: An Introduction to GIS, Spatial Data, and Geospatial Resources for Byzantinists, workshop by Ryan Horne (UCLA) and Becky Seifred (UMass Amherst), Zoom, May 15–18, 2023, 11:00 AM–4:00 PM EDT with a break from 1:00–2:00 PM

This online workshop will offer Byzantinists an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and its potential applications in Byzantine studies. Participants will learn how to work with geospatial data, how to organize it, where to find it, and how to create their own. Working in QGIS, a free and open-source GIS desktop software package, students will learn how to visualize geographic information and create their own maps. Sessions will cover the basics of GIS and using QGIS: data and file types, installing QGIS and adding plugins, coordinate reference systems, displaying and working with vector and raster data, performing vector-based spatial queries, using the QGIS Layout Editor to create a static map, and georeferencing an analog map to be used in analyses or as a basemap. This material will be complemented by sessions touching on cartography and geography—critical approaches to cartography, principles of effective map design, the intersection of geography and historical studies—linked open data, digital gazetteers, publishing maps for print and web applications, mapping resources, and data sharing repositories for making data accessible, as well as introductions to the web-based applications ArcGIS StoryMaps and Recogito.

This workshop is intended for those who have very little or no experience with GIS.

The workshop is limited to 15 participants. The time commitment for this workshop is 16 hours of instruction and an additional 30 minutes to an hour between sessions for practice exercises and preparation for following session. Participants are required to attend all sessions. Registration is first come, first served.

Registration closes Monday, May 1, 2023.

Who is eligible?

·      Graduate students and early career researchers (PhD received after May 2015) in the field of Byzantine studies. Students enrolled in graduate programs in North America and early career researchers working in North America will be given priority. Graduate students and early career researchers outside of North America will be placed on a waiting list and contacted if space is available.

·      All participants must be BSANA members. BSANA membership is free for graduate students and early-career contingent scholars who have earned their PhD within the last eight years and who do not hold a permanent or tenure-track appointment. If you are not already a BSANA member, please complete the BSANA Membership Form ( before registering for the workshop. Your membership status will be confirmed before your space in the workshop is confirmed.

To read a full description of the workshop and register your interest, please visit

Contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture, with any questions.


Author: Dr. Bernard Mulholland

Dr. Bernard Mulholland is a Byzantinist, archaeologist, historian and Patristics scholar with a Ph.D. in history (QUB, 2012). Bernard's publications include: Fiction: Bernard Mulholland, Nazareth Quest (2022). Non-fiction: Bernard Mulholland, The man from MENSA - 1 of 600: Mensa research (2016). ---, The man from MENSA - 1 of the 600: Politics 1990-1995 (2016). ---, Ratio analysis of financial KPI in the Higher Education sector: a case study (2018). ---, Early Byzantine Ireland: a survey of the archaeological evidence (2021). ---, Navan Fort, Ireland: archaeological and palaeoecological analysis (2021). ---, The Early Byzantine Christian Church (Oxford, 2014). ---, 'Identification of Early Byzantine Constantinopolitan, Syrian, and Roman church plans in the Levant and some possible consequences', Patristic Studies in the twenty-first century: proceedings of an international conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the International Association of Patristic Studies, ed. Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Theodore de Bruyn and Carol Harrison (Turnhout, 2015), 597-633. Mulholland, B. (2021). 'Can archaeology inform the climate change debate?' Academia Letters, Article4385.

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