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GEOSTAT tutorials

GEOSTAT software

Software iconList of FOSS software used in this course and installation instructions. Follow these instructions to prepare and customize the software before the beginning of the course.

Literature used

ASDAR bookList of books / lecture notes used in this course. See also: CRAN Task View: Analysis of Spatial Data.


« February 2017 »


GEOSTAT is a non-profit specialized block course (summer school) run by FOSS enthusiasts and developers. The main idea of GEOSTAT is to promote various aspects of statistical analysis of spatial and spatio-temporal data using open source / free GIS languages and tools: R, Python, SAGA GISGRASS GIS, QGIS, Google Earth and similar. It is sort of a mini-conference (a list of tutorials) focused on new functionality and new developments considering the software tools for spatio-temporal statistics. Members of the scientific committee are typically the main developers and maintainers of the R + OS GIS tools (that have kindly accepted to teach on the summer shool without any honorarium payment). Read more: Frequently Asked Questions.

GEOSTAT is held every year at different location around Europe. We are also open to running short versions of the Summer schools with more local audience.

Course creator and moderator: Tomislav Hengl, ISRIC - World Soil Information


Basic principles

The main pillars of GEOSTAT are:

  1. The course programme is largely shaped by the participants who can sign-up and rate topics before the beginning of the course. Participants have an open access to the course website and can post their opinion and suggestions.
  2. Selection of candidates is based on a ranking system, which is based on: solidarity, academic output and contributions to the open source projects. To remove geographical bias, participants coming from more distant areas have a priority on the rankings list. Participants from ODA countries (employed by an organization or company in ODA-listed country) typically receive a subsidized price for the accommodation and registration costs.
  3. Participants come with their own laptop computers (local computers are typically not provided), which makes them responsible for organizing software. This also reduces the costs of setting up a summer school.
  4. GEOSTAT makes no profit. All lecturers are volunteers. None of the lecturers receives any honorarium payment or is contracted by the local organizers.

Selection of candidates

Candidates are ranked based on their application to participate and their position is published on the website. The final ranking number is an average ranking of the following four criteria:

  • Publication record derived as sqrt of number of publications and multiplied by total citations.
  • Contributions to the open source software community derived as the average ranking of the R-sig-geo traffic (number of e-mails sent/received to your e-mail address) and OS software contributions.
  • Distance to the venue expressed in km (applicants further away from the venue have a priority).
  • Time of application (first-come-first-served).
  • Optional: we also collect from time to time sort of a motivation letter just to see that we are dealing with the right people.

The course is typically limited to maximum 35-40 participants (depending on the teaching facilities).

 A number of candidates (wildcard invitations) will be invited directly by the organizers. The wildcard invitations are based on the following principles:

  • Each senior lecturer (s) can invite 2 wildcard invitations;
  • Each juniour lecturer (j) can invite 1 wildcard invitation;
  • The summer school organizer has a right on 2 wildcard invitation;
  • Each sponsor can receive 1-2 wildcard invitations, following the negotiations with the Summer school moderator and the local organizers.

Course structure

The course typically takes 5 days + 1 day excursion (optional). First day is the introduction day with little or no computer work. At the end of the day participants can check their installation and follow an optional crash course with R / OS GIS. The second, third and fourth day are reserved for specific topics (blocks), which are often run in parallel. Each lecturer is responsible for organizing their block and have a full control over the content and the teaching style.

Scientific committee (the lecturers)

Note: The list of scientific committee members is constantly updated. We regularly invite the key developers of spatial tools to join this initiative.

Local organizers

GEOSTAT is not linked with any organization or company. Consequently, each year it needs a group of local organizors that are willing to host the event. Local organizers accept to host GEOSTAT and can be listed as sponsoring organization, but then do not interefere much in the programme and selection of candidates.  In the case of several applications for hosting, the location/host is selected by voting (scientific committee members).

When applying to organize the GEOSTAT summer school you will typically need to provide some basic information:

  1. Local organizer (who will be the local organizer? - person responsible for logistical planning and administration)
  2. Preferred dates (at least 2-3 week blocks)
  3. Transportation and proximity to international airport (how difficult would it be to get to the venue?)
  4. Accommodation possibilities (where will the summer school participants be located? how far is the accommodation from the lecture rooms?)
  5. Leitmotif (what should this summer school focus on?)
  6. Sponsorship (does your institute accepts to provide any sponsorship and will you be able to secure any funding?)
  7. Any special reason we should come to...

To apply to organize a summer school please regularly follow the events and updates via this website.

World map of GEOSTAT Summer Schools
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