Natalia Lopez

Natalia Lopez


If you are interested in getting students thinking about spatial data, you might consider ArcGIS Online or PolicyMap. Both of these tools enable students to create sophisticated multi-layered maps. PolicyMap comes with embedded data about a number of policy issues, including income, health, education, and housing data.  ArcGIS, on the other hand, enables students to upload their own data or data they downloaded from reputable sources. Both of these are great tools to develop students’ data literacy, as they can learn how to locate relevant data on their research topic, how to collect and clean data, and how to analyze data spatially.

If you are interested in interactive data visualizations that go a step beyond excel charts, my absolute favorite tool is Tableau Public. Tableau Public enables users to create sophisticated visualizations to analyze their data within minutes. Users can create anything from a basic bar graph to a series of visualizations on one topic that are interactive and connected to one another. It’s a drag and drop tool and has a bit of a learning curve, but with one or two instruction sessions from a librarian, it can be a powerful and academically rigorous tool that can enable students to dig deep into their research topic.

The library supports the use of all of these tools and we invite you to set up an appointment! Contact Natalia Lopez at to brainstorm ways to integrate data literacy into your class assignments. You can also stop by and visit Natalia to learn about these and other tools she supports during the poster session on May 31st at SIT!  

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