Geospatial Data Technician

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, MASSACHUSETTS


Posted: 01-Apr-24

Location: USA - MA - Cambridge

Type: Full-time

Salary: Open



Internal Number: 65094BR

Job Summary

The anticipated start date for this position is early to mid-July 2024.

As a member of the Metadata Management & Project Strategy section of Information & Technical Services (ITS), under the supervision of the Geospatial Metadata Librarian, the Geospatial Data Technician provides timely access to Harvard Library's collections of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) datasets and digital geospatial resources by coordinating and performing geospatial data management activities and by contributing to geospatial metadata production workflows. The Geospatial Data Technician tracks the status of datasets within complex production workflows ensuring the efficient and accurate deposit of data and metadata into the Harvard Geospatial Library (HGL) to enable resource discovery and access. Datasets include vector and raster data layers from various sources, and scanned, georeferenced paper maps from the Harvard Map Collection.

Position Description


  • Data publishing activities for the Harvard Geospatial Library (HGL)

    • Performs quality assessments on source geospatial datasets to ensure completeness and accuracy of data.

    • Loads data into HGL following a multi-step workflow: preparing and organizing GIS data and metadata files for batch processing and running appropriate programs and scripts for data conversion, database deposit and publishing.

    • Troubleshoots errors related to HGL data processing and publishing and collaborates with Library Technology Services (LTS) staff to resolve complex issues.

    • Contributes to the development and enhancement of HGL data publishing workflows by using and testing tools and processes and providing feedback to LTS staff.

  • Metadata production activities for HGL

    • Contributes to metadata creation workflows to produce standards-compliant metadata for GIS data layers for HGL.

    • Performs metadata production processing steps including preparing and aggregating metadata from various sources, quality checking associated files, and running scripts to batch create metadata files.

    • Works with the Geospatial Metadata Librarian to create, maintain, and enhance batch processing scripts, stylesheets, and templates contributing to metadata production automation workflows.

    • Contributes to priority batch metadata enhancement projects such as reparative metadata updates, linked data entity reconciliation, and metadata normalization.

  • Tracks the publication status of HGL datasets and metadata throughout data processing and publishing workflows.

  • Participates as a member of the HGL production team by contributing to discussions of data prioritization, workflow management, data publishing, and system development, and by creating and maintaining workflow documentation.

  • Collaborates with the GIS team in the Harvard Map Collection to support Library GIS services and assists with projects involving GIS data delivery.

  • Contributes as an active team member to the overall goals of the Metadata Management & Project Strategy section and the Harvard Map Collection as appropriate.

  • Works according to changing daily priorities, demonstrates flexibility and ability to shift between multiple tasks effectively.

Basic Qualifications

  • High School diploma or equivalent required.

  • Demonstrated basic knowledge of GIS concepts and principles, map projections, and geospatial data sources and types including the application of related software and technologies required.

  • Experience with Esri ArcGIS software products.

  • Familiarity with Microsoft Windows operating system and Windows software, especially Excel, required.

  • Ability to run programming scripts, interpret output errors, and perform basic script edits.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism.

  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with judgment to seek assistance when needed.

  • Effective written communication and interpersonal communication skills.

  • Workflow tracking and data management experience and skills desired.

  • Ability to perform detail-oriented tasks with a high degree of precision, accuracy, and productivity with flexibility and versatility in an evolving work situation.

  • Ability to work independently to perform complex tasks and meet project deadlines.

  • Commitment to be part of a continuous learning environment, updating skills as required to perform job duties.

  • Professional interest in working in an academic library or special collection environment desired.

Physical Requirements

  • The Geospatial Data Technician will spend at least 6 hours a day performing repetitive keyboarding tasks and looking at a computer screen as a requirement of the position.

Working Conditions

  • The work associated with this position is performed in a library/office setting, or an approved remote work alternative compliant with Harvard University policies.

Additional Information

Applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter.


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