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Platforms such as Resource Watch combine scientific and spatial data to provide insights that help us understand our world and the challenges we face. Image: Resource Watch, accessed 12 November 2020.

Why spatial matters in the fight against climate change.

Data Science and GIS go hand in hand in the fight against climate change.

The problems we work on — like climate change and biodiversity loss — are transcendent. There’s no single solution to these problems, so we must bring together different communities and fields of work to find them. At CARTO’s Spatial Data Science Conference 2020 (SDSC20), Vizzuality’s Greta Carrete Vega and Luisa Teixeira discussed how Data Science and GIS go hand in hand in the fight against climate change.

To prepare for SDSC20, Greta and Luisa gathered some of our data science and GIS experts to talk about our own experiences of two disciplines working together. The group realised that their diverse range of backgrounds and experiences means they can see things from different perspectives and challenge each other’s biases. Different views can complement each other, and shine light into our dark spots.

From left to right, Greta Carrete Vega, Luisa Teixeira, Alicia Arenzana, Elena Palao Martinez, and Oscar Esbri. Together they shared they different experiences of using science and GIS to understand big, complex challenges such as climate change.

When it comes to problems as big as climate change, having the space to talk and understand the changing issues is important. CARTO’s SDSC20 is one of those places. As Greta and Luisa say in the discussion, we (as individuals) cannot learn everything. We can’t be the repository of all knowledge. We can’t know everything. Therefore you need a team around you, and you need to be inclusive of all the skills and experiences people have to offer. If we work in the spaces where problems intersect, that’s where we’ll find our solutions.

Hear the full discussion in this YouTube video. Listen to the end for advice from Greta on how to get started in spatial data science.

Curious to see more examples of different disciplines working together? Maybe you’ll like this blog about our designers and user researchers working together with the Resource Watch team to redesign the platform’s ‘Explore’ page.



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