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Geospatial Data Technician, Harvard University (Cambridge)

Harvard University

Geospatial Data Technician
Harvard Library

Job Summary

Although the position will remain posted, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on January 3rd, 2022. 

As a member of the Metadata Management & Project Strategy section of Information & Technical Services (ITS), under the supervision of the Geospatial Metadata Librarian, the incumbent provides timely access to Harvard Library's collections of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) datasets and digital geospatial resources by coordinating and performing geospatial data creation, processing, and ingest 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) for access and discovery. Datasets include vector and raster data layers from various sources, and scanned, georeferenced paper maps from the Harvard Map Collection. 

Job Code
403074 Library Assistant VI

Job-Specific Responsibilities
Data processing activities for the Harvard Geospatial Library (HGL)
Performs quality assessments on source geospatial datasets to ensure completeness and accuracy of data
Processes geospatial data from their native format/projection to a format/projection compatible with HGL, joins database tables and geospatial data layers and re-aggregates datasets using GIS software
Georeferences images of historic maps to real-world coordinates by researching the source projection of the paper map, identifying appropriate geospatial datasets for base map referencing, and customizing the software applications to create a georeferencing scheme that is appropriate for each map
Documents data processing steps and related information for inclusion in metadata
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
Data ingest activities for HGL
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, ingest and publishing 
Troubleshoots errors related to HGL data processing and ingest and collaborates with Library Technology Services (LTS) staff to resolve complex issues
Contributes to the development and enhancement of HGL data ingest workflows by using and testing tools and processes and providing feedback to LTS staff
Tracks the publication status of HGL datasets and metadata throughout data processing and ingest workflows
Participates as a member of the HGL production team by contributing to discussions of data prioritization, workflow management, data ingest, 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 creation and 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 GIS software products (ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro)
•    Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion
•    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
Excellent organizational and analytical skills
Effective written communication and interpersonal communication skills
Workflow tracking and file management experience and skills desired
Experience georeferencing map images using GIS software preferred
Work experience using computer technology to perform daily tasks in a production-oriented environment preferred
Ability to perform routine functions with a high degree of precision, accuracy, and productivity
Ability to work independently to perform complex tasks and meet project deadlines
Ability to effectively identify and solve problems
Ability to work productively and cooperatively in a team environment, with flexibility and versatility in an evolving work situation 
Commitment to be part of a continuous learning environment, updating skills as required to perform job duties

Physical Requirements
•    Keyboarding for at least 6 hours a day may be required.

Additional Information


Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University's mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world's most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library's holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Working Conditions

This is a hybrid work environment role (remote and on-site) typically performed in a library/office setting. Training and onboarding for the position will be conducted primarily on-site with an opportunity for expanded remote work hours as approved by the department and as is compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.

Job Function 

Sub Unit

USA - MA - Cambridge

Information & Technical Services

Time Status

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Identity

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$50.12 - $57.00  / year

Closing Date

How to Apply

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2021-12-10 |  Quick link to this job