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Geospatial Data Technician, Harvard University (Cambridge)


Geospatial Data Technician

Harvard Library


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.

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

 • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.

 • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.

 • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.

 • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.

 • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.

 • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.

 • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.

 • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.

 • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

403074 Library Assistant VI

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade



Information and Technical Services

Annual Salary Range

$54,445 to $85,043


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

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.

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

$54,445.00 - $85,043.00  / year

Closing Date

How to Apply

Apply Online


2024-04-02 |  Quick link to this job