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Using Google Maps

If you want to learn how to bring your research to life and present live scientific data using Google Maps™, this course is for you.

georeferencing courseGoogle Maps™ is a widely available tool that can extend the reach of your research and increase its impact.  It can help you create visual displays, breathe life into a topic and enable your audience to more easily understand complex scientific findings. 

In our modern world, many types of data are now geo-referenced (latitude, longitude) and people are becoming more familiar with accessing information using global positioning systems, geographical information systems, Google Maps™ etc.  In addition to producing static maps, most projects can benefit from real time or near-real time dynamic display (web mapping) of data or results.  With a little bit of knowledge, you can transform your datasets and make them more accessible.

Over the years SAMS has adopted georeferencing using Google Maps API to quickly and effectively bring our data sets to life and we have found it to be an effective and inexpensive solution.  Displays produced with Google Maps API can be rendered on a web page, making them immediately available worldwide via the internet. In addition, Google Maps API works across all contemporary operating systems and internet browsers.

One live georeferencing example is regular updates sent from SAMS oceanographic glider as it travels from Scotland to Iceland and back (to see the live demo visit Both glider position and measured sections of physical data are displayed.

What you’ll learn on this Using Google Maps™ Course

Day 1 (28th October)

  •     Introduction to Google Maps API v3
  •     Tools of the trade: Using JavaScript, PHP, SQL and HTML.

Taught by the data and development team at SAMS on computers running freely available software packages (CentOS Linux distribution, Apache web server), this course is designed to demystify Google Maps and enable researchers to make use of it for the dissemination of your own data.

Day 2 (29th October)

  •     Hands on: Presentation of data using Google Maps API
  •     Hands on: Working on your own map project


As science takes centre stage in providing answers to some of the world’s most significant challenges; the presentation of data in visually exciting ways is becoming more critical.  This course is usually very popular as a result, so please book early to avoid disappointment.  The course is suitable for people with basic programming experience. (If you only have limited programming experience we will be happy to supply pre-course materials to allow you to benefit fully from the course.) You are also encouraged to bring examples of your own data to work on.   


Course fees and application

  • Course fees: £375 (VAT exempt) including all presentations and course notes.  

    You may want to arrange overnight accommodation in Oban and bring a packed lunch if required.  (These are not included in the course fee.)  We do have an on-site Cafe Scientifique, where you can purchase a range of hot and cold lunches and snacks.

Reserve your place on our Using Google Maps Course here, email or call 01631 559000



  • Lovro Valcic is a Data and IT Analyst with extensive experience in georeferencing; having developed many dynamic mapping and analysis solutions for scientific data. Lovro has over 15 years’ experience delivering IT training courses and particularly enjoys working with small groups to solve novel user problems.  He is one of SAMS most popular trainers owing to his capability for simplifying technical IT topics.  Find out more about Lovro Valcic.


Reserve your place on our Using Google Maps Course here, email or call 01631 559000

Contact us
Education Department
Scottish Marine Institute
Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, UK
T: +44 (0) 1631 559 000
Education @ SAMS
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