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I'll soon write my master thesis in political science and want to analyze geo-referenced conflict data. However, I didnt do any regression analyses, GIS or statistics for 2 years while I was working as a software developer. Now I'm wondering whether the "tech stack" I used in my bachelor is still up to date or whether it's worth upgrading/learning something new since I still have some months until I have start.

For my bachelor thesis I used QGIS for visualizing, joining data from different sources into a vector grid and calculating things like (points in polygon). Then to account for spatial autocorrelation I created a spatial weight matrix with GeoDA and appended it to the data which I then analyzed in STATA. However, it has been a few years and I want to know whether there is better free software to do my analyses.

For example I hear a lot about R these days. Maybe it can also replace one of the other software I use. Or do you have other recommendations on which route I should go?

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R is great and will enable you to create amazing maps and to do sophisticated geospatial analyses.

However for exploratory research, if you just want to plot points on an OpenstreetMap layer, python-based datasette, its plugin datasette-cluster-map and its related command-line tool sqlite-utils are worth a look.

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