Master of Geographic Information Systems

The Master of GIS helps geospatial professionals to attain the analytical, technical, and professional skills needed to attain leadership roles in geospatial enterprises. Graduates gain experience with the latest industry technology, including GIS, Lidar, drones, remote sensing, location intelligence, web mapping, geospatial programming, and much more. Students in this program learn to design, specify, and manage complex geographic information infrastructures as leaders in such fields as environmental resource management, urban and regional planning, cartography, business, facilities management, and transportation planning. You will find much of the course content related to this degree in these Open Educational Resources.

Course Description

General James Clapper, former United States Director of National Intelligence and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), once said "everything happens somewhere." He stressed that there are aspects of time and place to every intelligence problem. In this course, you will examine how time and place work with general intelligence techniques to create geospatial intelligence. You will learn and apply critical thinking skills, structured analytical techniques, and other intelligence methods in a geospatial context.

Independent Study in Geospatial Intelligence

Credit: Computer Laptop by Rudy and Peter Skitterians is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Independent Study is an opportunity for students to work with individual direction from a faculty member on a topic of mutual interest in geospatial intelligence. Students must have strong professional experience or have taken courses in the subject matter leading up to the chosen topic. Independent Study is reserved for advanced specialties or for intermediate study in areas in which the department does not normally offer course work. Faculty members are under no obligation to accept Independent Study students, but do so as their teaching load permits.

Planning GIS for Emergency Management

Credit: Helicopter Help First Aide by ThePixelman is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Geospatial perspectives and technologies play a major role in planning for and responding to emergencies. Geospatial tools - from aerial mapping techniques to data acquisition, are changing rapidly as is emergency management as the frequency and magnitude of crises and disasters are increasing.

GIS Application Development

Credit: Jan Oliver Wallgrun, (c) Penn State University, (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Course Description

In GEOG 489, you will learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source. The course consists of readings, walkthroughs, projects, quizzes, and discussions about advanced GIS programming concepts and techniques, and a final term project. It complements the material covered in GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Customization. Software covered in the course includes: Esri ArcGIS Pro/arcpy, Jupyter Notebook, Esri ArcGIS API for Python, QGIS, GDAL/OGR.

Course Description

In this data rich world, we need to understand how things are organized on the Earth's surface. Those things are represented by spatial data and necessarily depend upon what surrounds them. Spatial statistics provide insights into explaining processes that create patterns in spatial data. In geographical information analysis, spatial statistics such as point pattern analysis, spatial autocorrelation, and spatial interpolation will analyze the spatial patterns, spatial processes, and spatial association that characterize spatial data.

multiple maps

Maps by Pxhere is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Maps are powerful visual tools, both for communicating ideas and for facilitating data exploration. In Geog 486: Cartography and Visualization, you will learn design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools, including ArcGIS Pro. In this lab-focused course, you'll apply cartographic theory to practical problems, with a focus on design decisions such as selecting visual variables, classifying and generalizing data, applying principles of color and contrast, and choosing projections for maps.

Course Description

In GEOG 871, we'll take a critical look at geospatial project management. Project management is a broad discipline that encompasses technical methods such as system design and analysis and also interpersonal factors that affect professional relationships. Project management is also a discipline that has matured outside of, but can be incorporated into, geospatial technology. By the end of this course, you'll have devised a project plan from a scenario built upon a real-life project involving the city of Metropolis geodatabase.

Course Description

Increasingly volatile climate and weather; vulnerable drinking water supplies; shrinking wildlife habitats; widespread deforestation due to energy and food production. These are examples of environmental challenges that are of critical importance in our world, both in far away places and close to home, and are particularly well suited to inquiry using geographic information systems. In GEOG 487 you will explore topics like these and learn about data and spatial analysis techniques commonly employed in environmental applications.

Course Description

"Exploring Imagery and Elevation Data in GIS Applications" (GEOG 480) focuses on the use of remotely sensed imagery and elevation data in GIS applications. Students enrolling in GEOG 480 should have a solid conceptual foundation in geospatial information science and technology. GEOG 480 is appropriate for those who are already working in the geospatial profession and wish to use imagery and elevation data in visualization and spatial analysis.

Course Description

Bill Gates is credited with saying he would "hire a lazy person to do a difficult job" with the justification that "a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." GEOG 485 doesn't teach the lazy way to get the job done, but it does teach the scripting way _ which is arguably even better. You've probably heard the "give a fish"/"teach to fish" saying?

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Course Spotlight

From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming (METEO 469) - learn about the fundamentals of climate change and its impact on societal, environmental, and economic policies. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Richard Alley

Dr. Richard Alley has been with us since the beginning, with one of our first OPEN courses - Geology of the National Parks. See what he has to say about the OPEN.ED effort over ten years later.