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.

Cyber-Geography in Geospatial Intelligence

Credit: Internet 1971621 by TheDigitalArtist is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Curious about how the notion of place and space is affected by Social Media, or how the Web differs from location to location? Cyber-Geography in Geospatial Intelligence looks at the geographies of cyberspace, the geopolitics of cyberwar, and at techniques that might be employed in such conflicts. Wondering how this all relates to censorship on the Internet? This class explores ideas on governance and network architecture, the politics of censorship and hacking, and the politics of grassroots activism enabled by the internet.

Cultural Intelligence

Credit: Justice 2071539 by AJEL is licensed under CC0

Course Description

GEOG 571 explores the relationships between culture and civil security and the process of geographically analyzing social, political, economic, and demographic information to understand human history, institutions, and behaviors. It is an elective course in the Geospatial Intelligence Certificate, the Intercollege Master of Professional Studies (iMPS-HLS), and the Master of Geographic Information Systems degree program that is offered exclusively through Penn State's World Campus.

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.

Course Description

Geospatial System Analysis and Design surveys the process of GIS design through critical reading/writing and collaborative discussion. Key topics in the course outline the broad range of current GIS systems, how they are designed and evaluated, and how emerging technologies may impact their design and implementation in the near future. In particular, students will develop a term-long project where they propose a realistic problem scenario that requires the skills and understanding required to effectively complete a geospatial system specification, design, and implementation.

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.

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.

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.

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Course Spotlight

From Advanced Python Programming for GIS (GEOG 489), learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source.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.