Geography

The following courses have been developed by and for the Department of Geography at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Course Description

The Nature of Geographic Information is an orientation to the properties of geographic data and the practice of distance learning. The purpose of this course is to promote an understanding of the Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) enterprise. GIS&T is the intersection of professions, institutions, and technologies that produce geographic data and render information from it. It is a rapidly growing and evolving field. Learning is a way of life for all GIS&T professionals.

Food and Environment

Credit: Green Terraced Rice Field by Joney, licensed through Shutterstock, Used with permission.

Course Description

The Future of Food is an introductory-level science course that emphasizes the challenges facing food systems in the 21st century, and issues of sustainability for agriculture and other food production activities, as well as the challenges posed by food insecurity and modern diets to human health and well-being.

Course Description

Geography 468 provides the geospatial information system professional an overview of systems analysis and design with emphasis on the concepts behind the process, including: business use case modeling, business object modeling, requirements definition, analysis and preliminary design, and, finally, detailed design. The concepts of the geospatial software and database development process are introduced and the current modeling techniques are addressed within the geospatial systems development paradigm.

Unmanned Aerial Systems

Credit: Photo by JESHOOTS.COM is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones, are developing aggressively, and many government and non-government agencies are considering acquiring such systems. This course will focus on the geo-spatial utilization of a UAS. It will cultivate students' knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the UAS and data post-processing systems. It introduces fundamental concepts surrounding operating a UAS such as strategies for selecting the right UAS, assessing its performance, managing resulting products (i.e.

Course Description

Whether you realize it or not, when you carry a smart phone, use a navigation system in your car, or look up the nearest coffee shop on your computer, you are using geographic information. Geographic data and technologies are embedded in almost all aspects of our lives. GEOG 160, Mapping Our Changing World, explores what geographic information and data are, what makes them unique, how they are created, and how we use them.

GIS for Transportation: Principles, Data, and Applications

Credit: pxhere photo is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Do you know how important GIS is to the transportation industry? The spatial applications to this field are so extensive that they represent an entire sub-discipline within the GIS community. In this course, we'll learn about the primary modes of transportation and explore some of the spatial applications developed to meet the unique needs of each. We'll also take a close look at some key organizations in the industry and learn firsthand from more than a dozen transportation professionals about the role GIS plays for them.

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.

Cloud and Server GIS

Credit: Binary One Cyborg Cybernetics-2302728 by Gerd Altmann is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Is your understanding of Cloud GIS a bit hazy? Does thinking about it leave you in a fog? We've designed GEOG 865, Cloud and Server GIS, to help you understand how all of the various pieces of architecture fit together. By the end of the class you'll have a clear understanding of esri's and others' offerings in the space, how to implement ArcGIS Enterprise on Amazon EC2, make online maps with Carto and Mapbox, and engage in some blue sky thinking of your own in our weekly discussions about trends and directions.

Location Intelligence for Business

Credit: Aerial Photography of Cars on Road-intersection 186537/ by Joey Lu is licensed under CC0 | location pins added to original

Course Description

Do you enjoy the competitive challenge of starting up a new business or expanding into new areas? Are you involved in economic and community development? Are you considering the best place to work and live? Do you like to gain an advantage? Location Intelligence for Business extends the application of geospatial intelligence analytical methods to the business world for competitive advantage.

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.

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Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Fritz Kessler

Dr. Fritz Kessler has taught various online courses in the Master's of Geographic Information Systems at Penn State since 2007. He's also an avid cyclist and musician. Learn more about Dr. Kessler, see what he has to say about online education, and hear him play a tune on the mandolin.