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.

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.

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Credit: A. Robinson (c) Penn State University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Course Description

The past decade has seen an explosion of new mechanisms for understanding and using location information in widely-accessible technologies. This Geospatial Revolution has resulted in the development of consumer GPS tools, interactive web maps, and location-aware mobile devices. This course brings together core concepts in cartography, geographic information systems, and spatial thinking with real-world examples to provide the fundamentals necessary to engage with Geographic Information Science.

Course Description

Geographic Intelligence (GEOINT) is more than people working with computers in a secure intelligence facility. Join us for this exciting journey to learn about GEOINT's application in business, law enforcement, and defense. Advances in satellites, GPS, unmanned aerial systems, wireless communications, handheld computing, and the ability to automate laborious map analysis processes has transformed what used to be called geographic intelligence, or GEOINT, and the nature of the insights provided to managers and leaders.

Spatial Database Management

Credit: © Penn State University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Course Description

A spatial database is the backbone of a successful organization or website that depends upon maintaining and using data pertinent to locations on Earth. In GEOG 868, Spatial Database Management, capabilities specific to Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are combined to teach students to create, maintain, and query spatial databases in both desktop and enterprise environments.

Geospatial Technology Competency Model

Credit: US Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration - Used with Permission

Course Description

This open courseware consists of eight videos from the gateway course to Penn State's Certificate and Masters degree programs in GIS. Following an introduction entitled "Why GIS Matters," six case studies correspond to the three sectors of the U.S. Department of Labor's Geospatial Technology Industry: 1. Positioning and Data Acquisition ("GIS and the Eradication of Polio in Nigeria" and "A Global Geodetic Reference Frame for Sustainable Development") 2. Analysis and Modeling ("Everyday Spatial Analysis" and "A National Water Model for Flood Prediction and Response") 3.

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.

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?

Energy Industry Applications of GIS

Credit: Stormast by Inactive account 127071 is licensed under CC0


Course Description

Is Energy and GIS your passion? If so, Energy Industry Applications of GIS provides students with an in-depth exploration of the complexities of siting decisions in the electricity market. The course introduces a variety of siting challenges that confront the energy industry and its customers and neighbors but focuses on the siting of electrical transmission lines. The course also provides hands-on experience with a common decision support technology, ArcGIS, and considers how the technology may be used to facilitate public participation in siting decisions.

Open Web Mapping

Credit: The Activities of Africa by Mariusz Prusaczyk is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Everyone can make a web map now, but what are the best tools to do so? Maybe you have already created web maps with ArcGIS or Google Maps but never taken time to have a closer look at open source software alternatives such as QGIS, GeoServer and Leaflet? Or, are you new to web mapping and looking for the best way to create a web application for spatial data from your job or hobby? If so, GEOG 585, Open Web Mapping, is the right course for you. Learn about FOSS vs.

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.