Joshua Stevens


"I am currently the lead for data visualization and cartographic quality at NASA's Earth Observatory.
Before joining NASA I was an NSF IGERT PhD fellow in Big Data Social Science and Geography at The Pennsylvania State University. At Penn State I researched cartography and geovisual analytics with an emphasis on human-computer interaction, interactive affordances, and big data. My work focused on new forms of map interaction made possible by well constructed visual cues.
During this time I held joint research assistantships in Penn State's GeoVISTA Center and Media Effects Lab. At the GeoVISTA Center I researched and designed map symbology for mobile devices. I also helped develop and design the Symbol Store, an online repository for finding and downloading map symbols. My research in the Media Effects Lab made use of social media and visual analytics to reveal the connections between user interaction and emotion.
Prior to my work at Penn State, I received a B.S in GIScience and a master's in Geography with Dr. Kirk Goldsberry at Michigan State University. My master's thesis was on traffic map design and methods for improving travel time visualization. "

Course Programs

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

Maria Wherley

Maria Scalzi Wherley (she, her) is a Learning Designer and Writer-in-Residence with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. Learn more about Maria to see what she has to say about online education.