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

Geospatial Technology Competency Model

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

Resource 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.

Resource 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?

Resource 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.

Resource 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.

Energy Policy

Credit: Purple Flowers by winterseitler is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Energy policy sits at the crossroads of science and policy. And now, energy and climate policy are inextricably linked; the policies we choose have very real consequences for our climate. This intersection of science and policy is chaotic and bustles with activity motivated by various competing (and conflicting) interests and factors. We must understand the motivations driving them and bridge the divides between our reliance on fossil fuels and our need to transition to less carbon-intensive and renewable alternatives.

Energy Industry Applications of GIS

Credit: Stormast by Inactive account 127071 is licensed under CC0


Resource 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.

Resource 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.

Planning GIS for Emergency Management

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

Resource 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. This course provides an understanding of how geospatial perspectives and technologies support all stages of emergency management activities, from small scale emergency management efforts to large scale disaster/humanitarian efforts.

GIS Application Development

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

Resource 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.

Open Web Mapping

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

Resource 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.