ONLINE GEOSPATIAL EDUCATION
Course Catalog

We offer over 30 courses in geographic information systems, remote sensing, geospatial programming, spatial data science, and geospatial intelligence. Classes are scheduled in five 10-week terms each year: two in the fall, two in the spring, and one every summer.

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map with buffers
Description:

Explore the geographies of cyberspace, the geopolitics of cyberwar, and techniques that might be employed in such conflicts. 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.

Technologies you'll use:
NodeXL
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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road on a hill
Description:

Focus on the use of remotely sensed imagery and elevation data in GIS applications. Appropriate for those who are already working in the geospatial profession and wish to use imagery and elevation data in visualization and spatial analysis.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Pro
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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diagram of an airplane capturing LiDAR data
Description:

Work with lidar systems' design, operation, data processing techniques, and product generation to address typical application scenarios faced by the geospatial professional.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Pro, GeoCue LP360
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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Geospatial Technology Competency Model diagram
Description:

Explore meaningful applications of GIS, learn basic GIS mapping principles and how to tell stories with maps. Study geospatial concepts, methods, and techniques at an introductory level, including GPS positioning, spatial modeling, and geo app development.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps, Python
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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map with buffers
Description:

Employ real-world scenarios to discover GIS concepts and tools such as vector and raster analysis, attribute and spatial queries, joins and links, buffers, address geocoding, cartographic design, thematic mapping, surface interpolation, and much more.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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map with polygons
Description:

Complete software-based projects and discuss concepts relating to how GIS software can be used to integrate geographic data compiled from various sources. Perform tasks involved in creating a digital geographic database.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ModelBuilder
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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GEOG 485 Course Logo
Description:

Learn ModelBuilder and Python scripting skills to make repetitive geoprocessing tasks easier, faster and automatic.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, Python
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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Maps on a desk
Description:

Learn cartographic design principles and thematic mapmaking techniques. Engage in the cartographic design process through selecting visual variables, classifying and generalizing data, applying principles of color and contrast, and choosing map projections based on map audience and purpose.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Pro, Mapbox, Mapbox Studio, Tableau
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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GEOG 487 Flow Diagram of Needed Data Sets
Description:

Explore topics like volatile climate and weather, vulnerable drinking water supplies, and shrinking wildlife habitats and learn about data and spatial analysis techniques commonly employed in environmental applications.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Story Maps, OpenStreetMap, Prezi
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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python code superimposed on a map
Description:

Learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source technology.

Technologies you'll use:
Anaconda, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, GDAL, Github, Jupyter, OGR, OpenStreetMap, Python, QGIS, R
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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Woman leaning forward toward her laptop and smiling at another woman whose back is toward us
Description:

Experience supervised non-group instruction including individual field experience, practicums, or internships. 

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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Elderly man pointing at an object and talking to a younger man with brown hair next to him
Description:

Earn credit through contributions to the Department's resident programs. Qualified MGIS students will be encouraged to earn one credit for every semester that they supervise a resident Penn State Geography student in a GIS-related internship conducted in the MGIS student's place of work.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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Glowing blue map of the world with a dark blue background
Description:

Engage in the culminating experience in the MS in Spatial Data Science (SDS).

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: N/A
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GEOG 571 Comparison of the Intelligence Cycle and Research Cycle
Description:

Explore 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.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Story Maps, Google MyMaps, Portal for ArcGIS
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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finger pointing at map
Description:

Explore the emerging science of analytical reasoning mediated through human-centered interactive geographic visualization and computational methods. Examine the state-of-art in geovisual analytics science.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Insights, ArcGIS Pro, CARTO, Tableau
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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magnet bar on table of compasses
Description:

Trace the roots of Spatial Data Science Ethics in moral philosophy, professional ethics frameworks, and critical studies in the geospatial and data science fields. Strengthen moral reasoning skills through rigorous analyses of ethical case studies.

Technologies you'll use:
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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map layers
Description:

Survey the process of GIS design through critical reading, writing and collaborative discussion. Discover 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.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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aerial photo
Description:

Learn about FOSS vs. proprietary GIS software, open data and standards for web mapping, and how to create beautiful and interactive web maps with Javascript and Leaflet.

Technologies you'll use:
CSS, GDAL, GeoServer, HTML, Javascript, Leaflet, OGR, OpenLayers, OpenStreetMap, QGIS, TileMill
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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heat map of the eastern United States
Description:

Discover what makes spatial data special and why spatial analysis reveals a truth about spatial data. Learn about the choice and application of appropriate methods for the analysis of the spatial data often encountered in applied geography.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Pro, GeoDa, R
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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elephant in the water
Description:

Use a problem-based approach for thinking about conservation challenges, and for choosing the specific geospatial tools and datasets for solving those problems that will inform students' future conservation work.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, QGIS, R
Next Offering: Spring 1, 2023
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Two maps with dark background and glowing green representation of land
Description:

Encounter emerging tools, techniques, and sensors in the remote sensing industry, engaging with the scientific literature, guest lecturers, and hands-on activities that focus on the state-of-the-art in remote sensing and image analysis.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Google Earth Engine, Javascript, Python
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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Hands of doctor on table with data in transparent white overlaying the picture
Description:

Explore the process and application of statistical and spatial methods used to map, model and analyze health and disease. Learn appropriate methods for the analysis of health and disease often encountered in applied geography.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS, GeoDa, R
Next Offering: N/A
Description:

TBA

Technologies you'll use:
Next Offering: N/A
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women studying and writing in notebook
Description:

Enhance your understanding of the role of geospatial intelligence, develop individual competencies, reinforce professional concepts, and improve your analytical techniques and methods.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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man studying and typing on laptop
Description:

Build upon your past coursework to identify and investigate a real-world problem using a GIS or remote sensing tool. Evaluate and apply analytical methods and recognize ethical and professional issues in the spatial domain.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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Blurry image of a group of four people in the background behind a pane of glass with blank post-it notes
Description:

Develop the proposal for your capstone project with mentorship from a faculty advisor.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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Two people shaking hands in the background, paperwork and a safety helmet on the desk
Description:

Finalize your capstone project with mentorship from a faculty advisor.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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woman's hand writing on a notebook with a pencil while the woman leans toward a laptop and supports herself with her other hand
Description:

Engage in creative projects, including non-thesis research, which are supervised on an individual basis and are beyond the scope of formal courses.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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GEOG 596i: Independent Study in Geospatial Intelligence
Description:

Work with individual direction from a faculty member on a topic of mutual interest in geospatial intelligence.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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Map of city with one building in 3-D and a drone in the lower left corner
Description:

Study a topical or special interest subject. These courses may be offered infrequently; several different topics may be taught in one year or term. Visit the course page for specifics on current offerings.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: N/A
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people rushing around in an airport
Description:

Study abroad and focus on data analytics and professional practice in Geographic Information Systems with other international graduate students. Address a global-scale geospatial analysis problem, present your work, and develop new connections with European Union geospatial professionals.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, D3, HTML, Javascript, R, Tableau
Next Offering: Summer, 2023
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Calendar with yellow push pin on the words write your thesis!
Description:

Engage in a culminating experience in the MS in Spatial Data Science (SDS). Candidates in the SDS graduate program must write and defend, at an oral examination, a thesis based upon original research in the field of spatial data science.

Technologies you'll use:
Varies
Next Offering: N/A
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aerial photo with map symbolization
Description:

Extend the application of geospatial intelligence analytical methods to the business world for competitive advantage. Apply location technologies, geospatial analysis, and business geography (demographics and psychographics) to support competitive business decision-making.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Online, Claritas PRIZM, Esri Business Analyst Online (BAO), US Census Bureau
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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fire helicopters flying over a burning forest
Description:

Investigate the ways in which geographic perspectives and technologies play a major role in planning for and responding to emergencies. Enhance your understanding of rapidly-changing geospatial technologies as they relate to the also rapidly-changing field of emergency management.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Pro
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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Topographical map of the United States
Description:

Delve into the world of map projections, knowledge which is essential for GIS professionals. Investigate the merging of multiple datasets and become familiar with the development of grid systems, the underlying distortion from map projections, and how measurement accuracy can be assessed.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Pro, Geocart
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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person using a tablet-based map
Description:

Learn to build web apps. Investigate the fundamentals of web programming, work with JavaScript and a mapping application programming interface (API) developed by Esri. Create visualizations of your own data and learn how to develop an interface to enable users to interact with your map.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS API for Javascript, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Web AppBuilder, CodePen, CSS, HTML, Javascript, Portal for ArcGIS
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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computer equipment
Description:

Gain an understanding of how the various pieces of cloud and server GIS architecture fit together. Investigate Esri's and others' offerings in the space, learn to implement ArcGIS Enterprise on Amazon EC2, make online maps with Carto and Mapbox, and engage in some blue sky thinking of your own.

Technologies you'll use:
Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Enterprise, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Server, CARTO, HTML, Javascript, Mapbox, Portal for ArcGIS
Next Offering: Fall 2, 2022
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database entity relationship diagram
Description:

Delve into Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as you learn to create, maintain, and query spatial databases in desktop and enterprise environments.

Technologies you'll use:
Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS Pro, ArcSDE/Multiuser Geodatabases, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, QGIS, SQL
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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urban expressway at night
Description:

Investigate geospatial project management, which encompasses technical methods such as system design and analysis and interpersonal factors that affect professional relationships. Devise a project plan from a scenario that is based upon a real-life geodatabase.

Technologies you'll use:
Microsoft Project, Project Libre
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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aerial photo of forest fire
Description:

Think critically, consider alternative viewpoints, and question your own assumptions when analyzing why human events occur over place and time. Investigate products that support decision-making in national and homeland security, law enforcement, emergency management, and relief efforts.

Technologies you'll use:
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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LIDAR image of a suburban neighborhood
Description:

Make sense of complex and exciting datasets gathered from satellite and aerial systems. Explore the tools, methods, and techniques used to extract actionable and meaningful information from these data.

Technologies you'll use:
Amazon Web Services, ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, eCognition Developer
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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map with data table
Description:

Cultivate knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of geographic information systems (GIS) and the skills needed to realize their potential in the context of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, CARTO, GeoDa, QGIS
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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aerial photo of building complex
Description:

Examine how time and place work with general intelligence techniques to create geospatial intelligence. Learn and apply critical thinking skills, structured analytical techniques, and other intelligence methods in a geospatial context, and prepare for the world of geospatial intelligence analysis.

Technologies you'll use:
ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro, Google Maps, QGIS
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
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drone flying at sunrise
Description:

Focus on the geospatial utilization of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and cultivate your knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of UAS and data post-processing systems. Explore fundamental concepts surrounding the operation of UAS in the United States.

Technologies you'll use:
Pix4D
Next Offering: Fall 1, 2022
Professional Development

Our online courses can be taken individually for professional development. For many students, starting with one course is a great way to try online learning with Penn State before committing to a certificate or degree program. This option allows for learning more about a specific topic or expanding a particular skill set.

Upcoming Deadlines

We suggest that you register at least two weeks before your class starts. Check out the course schedule for start dates.