Maps and the Geospatial Revolution MOOC

Wouldn’t it be amazing if thousands of people could learn about the power of mapping, start making their own web maps, and begin thinking spatially in new ways?  MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) make it possible for universities to open higher education to many more students than was previously possible.  Beginning 17 July 2013, Dr. Anthony C. Robinson, Geography Professor at The Pennsylvania State University, will offer a MOOC entitled “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution.”  This MOOC uses the Coursera platform, which Penn State will be using for 4 other courses as well.  Since Coursera launched in April 2012,  1.45 million students are enrolling in courses each month on their platform.  Other platforms such as Udacity and EdX also attract large numbers.  Not only are these statistics revolutionary, but the idea of mapping as a platform for the efficient functioning of society is also revolutionary.  Why?

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

According to Robinson, this 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. These radical advances are making it possible for people from all walks of life to use, collect, and understand spatial information like never before.

This course is designed to help you rethink what maps are and what they can do, create your first map to tell a story, evaluate and critique the design of maps, explore what is revolutionary about Geography.  This course runs for 5 weeks and will have you making maps, analyzing issues and patterns from natural hazards to ecoregions to population change, using exciting new tools such as ArcGIS Online.

Interested?  Examine the excellent video series from Penn State on the geospatial revolution.  Follow @MapRevolution on Twitter for updates.  And most importantly, join the course!

Joseph Kerski

About Joseph Kerski

Joseph Kerski is a geographer who believes that spatial analysis through digital mapping can transform education and society through better decision-making using the geographic perspective. He serves on the Esri education team and is active in GIS communication and outreach, creates GIS-based curriculum, conducts research in the effectiveness of GIS in education, teaches online and face-to-face courses on spatial thinking and analysis, and fosters partnerships to support GIS in formal and informal education at all levels, internationally. He is the co-author of Spatial Mathematics, The Essentials of the Environment, The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, and other books. Follow him on Twitter @josephkerski
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  1. Joseph Kerski Joseph Kerski says:

    Exciting announcement!
    This course will run again beginning in April 2014!