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Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Learn to make maps and analyze geographic patterns using the latest geographic information systems (GIS) and cartographic tools.

3,272 enrolled on this course

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution
  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    6 hours

Learn to make maps and analyze geographic patterns using the latest tools

The Geospatial Revolution has generated new forms of interactive maps and location-aware devices, making it possible for everyone to leverage spatial information.

This course combines core concepts in cartography, geographic information systems, and spatial thinking.

What will you achieve?

Learn to:

  • Practice thinking spatially to solve geographic problems in environmental, social, and technical domains
  • Understand how spatial data is created
  • Apply spatial analysis techniques
  • Create interactive web maps

What topics will you cover?

  • Discover the Geospatial Revolution and its impact on the rapidly evolving science of Geography.
  • Explore what it means to think spatially and consider the impacts of scale and time.
  • Examine the key elements of spatial datasets.
  • Learn how Geographers solve problems using spatial analysis techniques.
  • Explore the key elements of effective cartographic design.

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the Geospatial Revolution and its impact on the science of Geography.
  • Practice thinking spatially to solve geographic problems in environmental, social, and technical domains.
  • Understand how spatial data is created. 
  • Apply spatial analysis techniques using interactive web maps.
  • Explain the key elements of effective cartographic design.
  • Practice the art and science of mapmaking using interactive web maps.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at novices who have an interest in map making and spatial analysis, but have no prior experience working with spatial data and/or web map technology.

Anyone who is able to find and join this course will be qualified to engage with the material – it is an entry-level experience about making maps and learning about GIS.

What software or tools do you need?

You do not need to download any specific software - an updated web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox will be sufficient for completing this course. The mapping activities in this course use a free account with ArcGIS online, which may not work very well on a tablet or phone browser.

Who will you learn with?

I am Assistant Professor of Geography and Director of Online Geospatial Education Programs at Penn State. For more on my work, check out http://sites.psu.edu/arobinson

Who developed the course?

The Pennsylvania State University

The Pennsylvania State University is a leading public research university located in State College, Pennsylvania.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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