Anthony Robinson

Anthony Robinson

I am Assistant Professor of Geography and Director of Online Geospatial Education Programs at Penn State. For more on my work, check out

Location State College, Pennsylvania


  • You mean you don't just dig for buried treasure all the time? Jeez. I thought that was the whole point of doing archaeology. :)

  • ArcGIS Online running in the browser (which is what we're using for this class) will have no issues. Tablets/phones in general are going to be more problematic as the AGOL interface isn't optimized for mobile/touch interaction. And while it's true that ArcGIS desktop doesn't work on Mac OS, tons of GI-professionals use Macs with dual-boot setups with no real...

  • Yeah, we don't allow points to be deleted in this case since that may lead to vandalism, unfortunately. It's not super important, and we'll talk about the data quality issues associated with this type of crowdsourced geographic information in future lessons of this class. So this example will come in handy then. :)

  • Dobar den, Mariela! I had the good fortune to travel a couple of times to Bulgaria in the mid-2000s. I hope to go back again sometime soon.

  • You'll be working with external data in the weeks to come. Hang in there!

  • Sure, in this example the information provided by all of you on this map is not likely to be readily traceable. I was really just using this as an example to prompt people to consider when/how their spatial information is utilized by others.

  • Those values don't seem out of date to me at all - I share them completely! :)

  • You'll be seeing more of these in future weeks, hang in there!

  • It's a massive cinnamon roll covered in delicious icing. Extremely high-density "food" that despite its near-instantaneous impact on your longevity is still completely amazing to eat.

  • Yep, there is a ton of diversity within each of these major types of maps - even a conceptually simple task of making a reference map involves an infinite range of possible outcomes.

  • I think it's possible it'll be worse in the sense that you may have a dusty album that can never be re-opened. I worry a lot about file formats and viewers. I'm a musician and I record a lot of stuff, going back to 1999 or so in terms of digital recordings. A year ago I spent a weekend painstakingly converting every project file I had into a contemporary...

  • One potential useful aspect - in your flood control case, consider having access to geotagged pictures taken by people who are witnessing a flood.

  • This isn't exactly what you're after, but I think you'll appreciate this project from the Stanford Spatial History center:

  • We will definitely get into the temporal element of geography - hang in there for future lessons which will cover that area!

  • The Peters projection has gained a lot of notoriety, but a lot of cartographers like me kind of wince when we see it because there are LOADS of other (better, in my view) equal area projections of the world:

  • I agree to some extent - I occasionally despair at the loss of serendipity. The sudden "a ha" of discovering a new place. On the other hand, I feel like I come across the fundamental nature of mapping as a simplification of reality all the time. This spring I am living in Salzburg, which has an old city that contemporary maps simply fail to convey in any...

  • I'm not sure if it would have been like that or not, I am guessing that my movement around my home 200 years ago would have been pretty limited most of the time, and probably everyone I knew would always know where to find me. And if you wandered off for a couple days people would just assume you made friends with a bear who was looking for lunch.

  • Welcome to the class, everyone! I'm thrilled to have you here. This semester I am a visiting scholar the University of Salzburg, so I'm writing today from a cafe where I am drinking far too many delicious coffees. It's a rough life but someone has to do it.

  • Glad you're enjoying the different tone of this course - it's something I have tried hard to maintain despite lots of well-intentioned advice from others that I should never dare to be snarky in a course that reaches around the planet like this. My hope is that my teaching personality comes through and that it helps folks stay engaged.