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Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Pennsylvania State University via Coursera


Learn how advances in geospatial technology and analytical methods have changed how we do everything, and discover how to make maps and analyze geographic patterns using the latest tools.

The 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 brings together core concepts in cartography, geographic information systems, and spatial thinking with real-world examples to provide the fundamentals necessary to engage with Geography beyond the surface-level. We will explore what makes spatial information special, how spatial data is created, how spatial analysis is conducted, and how to design maps so that they’re effective at telling the stories we wish to share. To gain experience using this knowledge, we will work with the latest mapping and analysis software to explore geographic problems.


  • Getting Started
    • Watch a short video to learn how this class works (it's a bit different than other MOOCs) and help make a map with your classmates.
  • The Changing Nature of Place
    • Discover the Geospatial Revolution and its impact on the rapidly evolving science of Geography.
  • Spatial is Special
    • Explore what it means to think spatially and consider the impacts of scale and time.
  • Understanding Spatial Data
    • Examine the key elements of spatial datasets.
  • Doing Spatial Analysis
    • Learn how Geographers solve problems using spatial analysis techniques.
  • Making Great Maps
    • Explore the key elements of effective cartographic design.

Taught by

Anthony C. Robinson


4.7 rating, based on 11 reviews

Start your review of Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course was a good mixture of lectures, quizzes, mapping assignments, and interesting videos about GIS application to solve real world problems and even saving lives. I learnt to make maps using ArcGIS that is a great free software. The only issue with this course is the requirement to participate on forums. It mattered for the grade. With more than 30,000 people in the class navigating through the river of posts wasn't easy or rewarding, rather time consuming and frustrating. Other than that, I think it's a 5 star class!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This was my first coursera class and I was pleased with the experience and the quality of the material. Professor Robinson was involved with the course, twitting, and sending reminders. The course introduced me to the new technologies and I learnt how to explore and create my own maps. Thank you very much for this wonderful experience.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I was just curious to learn a new subject. The course was great. The material is well explained. It took me from knowing nothing to being able to create maps using ArcGIS. Dr.Robinson is an amazing teacher, who made dummies to learn a new software and kept the course interesting from the beginning to end.

    Recommend this course to anybody.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I loved everything abut this course. Short engaging lectures, enthusiastic teacher, use of technology , and challenges. I knew little about the maps, or tools used to create interactive ones. This class taught me how to use ArcGIS and ESRI's Storytellling tools. I would recommend this course to anybody who loves maps and technology.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I'm a big fan of google maps but only as a user. This course introduced me to the new technologies that are easy to learn for beginners and provided interesting information about 21st century maps. My deep bow to Professor Anthony Robinson and creators of this course.
  • Tom Schlodder completed this course.

  • Shigeru Matsumiya

    Shigeru Matsumiya completed this course.

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