MOOC from Open Online Academy Starts this Fall: Introduction to GIS and Mapping

Introduction to GIS and Mapping starts this fall from the Open Online AcademyThe course page suggests it's either four weeks or eight; it's not clear.

Until recently cartography skills where hard to learn. Today, new technologies allow us to download geographical data, use cartographic open source or free software in any computer, or even do it online and store your maps on the cloud, publish them at your own site or print them for your fieldworks. Geographical data is complex. There are multiple formats and reference systems depending on where in the world it belongs and if it was created on a latitude and longitude system or UTM or WGS84. It is still not easy to find what you are looking for on the Internet and there are no meta search engines to quickly find it. Even when data is available, it is so hard to find it, and it doesn’t always match with other sources you have of the same territory because of the different reference systems. Every year, there is more mapping software available, as governments and other public platforms are releasing official geographical data. Collaborative data in software or apps allow sharing geo-referenced information. From freeware, as Google Map or Google Earth, to open source software as GIS (Geographical Information System) to manage complex geodatabase, and other online tools to create maps on the cloud. It is important to understand which are the best resources depending on what kind of map you are willing to do and why. In this course you will learn the most important geographical data resources, understand the data they contain, and be able to use it to create your own professional maps.

Assessments include multiple choice quizzes and a final peer-reviewed map project. It seems most of the software used is free or open source, but I found no list (since I didn't want to enroll...) Instructors Maria Ramos Sanz and Lara Vilar are from UNAUS Barcelona. Sanz provides the intro video, below.

OO Academy is "a New York based organization for online education in design and the related fields." Per the website, It offers "education that can help people at every stage of their studies and career." It launched November 2013; I'd not heard of it. The course portal launched in June of this year. The organization was founded by a New York architect and hence the courses focus on design and related topics. There was even a resilient schools MOOC/contestOOEd provides free letters of participation and paid certificates of completion. The rest of the business model is an upsell from the free MOOC.


Published Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

Published in


Open Source

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