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Recently I signed up for a free online class about maps being offered by the site coursera.org, and I wanted to share it with my readers in case anyone else was interested in taking it.

The course is called “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution,” and it is being taught by Penn State Professor Anthony C. Robinson starting July 17, 2013. It lasts five weeks, and after completing it, one receives a Statement of Accomplishment. I’m not sure how that might translate into college credits, but I’m just taking it for fun. It consists of watching short lecture videos, reading articles, lab assignments using GIS software, and weekly quizzes.

Here is the Youtube clip introducing the course:

The course focusses not just on maps but also on GPS, which has already supplanted maps as the preferred method of navigation for many.  The description page has this to say:

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.

For more information, here’s the page: https://www.coursera.org/course/maps

I hope some of you take the course with me! It could provide material for more interesting subjects worth blogging about or discussing.