GEOG 160
Mapping Our Changing World

Instructor Information

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Fall, 2019

Alan MacEachren

Alan MacEachren directs the GeoVISTA Center, an interdisciplinary geographical information science center. GeoVISTA conducts and coordinates integrated and innovative research in GIScience, covering a broad range of domains from spatial cognition, through formal geo-information representation, to spatial analysis, cartography and visual analytics.

MacEachren’s own research roots are in cartography and spatial cognition. His current research interests cover a wide spectrum of GIScience topics. These include: geovisual analytics, geovisualization and exploratory spatial data analysis, geosemantics and geographical information retrieval. Applications domains to which his research connects include public health, crisis management, and environmental science.


Summer, 2019

Jiayan Zhao

Jiayan Zhao

Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Geography

Please use the Canvas email system (Inbox) to contact me. I generally will respond to emails within 24 hours on weekdays and 48 hours on weekends. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions. 


Welcome to the course! I am the instructor of GEOG 160, "Mapping Our Changing World," this summer. I am currently a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at Penn State. My research interests address various aspects of applications of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies with a special focus on locomotion, scale, spatial learning, and navigation in virtual and augmented space.

Since 2016, I have been working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Alexander Klippel in ChoroPhronesis. I am currently involved in two research projects. One is immersive Virtual Reality (iVR) for Geoscience research and education. In this project, I designed an iVR workbench for users to interpret and interact with geoscience data. In the other project, I examine the effect of different locomotion approaches in spatial learning in a large-scale virtual environment.

In this course, you will learn the core concepts and approaches of Geographic Information Science (GISience) and how they could be applied to real-world problems. I will serve as the tour guide of your exploratory journey in the GISience World. I look forward to getting to know all of you, having active discussions with you, and sharing my thoughts regarding your confusions/questions. I hope you enjoy the course and have a nice summer :)