GEOG 486
Cartography and Visualization

Course Orientation



Welcome to Geography 486: Cartography and Visualization. My name is Fritz Kessler. If you haven't already, you can check the Instructor Information page, located under "Resources" above, for my contact information and a bit about me.

I know that many of you have worked together in previous courses, but please take a moment to help me get to know a bit about you. Please post a brief self-introduction to our "Lounge" Discussion Forum in Canvas. This will also be helpful to students in our class who do not know you already.

Before we begin our first lesson, let me orient you to our course. This course is organized around eight lessons. Each lesson includes associated readings about cartographic and geovisualization concepts and tools, a quiz, and lesson exercises. There is also a capstone project, and throughout the course, you will also be given a few smaller capstone assignments that are designed to help you progress toward successfully completing the capstone project.

About the Orientation

In addition to introducing some core concepts for this course, the orientation also serves as your guide to the structure of the course and to our online learning environment.


At the successful completion of the Course Orientation, students should be able to:

  • navigate between this course text and the Canvas course management system
  • articulate your expectations about how and what you will learn in your online course
  • understand how and what instructors expect you to learn in your online course
  • locate key information about the course, including assignments, due dates, technical information, places to get help, and course policies
  • understand course policies, including academic integrity
  • communicate with instructors and fellow students

The next page in this lesson outlines the steps you need to perform to successfully complete this orientation.


If you have questions, please feel free to post them to one of the General Discussion Forums. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate.