GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Welcome to GEOG 583 - Geospatial System Analysis and Design


Geography 583 is a required course in the Penn State Professional Masters in Geographic Information Systems. This course surveys a range of contemporary systems analysis and design methods through case studies, collaborative work, and critical reading/writing. Key topics in the course outline the broad range of current GISystems, how they are designed and evaluated, and how emerging technologies may impact their design and implementation in the near future.

Want to join us? Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback and earn academic credit. For more information, visit Penn State's Online Geospatial Education Program website.

Professor Introductions

Video: Justine Blanford - Spring 1 (0:50)

Click for a transcript of Justine Blanford's Intro Video.

JUSTINE BLANFORD: Hi, I'm Justine Blanford, one of the professors in the MGIS online program. How I got into GIS was really by chance. I grew up all over the world and really wanted to keep traveling, and GIS allowed me to do that. You develop skill sets that are applicable in many professions, and you're not limited to one particular geographic location. Eventually, that led into a PhD. I chased locusts in Spain and South Africa to collect their body temperatures so that I could create a spatial temporal biopesticide model and see when and where we could apply the biopesticide in the field. I look forward to having you in some of my classes.

Video: Fritz Kessler - Spring 2 (1:16)

Click for a transcript of Fritz Kessler's Intro Video.

Hello I'm professor Fritz Kessler. I'm one of the geography faculty the teach a variety of online courses to the MGIS program. I also teach a mix of residential courses in the Geography Department. Most of my course topics deal with cartography and spatial statistics. I came about to these topics of interest because of my mathematical background. During my undergraduate schooling, I gravitated toward geography because I found out that cartography was inherently mathematical. And one of the topics in particular, map projections, is very mathematical. And there was a natural inclination for me to take a cartography course because of that mathematical association. When I'm not doing cartography or researching cartography or teaching I like to play the banjo. I like to go to a lot of bluegrass festivals and so forth. I also play guitar and mandolin. I look forward to meeting you in a future course and if you have any questions reach out to me. I'd be most welcome to hear from you. Thank you.


Video: Todd Bacastow - Summer (0:58)

Click for a transcript of Todd Bacastow's Intro Video.

TODD BACASTOW: Hi, my name's Todd Bacastow. I'm a professor of practice for geospatial intelligence at Penn State in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. My expertise is-- really started out as geographic information systems. I attended Penn State in the 1980s, and sort of in the early stages of geographic information systems. And then went from Penn State, where I taught at West Point for three years, went off to Europe and did some things, geospatial. And I'm coming back to Penn State again and getting a PhD in geographic information systems. When I feel a little wilder and stealthier, I go for the field of geospatial intelligence. It's perfect for government, business, and Homeland Security. Whatever it is, geographic information systems or spatial intelligence, we're here for you. [MUSIC PLAYING]

VideoL Alan MacEachren - Fall 1 (2:50)

Click for a transcript of Alan MacEachron's Intro Video.

Hi. Alan MacEachron, professor of geography and information sciences and technology here at Penn State. I've been here a little bit more than 30 years doing research and teaching in cartography, visualization, and various aspects of geographic information science. Last couple of years I've been focusing in quite a bit on place and big data. Like most of the faculty in our department, I spend most of my time working. But when I do have a chance to get away from work, my main outdoor activity is bird watching. I've been trying figure out over the last several years how to combine that bird watching activity with some of my research. Finally have an opportunity to do that. I gave a talk in Germany last year on place and big data, and I happened to mention the large citizen science project at Cornell University called eBird. It collects data from bird watchers around the world, and they now have about half a billion bird sighting records in eBird. I put in about 2,400 of those myself. I'm sitting here on my porch doing a little bit of morning bird watching. Here's the bird list for just the birds that I saw from my porch here this morning. At any rate, I got some colleagues in Germany, some computer scientists, interested in this topic. And they decided to do a visual analytics research project trying to take advantage of these eBird data, but with a particular focus on the many kinds of uncertainty-- spatial, temporal, and attribute uncertainty that exist in these data. The data are really important for modeling migration of various species around the world, but you need to understand the uncertainty in order to do good modeling. So hopefully, maybe in about six months or nine months, you'll get a chance to see a paper that comes out from this collaborative work where I've been able to attach my birding hobby to my visual analytics research. I hope to see some of you in one of my classes this year or perhaps off at a conference. I'll be heading to Melbourne, Australia for the GIScience conference in a few weeks. Hope to do a little bit of birding there, myself. Or maybe with your binoculars I'll see you out in the field doing some birding with me.