GEOG 585
Open Web Mapping



Before we begin our semester of study together, it is important that you review all of the material on the course orientation pages (there are several) and on our course syllabus. These resources will prepare you to be successful in this course and will make the journey over the next 10 weeks significantly easier. 

Have you looked at the syllabus? This course orientation will complement and expand on the information provided on our syllabus. Be sure to review that document, too...carefully!

What will we learn about in the Course Orientation?

  • the structure of GEOG 585
  • review or ramp-up on HTML and JavaScript skills
  • an overview of Canvas, Penn State's course management system
  • technical requirements for GEOG 585
  • how to succeed in this course

What is due for the Course Orientation?

You should complete the Course Orientation before the first week of class. Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates.

The following is an overview of those activities that must be submitted for Course Orientation. Detailed directions and submission instructions are located within this orientation.

(You may want to print this page to serve as a checklist as you go along.)

  1. Read the course syllabus.
  2. If you have minimal or no experience working with JavaScript and HTML, it is required that you complete the W3Schools JavaScript and HTML tutorials during the orientation week. You may also want to review these again prior to Week 6.
  3. Read and complete the activities for the orientation that are listed in bullets below. Although some of this content may look familiar if you've taken other PSU World Campus courses, some passages are specific to this offering of Geog 585.
  4. Introduce yourself and meet the rest of the class. Please do this on the General Discussion forum on Canvas (in the Modules tab under Orientation & Resources). Please share any previous experience with digital mapping technologies, FOSS, or coding, along with a few things you hope to accomplish in this course relevant to your career or academic training.


If you have any questions, please post them to our Technical Discussion forum, located on the Modules tab in Canvas under Orientation & Resources. I will check that discussion forum frequently. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.

Keep reading!

On the following pages, you will find important information about the course structure, requirements, scheduling, and technical requirements and assistance—all of which you'll need to know in order to pass the course. Remember, you are also responsible for the information located on our course syllabus.