GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management


Rescue workers in water up to their knees pulling a boat with people behind them.
Guardsmen provide relief during Hurricane Matthew
Credit: Staff Sgt. Jonathan Shaw, United States Air Force

Geospatial perspectives and technologies have a major role to play in planning for and responding to emergencies, as we see so frequently in the news. And just like all technologies, geospatial tools - from aerial mapping techniques to data acquisition, are changing rapidly. Emergency management is also changing rapidly as the frequency and magnitude of crises and disasters are increasing with more and more people and places being impacted. 

GEOG 858 is an advanced elective course that helps students achieve an understanding of the use of geospatial perspectives and technologies to support all stages of emergency (crisis or disaster) management activities, from small scale emergency management efforts to large scale disaster/humanitarian efforts. This includes learning about commonly used and emerging geospatial technologies through hands-on practical exercises using real-world datasets, scenario analysis, and critical assessment of applied and scientific literature. It will also include an exploration of advancements in data collection, processing and analysis capabilities, such as unmanned aerial systems (UAS), geospatial artificial intelligence (geoAI), volunteered geographic information (VGI), and social media, and many more. 

Dr Matt Beaty is the author and instructor of this course. You can learn more about him on his bio page.

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. Official course descriptions and curricular details can be reviewed in the University Bulletin.

This course is offered as part of the Repository of Open and Affordable Materials at Penn State. You are welcome to use and reuse materials that appear on this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.