GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

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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. 

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

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Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about Penn State's Online Geospatial Education programs is available at the Geospatial Education Program Office.