GEOG 863:
Web Application Development for Geospatial Professionals

Welcome to GEOG 863 - Web Application Development for Geospatial Professionals


New to GEOG 863?

If this is your first visit to this course website, please take some time to become familiar with the assignments and course environment by going to the Orientation in Canvas.

This website provides the primary instructional materials for the course. The Resources menu links to important supporting materials, while the Lessons menu links to the course lessons. Canvas, Penn State's course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course, as well, as it provides the primary communications, calendaring, and submission tools for the course.

Note: This course was revised in FA17 to focus on web mapping using Esri's JavaScript API. The previous version of the course using the Google Maps API can still be found at Geog 863 GIS Mashups for Geospatial Professionals.

Quick Facts about GEOG 863

  • Instructor (Spring-2 2023): Jim Detwiler
  • Course Author: Jim Detwiler
  • Course Structure: Online, 10-12 hours a week for 10 weeks
  • Overview: Geographic Information Systems have long provided skilled professionals with the means to map and analyze objects and phenomena on the Earth’s surface using desktop computers. In recent years, the Internet has greatly extended the reach of GIS beyond the desktop. Geospatial technology vendors and the open-source community have devised web service protocols and web mapping application programming interfaces (APIs) so that third-party developers can create their own applications for use on web-enabled devices. These applications serve a wide array of purposes, including place and way finding, data dissemination, and data collection. For example, tabular crime data published on a city’s website can be combined with base data layers such as municipal boundaries and roads to produce a map that is valuable for both the city’s police department and its citizens. This course focuses on how geospatial professionals can create such applications using industry-relevant geospatial APIs. Students will build applications using the core web technologies of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Topics covered will include the implementation of 2D maps and 3D scenes, understanding API documentation, layer discovery and visualization, user interface development, data querying, and geoprocessing.

    GEOG 863 is a required course in the Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program in Geospatial Programming and Web Map Development, and an elective course in the Postbaccalaureate Certificate Program in GIS and the Master of Geographic Information Systems (MGIS) degree program.