GEOG 865
Cloud and Server GIS

Welcome to Cloud and Server GIS


New to GEOG 865?

Registered students - 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 Syllabus page here and to the orientation material in Canvas.

This Website provides the primary instructional materials and communication channels 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 gradebook for the course.

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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.

Quick Facts about GEOG 865

  • Instructor: Ryan Baxter
  • Course Structure: Online, 10-12 hours a week for 10 weeks
  • Course Authors: Sterling Quinn, Ryan Baxter, and James O'Brien


Theory and practice of cloud and server geographic information systems (GIS).

Geography 865 is an elective course in the Penn State online geospatial education programs. This course teaches students to use cloud and server GIS resources to solve problems for which geospatial data is an integral element. We will evaluate and implement systems using three cloud service models (infrastructure services, platform services, and software services). The course will contain both worked exercises and critical reading and writing for infrastructure, platform, and software service models. 

The course will teach you to set up cloud services for creating maps, cloud services for managing spatial data, and cloud services for processing spatial data. This course will challenge you to exercise the critical thinking and technical skills needed to evaluate and develop successful cloud GIS projects. Assignments focus on helping students improve their ability to write about and execute cloud GIS projects. A semester-long project involves creating a working cloud GIS project, including public presentation of results.

a cloud with rays of sun extending through, backdrop of blue sky
Source: flickr / CC-BY-2.0

This course is offered as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. You are welcome to use and re-use materials that appear in this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.