GEOG 882
Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence

Welcome to GEOG 882!



A good detective or researcher like Sherlock Holmes knows the fundamental questions that need to be answered to gather facts to solve a problem. So how does geospatial intelligence contribute to answering these questions? While geospatial technology is useful in revealing who, what, when, and where events take place, it is less useful in explaining why events occur. or what response is most appropriate. Students in GEOG 882 will learn that the political, cultural, historical, and economic perspectives of human geography are needed to put GEOINT analyses in context. The course will challenge students to approach their analysis critically, to consider alternative viewpoints and explanations, and to question their own assumptions.

Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) leverages geographic information science and technology (including cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing, and global positioning systems) with intelligence tradecraft to develop intelligence products that support national security, disaster response, and international relief efforts.

GEOG 882 is a required course in the Certificate Program in Geospatial Intelligence as well as the Geospatial Intelligence option in the Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security and the Master of GIS.

Learn more about GEOG 882, Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence (1min, 9 sec)

Click here for a transcript of the course introduction video.

GREG THOMAS: Hello, my name is Greg Thomas. I'm an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State and I'd like to introduce you to the course Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence. This course is required for our Geospatial Intelligence certificate programs and also our master’s programs. It's designed to challenge GEOINT practitioners to be more than just technicians. This course discusses the underpinnings of geography and geospatial intelligence, critical geospatial thinking, how geospatial intelligence evolved, and its function in the intelligence community. The class shows how geospatial intelligence has applications not only in the defense and military efforts but also in Homeland Security, disaster management, law enforcement, and other fields. The course challenges students to think critically, consider alternative viewpoints, and question their own assumptions when analyzing why human events occur over place and time. I hope you enjoy studying the geographic foundations of geospatial intelligence.

Credit: © Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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.

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