GEOG 885
Advanced Analytic Methods for the GEOINT Professional

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New to GEOG 885?

Registered students should begin with the Course Orientation, located in the menu above. Please complete the orientation by they beginning of Lesson One.

Not registered? Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback and earn academic credit. Information about registering for this course and about the online Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence Program is available at

Quick Facts about GEOG 885

Instructor portraits
Instructors (left to right) Mr. Steve Handwerk, Mr. David Jimenez, Dr. Gregory Thomas.                                      


The traditional approach to geospatial analysis is the intuitive technique. In order to improve analysis, relatively uncomplicated methods exist to help intelligence analysts structure their analysis. These structured methods, which can be applied to a broad range of problems, provide a scientific-like and demonstrable approach to analysis that can enhance the intelligence analyst objectivity. Structured methodologies do not replace the subjective insight of the intelligence analyst. Instead, the intent is to use a logical framework to illustrate and capitalize on intuition, experience, and judgment. A structured methodology provides a traceable and repeatable means to reach a conclusion. Significant for us, structured methods have significant value in that they can be taught. Structured methodologies are severely neglected in the geospatial realm. This course teaches the theory and practice behind a structured analytic method designed for geospatial intelligence, with particular emphasis given to selecting and applying appropriate analysis techniques to create and test hypotheses. Students will assess the various connotative biases and spatial fallacies that interfere with sound spatial thinking. Students also appraise basic analysis techniques including imagination, diagnostic, and challenging & reframing.

Learning Environment

This Web site 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. In addition, Canvas, Penn State's course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course, as well as to provide the primary communications, calendaring, and submission tools for the course.