Free online course “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution”, a MOOC

You surely have heard of “MOOCs” (short for Massive Open Online Course). There are hundreds of classes that one can participate online, by prominent professors from well-known universities. And hundreds, and sometimes hundreds-of-thousands people seem to do it (take these classes). This is an exciting development as it allows people to get a taste of something potentially very expensive*, and likely to be unreachable because of boundaries and other space/time constraints, even if you had the money. If you actually follow through the online courses, you get the whole deal; lecture (you can listen to whenever you want, have the teacher repeat something as many times as you want), the exercises, and classmates (over forums). It’s not the real thing where you have face-to-face interaction, but from certain aspects, it comes pretty close (you just need to have the self-discipline to follow the schedule through ;)).

All that said, this blog is mainly about a new MOOC on maps, by Anthony Robinson, a member of our working group; whom also was with us when we organized the ISPRS workshop last September. Anthony offers a 5-week course (6-9h/week workload) over at coursera, where you can:

    “Learn how advances in geospatial technology and analytical methods have changed how we do everything, and discover how to make maps and analyze geographic patterns using the latest tools.”

Have a look! You may find some of it interesting and useful.

* When I say potentially expensive, I’m thinking of the tuition fees in the US universities. I know of the saying “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance” — but I believe that wasn’t meant for defending commercializing of the education. Many of the European countries still offer free higher education (costs of running a university then is mainly covered by the state, i.e. taxes). I had to urge to look and see what’s the global situation (access to education in relation to costs) but didn’t find a map based on a quick search. Do any of you know such a map/set of maps?

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