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From GPS and Google Maps to Spatial Computing

Curious about spatial computing? Or more than curious?

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Course logo

This course from the University of Minnesota via Coursera delves into spatial computing for geographic information systems (GIS). Now that might seem heavy going but the course caters for three different goals of participants;

  • Curiosity – learn about one or two spatial concepts of interest to you
  • Concepts – learn about spatial concepts but not get involved in programming or statistics
  • Technical – the lot!

Why might this course interest you?

If, like me, you use data from various sources then you will doubtless have run into issues ranging from data formats to co-ordinate systems to projections to …. So you might want more than a passing knowledge of what you are dealing with.

I am hopeful the Curiosity track will increase my knowledge of co-ordinate systems and projections so I can bother Russell Rigby a little less. And if I can get through at least some of the Concepts track maybe I will further broaden my knowledge of ESRI Shape files and the like as I use them in nearly every map I produce.

This course introduces concepts, algorithms, programming, theory and design of spatial computing technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), Google Maps, location-based services and geographic information systems. Learn how to collect, analyze, and visualize your own spatial datasets while avoiding common pitfalls and building better location-aware technologies.

Best of all…

It is free unless you specifically want a certificate of attainment.

You will find out that egocentric maps exist but they are not necessarily your maps ๐Ÿ™‚ And did you know orienteering maps are allocentric?

Sign up here. But be warned, it does take a fair bit of time and commitment. 8 weeks of 4-10 hours per week. However I understand you have until Christmas to complete it.





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World War 1 and Detailed Maps

Newcastle 1913 topo

British Forces, aerial photography and more in WW1 …

“British surveyors made a crucial contribution during World War Iโ€”an accurate map of the battlefield”

writes Jeffrey S. Murray. His article highlights even more surprising advances in that short 4 year period. Continue reading World War 1 and Detailed Maps

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Online Mapping Course Returns

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

This free online course is back again.

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.

Continue reading Online Mapping Course Returns

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OCAD HQ Starts Blogging


OCAD better informs us

The ‘new’ OCAD AG (hq) blog is a welcome addition to their information services. Complementary to our Australasian oriented blog, their news will better cover new features and re-learnings of OCAD.

OCAD 11 users, from version 11.3.14 (1809) you will get new blog entries displayed when you start up OCAD. You can turn this off in Options | OCAD Preferences | General. Users of earlier versions can subscribe via RSS under the Meta heading bottom right column of the blog.

Flavour of blog posts to come

These topics to date indicate the type of information in future posts to this blog;

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The latter may appeal for checking control sites on a GPS enabled smart phone. However, if under any tree cover and your phone is anything like my HTC Desire S , I would continue using a handheld GPS for that purpose ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Learning about Geography & Geospatial

A MOOC from Penn State

Last week I started Maps & Geospatial Revolution, a Massive Open Online Course from CourseRA. CourseRA delivers varied free courses for universities around the world.

It is a 5 week course. Given the first week took only a couple of hours, you could easily catch up. The quality of the course in both content and execution is so far excellent.

So if you want to learn more about maps and geography within the geospatial revolution then enrol now at CourseRA.