Geog 1502: Mapping Our World

Course overview

In Mapping Our World, we learn about maps and other spatial technologies like phones, drones, and GPS . We use professional web-based tools to make maps for class, jobs, and fun. Along the way, we see how mapping is a way to see interactions between technology and society, and see how spatial technology saves lives, rigs elections, and spies on you and everyone else.

Key features

  • The course is fully online and uses readings, lectures, activities, and labs.
  • All materials are free, including an online textbook, labs, and professional mapping tools that you can use in courses, your job, or for fun.
  • The course is worth three credits and there are no prerequisites.
  • Help is available via office hours every weekday.
  • Fulfills TWO Liberal Education (LE) requirements, the Social Sciences Core and the Society and Technology Theme.

Grading, format, and workload

Grading. We focus on participation via activities, labs, and two online exams:

  • 20% Class participation through activities
  • 50% Online labs with web-mapping and other technologies
  • 30% Exams (online, open-book, and multiple choice)

Class Format. All parts of the class are online:

  • 30% Lecture and other material
  • 20% Discussion
  • 20% Small group activities
  • 30% Mapping labs

Workload. In addition to lectures, discussion, activities, and labs noted above, the course involves:

Quick links



Summer 2020 Syllabus | Canvas site

Fall 2020 Syllabus | Canvas site

Free text: Mapping, Society, and Technology

Free mapping software: SocialExplorer