New Online Digital Mapping Program at Kentucky

July 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm  •  Posted in Education, Geography by  •  2 Comments

For blog readers considering an online GIS certificate or graduate degree, there’s a new program at the University of Kentucky worthy of consideration.

Kentucky has become one of the most innovative Geography Departments in the US thanks in part to the pioneering work of Professor Matthew Zook and his devoted Floating Sheep research colleagues. They have successfully used open source mapping and web scraping technologies to develop interactive digital maps shedding new light on salient topics such as racism, religion, abortion and the price of marijuana.

Kentucky’s new program provides an opportunity to learn these techniques directly from the masters. If this sounds good, check out the New Maps Plus program. The curriculum looks excellent (except for MAP 701 and MAP 719 which will feel like cult indoctrination or Sunday school with an alien vocabulary), similar to what’s offered at USC’s Spatial Sciences Institute, and part of a new breed of graduate programs focused more on the analysis of spatial data and less on ArcGIS button sequences. I expect this flavor of geography graduate education to continue growing while University sponsored ESRI software training programs continue down the path toward obsolescence.

The program is in its infancy so there may be hurdles getting off the ground; but, I expect great things to come.


  1. Bob / August 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm / Reply

    Thanks for sharing. My main interest at the moment is in Cartography and this seems like an excellent program for that but my question for you is… if you could only take 3 classes, which ones would you pick and why given my interest in Cartography? I would be a non-degree seeking student doing this. Thanks for your time and I always enjoy reading your posts.


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