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.