graduate certificates to master’s and professional master’s programs. There are some 189 GIS degree programs in the United States, and more than 400 community colleges and technical schools offer some form of training in geospatial technologies (e.g., see Table A.5 in Appendix A). In contrast, only a handful of U.S. degree or certificate programs have an explicit focus on geospatial analysis. For example, the University of Pennsylvania offers a master’s in urban spatial analytics and Duke University offers a geospatial analysis certificate. Various aspects of geospatial analysis are also covered in graduate degree programs in statistics, public health, criminology, archeology, urban planning, ecology, industrial engineering, and other areas. For example, statistics programs with a heavy emphasis on spatial statistics include the University of Minnesota (biostatistics), the University of Washington (environmental and biostatistics), and Duke University (environmental and biostatistics). Advanced courses in spatial optimization are offered in the geography program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in geography and industrial engineering programs at Arizona State University, and in various programs at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Connecticut.

Training in GIS and geospatial analysis is also delivered through other channels. Professional certificates or degrees are available from traditional or online university programs, both nonprofit and for-profit. Commercial vendors offer professional training or education, typically in the form of online training modules and in-person training sessions. Perhaps the largest and best known industry training is provided by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), which offers formal technical certification programs that deal with various aspects of GIS and spatial analysis (e.g., desktop, developer, enterprise). Coursework is offered online and in 1- to 4-day instructor-led workshops. After participants pass a test, they are provided with a certificate.

Professional societies (e.g., Association of American Geographers, American Planning Association) sponsor ad hoc training sessions in basic to advanced techniques. These sessions are commonly funded by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation’s Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science, or carried out as part of advanced professional training programs. A number of scholarly conferences include 1- or 2-day short courses or workshops focusing on particular software programs or advanced methods. For example, the GeoStat 2011 conference had a 1-week course on spatial statistics with open-source software.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement