Research in Geographic Information Sciences at Penn State includes topics concerning:

• cartography,

• geovisual analytics,

• representation,

• ontologies and GeoSemantics,

• (geographic) information retrieval,

• qualitative and quantitative methods,

• spatial cognition,

• human factors,

• remote sensing,

• GeoInformatics, and

• education.

Research Centers in GIScience

The GeoVISTA Center (the Geographic Visualization Science, Technology, and Applications Center) is devoted to fundamental and applied scientific research on the visualization of geo-referenced information, development of geographic visualization (GVis) technologies, and the application of both in science, industry, decision-making, and education. 

The ChoroPhronesis lab
is a research unit within Penn State’s Department of Geography and associated with the GeoVISTA Center. The focus of our research, education, and outreach is on space/environments and how humans think about them, interact with them, represent them, and change them. We cover research on basic questions of human categorization and conceptualization as well as advanced geospatial technologies from 3D modeling to Virtual Realities. The term ChoroPhronesis is a combination of Choro and Phronesis. Choro is the Greek term for space; Phronesis is the Greek word for wisdom or intelligence.

The Peter R. Gould Center supports the University's mission of instruction, research, and service through excellence in cartography. 

The GeoInformatics and Earth Observation Laboratory
develops GeoInformatics algorithms to analyze remote sensing big data.

Online Geospatial Education

In collaboration with the Dutton e-Education Institute and the World Campus , The Department of Geography has offered instructor-led online education for current and aspiring geographic information systems professionals since 1999. Three programs are offered:

  • Postbaccalaureate Certificate in GIS (CPGIS - 11 credits)
  • Graduate Certificate and Option in Geospatial Intelligence (GeoIntel - 13 credits)
  • Master of GIS degree program (MGIS - 35 credits)

Prospective Students: For more information

Current Students and Faculty: Visit the online program office