short announcement: ESRI MOOC – the outline

As we already informed here about the new ESRI MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) we also stated, that it is a pitty that there is no schedule available. Due to this there might be a mismatch between people’s expectations and the content of the MOOC. We also got the information that this MOOC is not for the GIS beginners. Long story short: There is a syllabus online. The content is accompanied with video lectures, self-assessment quizzes and case study exercises. The outline of the six-week course is:
  • Section 1: Going Places with Spatial Analysis
    • The value of spatial analysis
  • Section 2: Understanding and Comparing Places
    • Mapping and querying data
    • Descriptive statistics
    • Scale of analysis
    • Projection
  • Section 3: Determining How Places are Related
    • Summarizing to areas
    • Vector overlay
    • Modifiable areal unit problem
    • Normalizing data for choropleth mapping
  • Section 4: Finding the Best Locations and Paths
    • Topology
    • Spatial queries
    • Site suitability
    • Cost paths
  • Section 5: Detecting and Quantifying Patterns
    • Intensity/density surfaces
    • Visualization and classification
    • Spatial autocorrelation
    • Including a temporal dimension
  • Section 6: Making Predictions
    • Spatial interaction
    • Regression
    • Surface analysis
    • Interpolation
To me this looks like a normal curriculum of an introductory GIS course but let’s see how this might be different. Despite this the MOOC concept is great to share knowledge about spatial techniques. More critics goes to the FOSS4GEO QGIS Academy. As far as I have seen there is a comparable “MOOC” offered for learning QGIS but this goes along with some initial costs of at least 25$. I understand that this is just a small amount for the work behind but yet the QGIS community will not be able to catch up with interested people in less and least developed countries to let them get professional in the work with spatial data using open source software. I am still dreaming of a real open source e-learning site with certification for open source GIS techniques:
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