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Online Geography Courses Overview

Geography courses teach students about the surface of planet Earth. Students learn how Earth's natural systems interact and examine the movements and actions of people over Earth's surface. Students can also learn how to create mapping information systems.

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Online Courses in Geography

The descriptions below provide an overview of some common online geography courses.

  • Cultural Geography Course: Students review the impact of human development on Earth's landscape. Topics touch on religion, language, society, politics and culture on both a local and global scale.
  • World Geography Course: Students are introduced to regional geographies throughout the world. They explore how uneven development in regions is based on population, climate, cultural and historical progress, resources, trade, landforms and economy.
  • Geographic Information System Course: This course shows how geographically analyzing data allows a better understanding of how human development has shaped the world. It examines how GIS generates data that is used by governments, businesses, science organizations and other industries. Students learn GIS terminology and the application of coordinate systems, map scales, cartographic principles and map projections.
  • Basic Cartography Course: The fundamentals of cartography, including the importance of its use in government, business and education practices, are discussed in this course. Students learn how to use topographic maps and aerial photographs in the building of digital maps.
  • Urban Planning and Transportation Systems Course: This course considers how planners responded to various economic, social, technological and political innovations of the 19th and 20th centuries. Students learn how urban influences drove the design of the world's transportation systems. They also examine and explore ways to address 21st century urban and transportation problems and issues.
  • Science and Geography Course: Students learn about geography as one of Earth's network of natural systems. They investigate how each system responds to changes in the others, such as in the flow and cycles of weather and climate, land, air, oceans, water and natural hazards.
  • Remote Sensing Course: Aerial imaging is used to capture visual information for various disciplines related to geography, including crop and soil science, urban planning and forestry. This course introduces students to the various skills and methods involved in remote sensing, a process used to understand aerial images.
  • Human Geography Course: This class explores humankind's use of the earth. Students will explore how the relationship between humans and the earth affect economic, political and social issues.
  • Geographic Information Technologies Course: Information technologies and their relationship to geography are discussed in this course. This includes GIS, global positioning systems and how these systems inform statistical analyses.

Program Information

Online geography courses are often part of a degree program in geography or urban planning, but they may also be taken by those interested in climatology, demography, cartography or the geographic information system (GIS). Individuals can emphasize studies in physical geography, which deals with landform creation, climates and the distribution of animals and plants, or cultural geography, which focuses on the impact of human development on the political and social organization, language and religion.

Online geography coursework may be delivered through a variety of audio-visual technologies and/or printed materials. Before enrolling in a class, students will want to be sure they know if any specialized software is required. Online discussion boards are a common means of communication among teachers and peers.

There are many options for those interested in taking online courses in geography with topics ranging from urban planning, cartography and world geography. Degree programs in geography are available at the undergraduate and graduate level, and classes may also be available as a part of other programs.

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