Skip to main content

GEOG 882 - Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


GEOG 882: Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence. Orientation to the geographic foundations of geospatial intelligence and its applications in national security and disaster management.

GEOG 882 is a required first course in the Certificate Program in Geospatial Intelligence and the Geospatial Intelligence Option in the Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security. The program is designed specifically for current and aspiring geospatial intelligence professionals who are able to study only part-time and at a distance, and is offered exclusively through the World Campus.

Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) leverages geographic information science and technology (including cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing, and global positioning systems) with intelligence tradecraft to develop intelligence products that support national security, disaster response, and international relief efforts.

GEOG 882 is designed to challenge current and aspiring GEOINT professionals to be more than technicians. Students who successfully complete GEOG 882 will appreciate that, while geospatial technologies are useful in revealing "what, who, where, and to some extent how" events are taking place, it is less useful in explaining "why" events occur, or what response is most appropriate. Students will learn that the political, cultural, historical, and economic perspectives of human geography are needed to put GEOINT analyses in context. The course will also challenge students to approach analyses critically, to consider alternative viewpoints and explanations, and to question their own assumptions.


Students who excel in this course are able to:

  • demonstrate the ability, in writing and speech, to apply critical thinking skills;
  • explain the fundamental relevance of human geography to geospatial intelligence analysis;
  • discuss the fundamental concepts of geospatial intelligence in national security and disaster management;
  • critically assess ethical and social justice issues that arise in the application of geospatial intelligence analysis;
  • challenge their own assumptions and consider alternative discourses.

Required Materials

The materials listed here represent those that may be included in this course. Students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.

Lowenthal, Mark M. 2022. Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (9th Edition), Washington DC: CQ Press.


Admission to the Certificate Program in Geospatial Intelligence or the Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security


We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is dependent on your attitude, diligence, and willingness to ask for clarifications or help when you need them. We are here to help you succeed. Please keep up with the class schedule and take advantage of opportunities to communicate with us and with your fellow students. You can expect to spend an average of 10 - 12 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

  • 4 quizzes: 18% of total course grade
  • 3 online certifications: 14% of total course grade
  • 4 discussions: 37% of total course grade
  • 2 papers: 31% of total course grade
  • 1 online certification: extra credit

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1Critical Thinking
  • Critical Thinking Self-Rating Ungraded assessment 
  • Lesson 1 Quiz
2Geography Fundamentals
  • Lesson 2 Discussion
  • Lesson 2 Quiz
3Contemporary Thought
  • Lesson 3 Written Report
4Intelligence Organization and Functions
  • Lesson 4 Quiz
5GIS&T and National Security
  • Lesson 5 Quiz
6GEOINT and National Security
  • Lesson 6 Discussion
7Disaster Management 1
  • Complete 4 online certification courses
    S-230: Fundamentals of Emergency Management
    IS-700: An Introduction to the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
    IS-922: Applications of GIS for Emergency Management
    IS-103: Geospatial Information Systems Specialist (GISS)
8Disaster Management 2
  • Lesson 8 Written Report
9Case Study: Hurricane Katrina
  • Lesson 9 Discussion
10Trends in Geospatial Intelligence
  • Lesson 10 Discussion