Digital Cartography Specialization

Geospatial @ UCLA's two-course specialization in digital cartography teaches participants how to effectively communicate using maps and geographic information.  This specialization is ideal for anyone with basic GIS familiarity who wants to learn best practices for creating publication-quality static maps and interactive Web maps.

Geospatial @ UCLA and UCLA Extension's Specialization in Digital Cartography provides a comprehensive overview of fundamental concepts and techniques related to computer-based GIS mapping (both static maps and interactive Web-based maps), cartographic design, and data visualization principles.  The courses contained within the specialization provide students with practical instruction in a field that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has rated as being one of the most rapidly growing professions in the United States.   In addition to learning essential cartographic design theory and about various forms of maps and their applications, students learn to use geographic information systems (GIS) software to create professional-quality maps and data visualizations that incorporate fundamental cartographic design best practices including proper use of color, symbology, typography, data classification, generalization, and simplification.  Instruction centers upon practical applications of cartographic design techniques using industry-standard software: students learn to (1) create various forms of static maps using ArcGIS for Desktop, (2) develop interactive Web maps and mapping applications using ArcGIS online and Mapbox Studio, and (3) develop data visualization dashboards using Tableau.  Upon completion of this specialization, students will be prepared to create professional-quality static and interactive maps and data visualizations incorporating many forms of geospatial data.

Learning Outcomes

Participants who complete the Digital Cartography specialization will learn:

  • Cartographic design concepts and theory, including representation, generalization, color, typography, and symbology;
  • Practical applications of cartographic design using the industry-standard ArcGIS software platform;
  • Applications of Web mapping technologies to facilitate the development of interactive and intuitive Web maps.

Required Courses