Program Dates, Times & Details

Session Dates

Session I: July 6 – 31, 2020
Duration: 4 weeks
Live (Synchronous) Session Times: Mondays, 6:30 – 8 p.m. EST
Cost: $344
Course Number: 72723

Dates & Deadlines  Registration Information

Course Description:

Spatial thinking and technologies infuse every aspect of our lives today, both mundane (tracked packages, navigation apps, social media) and exceptional (drone strikes, natural disaster responses, election results). But how do these technologies work? What is GPS? How is it possible to map the entire world on a machine that fits in our pockets? And what effects does our reliance on these spatial mapping technologies create?

Mapping Today: Spatial Thinking and COVID-19 asks these questions amid a profound spatial crisis, the coronavirus pandemic. In this course we investigate the ways spatial thinking and tools change how we understand the world, and how we can use them to combat today’s most wicked problems. The course therefore offers students an introduction to contemporary mapping and spatial analysis as key technologies driving global developments, and does so by using the ongoing pandemic as a course-length case study. Each week requires students engage with online lectures and discussions; multiple readings, assignments, and computer-based exercises; guest lectures and film screenings; and a synchronous seminar meeting.

Program & Technology Requirements

Required Technology

  • Reliable internet access
  • Minimally, a laptop with webcam and audio. (Best would be a monitor connected to laptop or desktop)


Jesse Swann Quinn

Jesse Swann-Quinn is an instructor in the Department of Geography and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he also received his PhD in 2019. His dissertation work focused on the political geographies and ecologies of the former Soviet Union’s extractive industries. His research interests also include deep-sea mining; territorial conflict; cultural geography; urban environments; animal studies; and public/digital humanities, including documentary film production This last interest led Jesse to spend five years producing Emmy award-winning natural history documentary films for National Geographic after completing his undergraduate studies. He has won multiple competitive grants and awards, including a Public Humanities Fellowship at the NY Council for the Humanities, funding from the Association of American Geographers and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus, and a National Geographic Society Geography Internship. Jesse is originally from the greater Syracuse area and loves spending time with his family and dogs exploring upstate New York all year round.

See Jesse’s Personal Website here: