Course Description

How can you better visualize the geographic impact of your organization, projects, and global development programs? The use of digital mapping tools is beginning to reshape the way that international development activities are carried out. Government agencies, NGOs, companies, and other actors are beginning to turn to digital maps to draw attention to human rights violations, help communities prepare for natural disasters, visualize social media trends in real-time, monitor election violence, distribute food and other resources more effectively and so much more.

In this course, we will think critically about geospatial data and map production ‘behind the scenes.’ We will also look at case studies and real-world applications of maps created to address issues surrounding social and environmental equity. You’ll be introduced to a number of topics, such as how crowdsourced mapping is improving patient health in Ghana and the way visualizations are shifting US policies.

In this four-week online certificate course, participants will learn practical skills related to all aspects of the map creation process:

(1) How to gather data for your map or work with data that already exists

(2) How to organize and classify data effectively

(3) How to design an aesthetically beautiful digital map

(4) How to maintain the map over time. Some of the platforms and tools we will explore include: CartoDB, OpenStreetMap, GoogleMapMaker, MapBox, Ushahidi, ArcGIS, as well as Palantir and CaerusGeo.


Participants will work with leading experts in the field to explore topics like how to choose the right mapping platform, how to create a narrative or story with a map, how to work with data from the crowd and more. Participants can expect a dynamic learning environment with a number of real-world case studies from countries like Syria and Indonesia, custom animations and video tutorials, interactions with leading experts in the field and practical simulations to apply new skills and strategies.

Check out the syllabus here

Read about a mapping project that alum Mira Gupta started after taking this course.

Course Topics and Featured Tech

  • Map your neighborhood in OpenStreetMap
  • Visualize your data with Google Fusion Tables
  • Decisions on data: OpenStreetMap and Google
  • Make beautiful maps with TileMill and MapBox
  • Track a crisis with Ushahidi

Course Methodology

  • This course is delivered entirely online over a period of four weeks.
  • This course features several live interactive expert presentations each week with leading practitioners, software developers, academics, and donors.
  • Every live event is recorded and archived for you to watch later.
  • This course also features a unique hands-on learning environment with animated videos, technology demos, practical activities, networking events, office hours, participant presentations, immersive simulations, and more.
  • TechChange recommends budgeting a minimum commitment of 5-7 hours per week and scheduling time for the course around your existing obligations.
  • Participants will have access to all course content for at least 4 months after course completion so the material can be completed and revisited later.

Course Price

  • $295 if application and payment is submitted by June 1st
  • $395 if application and payment is submitted by July 15th
  • $445 if application and payment is submitted by course start date
  • Group discount rates available. For more details, please contact us at  social [at]
  • If you are not happy with your course experience for any reason, TechChange is happy to discuss refunds.
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