Getting Started

Open Geography Education “is dedicated to providing free, open curriculum and resources to anybody who is interested in our geographic world.” The textbooks available at the site have been published on the Pressbooks platform and have gone through an editing and peer review process.

Open Books

  • Community Resilience to Climate Change: Theory, Research and Practice
    This book is “meant to accompany a graduate or higher-level undergraduate university course in climate change resilience, adaptation, and/or planning. While the material is geared toward students in urban and regional planning, it may also be of interest to students of urban studies, public health, geography, political science, sociology, risk management, and others.”
  • Essentials of Geographic Information Systems
    This book “integrates key concepts behind the technology with practical concerns and real-world applications. Recognizing that many potential GIS users are nonspecialists or may only need a few maps, this book is designed to be accessible, pragmatic, and concise.”
  • Human Geography
    “If you are interested in how humans interact with the environment and how human systems are geographically distributed over space, then you’ve found your place.”
  • Introduction to Human Geography – 2nd Edition
    “Geography is a diverse discipline that has some sort of connection to most every other academic discipline. This connection is the spatial perspective, which essentially means if a phenomenon can be mapped, it has some kind of relationship to geography. Studying the entire world is a fascinating subject, and geographical knowledge is fundamental to a competent understanding of our world.”
  • Mapping, Society, and Technology
    “This book is about how to read, use, and create maps. Our exploration of maps will be informed by a contextual understanding of how maps reflect the relationship between society and technology, and how mapping is an essential form of scientific and artistic inquiry. We will also explore how mapping is used to address a variety of societal issues, such as land use planning and political gerrymandering.”
  • Physical Geography
    This open textbook covers a variety of introductory geography topics, including Earth’s grid system, rivers, oceans, deserts, basic geology, and cartography.
  • Urban Literacy: Learning to Read the City Around You
    “The purpose of this book is to provide you with the background you need so you can read the stories in the city around you. This book is designed to introduce you to some basic concepts and theories about how cities function and develop. The book is organized into thematic chapters that highlight different aspects of urban life, from the environment to culture to housing.”
  • World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization
    This book “is designed for students to experience and study as much of the world as possible within a limited amount of time. It gives students the fundamental concepts and the latest data regarding world places in a concise, easy-to-read format.”
  • World Regional Geography
    “Rather than present students with a broad, novice-level introduction to geography, emphasizing places and vocabulary terms, this text approaches geography as experts understand the discipline, focusing on connections and an in-depth understanding of core themes. This thematic approach, informed by pedagogical research, provides students with an introduction to thinking geographically.”

Additional Open and Zero-Cost Resources

  • Environment and Society in a Changing World
    This course is “Penn State’s introductory course to nature-society geography. In addition to examining the linkages between human development and natural hazards, this course will also explore human society’s connection to food systems, climate change, urbanization and biodiversity. The course will also cover topics of ethics and decision making in order to help students evaluate the tradeoffs of these interconnections.”
  • Human Use of the Environment
    This course from Penn State is “focused around understanding the changing relationships between people and their environments, the causes and consequences of environmental degradation, strategies for building a more sustainable world, and the methods and approaches that scholars have used to understand human-environment interactions.”
  • If It Were My Home
    “ is your gateway to understanding life outside your home. Use our country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another. Start by selecting a region to compare on the map to the right, and begin your exploration.”
  • Individual Choices, Collective Impacts
    “This is a group of assignments developed for GEO 100: Introduction to Geography at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD. There are three activities that work together to help students assess the connections between ecological destruction and modern forms of slavery in the context of their own everyday lives. Although not addressed in the materials, it should be noted that individual choices only go so far, and that the discourse of ‘consumer choice’ can oftentimes serve as a distraction from the broader structural reforms necessary to fully and effectively address climate change.”
  • Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America
    “Mapping Inequality opens the HOLC files at the National Archives to scholars, students, and residents and policy leaders in local communities. This site makes the well-known security maps of HOLC available in digital form, as well as the data and textual assessments of the area descriptions that were created to go with the maps.”
  • National Geologic Map Database
    “Developing a distributed archive of standardized geoscience information for the nation.”
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