GEOSTAT is a non-profit specialized block course (summer school) run by FOSS enthusiasts and developers. The main idea of GEOSTAT is to promote various aspects of statistical analysis of spatial and spatio-temporal data using open source / free GIS tools: RSAGA GISGRASS GISFWTools, Google Earth and similar. GEOSTAT is where statistical computing meets geographical analysis

 Check out in particular the many tutorials and example datasets on this website! It is a great entry point for hands on experience.

… is probably one of the best currently available free books to learn about geostatisitical mapping using R and combine it with GRASS, Google’s kml and other free and open source software.