Are you a visual learner? This program may be right for you. The Geographic Information Systems - Cartographic Specialist program focuses on the art and science of communicating geographic data and information through visualization and maps. Become a proficient GIS practitioner and visual designer - creating a variety of customized, interactive maps and other products for users of geographic information.
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Cartography - known as the art and science of making maps, has come a long way since the efforts of early mapmakers who worked with pen and ink. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allows today's "cartographer" to store geographic data in an organized way, to allow for quick access, correlation, and analysis. By using GIS, cartographers are able to collect, store, and combine data about a given area, subject, or region being researched. GIS helps planners working on environmental, public health, municipal planning, and natural resource projects monitor change, predict trends and manage resources.
While about 80% of the curriculum is shared with the GIS – Application Specialist program, the Cartographic-specific courses in this program include:
In addition to acquiring a firm, hands-on foundation using GIS technology tools and creating effective map compositions, you will have many opportunities for team building, project management, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Since employers are seeking these broad-based transferrable skills, this experience working in technology teams will give you an edge in the workplace.
This three-semester program starts in September with a 15-week semester ending in December, continues in January with another 15-week semester ending in April, and concludes with a seven-week semester starting in May and ending in June.
Graduates of Fleming's cartographic programs have earned a reputation for excellence through their achievements in the workplace, and through cartographic and GIS competitions. Over the years, they have captured 80 American Congress on Surveying and Mapping awards in annual competitions (student category), as well as numerous awards from the Canadian Cartographic Association and the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.
Graduate Meghan Miller is featured in a January 2012 article of GoGeomaticswith an interview describing her experience in the program and her career path since graduation. Meghan now works for Canadian Cartographic Corporation (CCC).
Adam Thom, 2010 program graduate, won the Arthur Robinson Award for Best Printed Map at the 2011 Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) Map Design Competition. The award is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and Avenza-MAPublisher.
Student Nicole Benishek won the Gold Medal for "Best Interactive Online Map" in the Canadian Cartographic Association 2010 Online Mapping Contest.
You'll spend a significant part of your time in the program doing experiential work - putting theory into practice. A co-operative GIS project in the final semester involves cross-disciplinary teams from the GIS Cartographic Specialist and Applications Specialist programs working together on a project for a business, government, or industry client.
While not prerequisites, there are a few skills and abilities that will help you to succeed in this program. These include:
Canadian Business recently published an article on "Canada’s Best Jobs" ranking Mapping Technologist as number 9 on the top 100 jobs list. The article states:
"The explosion of big data and the growing need for location-aware hardware and software has led to a boom in the field of mapping," and concludes that this field is "…poised for growth, with the highest projected demand among the top 20 jobs—predictions suggest there will be 1.59 jobs for every qualified worker by 2022." The median salary is listed as $68,400, and salaries are anticipated to increase with growing demand for skilled employees.
With your GIS-Cartographic Specialist certificate, you will be able to pursue a variety of exciting, responsible positions within GIS and digital mapping environments, such as:
Plan to spend about $1000 for books and supplies.
If you have significant difficulty perceiving distinctions between colours you will experience greater challenges in map-making.
Students applying to Geographic Information Systems – Cartographic Specialist must meet the following requirements:
Latest version of windows running on hardware that meets or exceeds the recommended specifications by ESRI for ArcGIS Pro. The latest recommended and optimal configuration can be found on the ArcGIS Pro system requirements page.
You may be able to use credits obtained at Fleming College to continue your postsecondary education in pursuit of a degree. The articulation and credit transfer agreements with our partner institutions are summarized here.
To apply please see the EducationPlannerBC website.
Visit the Vancouver Island University website for further articulation and program information.
See the official articulation agreement.