Geographic Information Systems - Cartographic Specialist Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Accepting Applications for September 2018

Credential: Ontario College Graduate Certificate ( 3 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 04, 2018
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
$2,826.87 per semester*
$8,283.45 per semester*
* Tuition and fees subject to change.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 1

Units/ Hours: 45

This course presents principles and techniques of database design and processing in a GIS environment. Lab exercises and project work provide opportunities for students to develop skills in designing, implementing and managing databases using industry standard software such as Microsoft Access, Oracle and ESRI's Geodatabase. Structured Query Language will be used to build databases and manipulate data in preparation for future work in data processing, GIS analysis, and cartographic presentation.

GEOM 104
Units/ Hours: 21

Geodesy is the science related to the determination of the size and shape of the earth. Due to the curvature of the earth, geodetic principles must be applied to small scale maps covering large areas. Students will develop an increased awareness of this foundation science and the issues involved in measuring and mapping the earth, such as applying appropriate map projections and coordinate systems.

GEOM 102
Units/ Hours: 45

This course will engage students in the exploration of the cartographic communication process. Effective geographical display is dependent upon the decisions involved in its design, such as colour, symbology, and typography in map making. Students will also be introduced to concepts and processes that are central to cartography, enabling the student to build a cartographic foundation for subsequent studies. Industry standard, graphic design software will be used to create various paper products and screen images.

Units/ Hours: 60

Geomatics software systems include programming capabilities to enable technical users to build specialised applications to process data and automate repetitive tasks. Using these facilities, a few well placed lines of code can save days of tedium or can accomplish tasks that would otherwise not be feasible. In this course students will prepare to utilise these capabilities by: (1) developing problem solving and algorithm design skills, and (2) implementing solutions in a high-level programming language and (3) designing graphic user interfaces in objected-oriented, event-driven environments. This course also serves as the foundation to the other programming and technical courses in the GIS specialist programs.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides an introduction to the basic interpretation and measurement of physical, biological, and cultural features on remotely sensed imagery. Basic photogrammetry concepts will be examined and practiced in scale determination, height, and measurement. Students will acquire an understanding of basic remote sensing techniques and their application in natural resource disciplines. In lab and field work students will gather control points, register the image to the ground, and compile data from industry standard software. Lab software: PCI Geomatica.

GEOM 103
Units/ Hours: 45

This course will enable students to explore the principles and fundamental concepts and types of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and apply them in projects. Students will be introduced to the five main technical components of a GIS, namely, input, storage, pre-processing, analysis and output using both the raster and vector spatial data models. Hands-on experience, using current software applications is provided through a series of laboratory exercises.

Units/ Hours: 40

Through project work in the field and in lab, students will gain practical experience in equipment use, maintenance and troubleshooting in survey camp. Collected features will be placed in a GIS, adjusted and points positioned by control methods. Students will have hands on experience using Total Stations, Data Loggers, GPS differential corrections and trigonometric leveling for TIN models.

Units/ Hours: 21

Acquiring spatial data and attribute data, in the field, is an important part of mapping and GIS. Once back in the office, this new data must be integrated in an efficient manner. Building on the skill sets associated with measuring for maps and land-type surveys, students will develop methods of placing field data onto existing maps and plans. These collected features will be placed in a GIS/Land Information System and appended to existing digital maps and plans.

GEOM 101
Units/ Hours: 45

This course introduces students to the growing field of distributed geographic information. Principles of web design will be explored using industry standard software, with a focus on issues of accessibility. Various technologies for building dynamic web sites in a client-server environment will be introduced, and students will use client-side programming languages in the development of a website. This course prepares students for the use and customization of web GIS applications in the second semester.

Semester 2

Units/ Hours: 60

The goals of this advanced course are three-fold. First, today's professional airborne digital mapping systems will be reviewed. In so doing, students will be able to use current imaging and GIS software to compile a 3-D map. Second, a thorough analysis of the applications of synthetic aperture radar (SAR - both airborne and from space) will be completed. In understanding that process students will be involved in measuring ground subsidence by means of GPS data densification achieved through SAR imagery and interferometry. Third, the ever increasing utility of the data from the MODIS and ASTER space-borne sensors will be reviewed, and in parallel, students will perform advanced fully-automated, (as well as semi-automated), data extraction.

GEOM 105
Units/ Hours: 21

Environmental Modeling is the science of predicting the behaviour and occurrence of environmental processes and variables. The use of GIS in Environmental Modeling extends this science to the creation of spatial surfaces. Environmental modeling using GIS is being applied to a wide variety of environmental and natural resource applications for decision-making at all levels, and as such is an important tool for the GIS Analyst. This course will provide the fundamental knowledge required to perform environmental modeling using industry standard GIS software. Students create surfaces using a variety of interpolation techniques, will learn the appropriate algorithm to choose for a given scenario, and will create and use 3D surfaces for enhanced visualization. In addition, hydrological surfaces will be created and examined in order to better understand the physical processes which take place in our environment.

Units/ Hours: 21

The skills developed in this course will help students select, design, build, and implement a complex GIS application and/or a cartographic representation in response to an industry defined problem, using a business project management model. The course will assist students in negotiating the complexities of project planning unique to this sector, as well as issues such as client relations, time management and scheduling, data acquisition, negotiating intellectual property rights and copyrights and managing team work and interactions. Project design principles will provide a foundation for the iterative process of planning, establishing schedules, and writing a GIS project proposal. GIS Collaborative Project Planning precedes the GIS Collaborative Project in the final semester, and develops a skill set critical to its success.

GEOM 106
Units/ Hours: 60

The discipline of cartography has long been about the art and science of communicating geospatial information through the incorporation of graphical symbology. Over the past two decades, geographic visualization, also referred to as geovisualization, has emerged to include not only the cartographic domain but also the understanding of the human cognition of information visualization and the inclusion of technology. As within numerous other scientific fields, the use of sophisticated interactive computer technologies has enabled geographers to render greater supporting geospatial data analysis through the use of interactive visualization. Collectively these factors are allowing for more advanced human-map interaction in revealing unknowns through visual communications.

GEOM 108
Units/ Hours: 45

Cities and urban environments are home to the majority of the human population. Municipalities use GIS and mapping technologies for planning efficient and cost effective enhancements to our towns and cities. Topics may include: Automated Mapping and Facilities Management, street mapping, utilities management, tax and property assessment. Students will gain expertise in the successful communication of the spatial interplay of the facilities designed, installed, and maintained by municipalities.

GEOM 107
Units/ Hours: 45

Expanding upon the graphic design foundations built in first semester, this course focuses on the application of design principles within a web site context. Students will explore image creation and manipulation and as well as web site development using established software, with an emphasis on the coherence and effectiveness of visual communication, as opposed to the more technical elements of web-based projects.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course introduces GIS students to the broad possibilities of the single greatest impetus for change in the GIS industry - the Internet. Building on Web Design and Programming in the previous semester, Web GIS Development provides an overview and develops a conceptual understanding of, existing Web-based applications for GIS and the innovations that will affect the shape of the industry's future. Students will create web GIS sites using the built-in capabilities of several of the leading commercial web GIS applications, and will later customize these sites using scripts and programming. Planning and development stages for a GIS website will also be covered, with practical work in accessing, displaying, querying, and analyzing GIS data over the Internet.


Semester 3

Units/ Hours: 210

This course provides the student with an opportunity to finalize the design, development and implementation of a GIS project initiated in the Project Planning course. This team based project will address a variety of GIS issues and use mapping techniques to promote the research, development, testing, and analyzing of real world information in a 'real world' environment. Students will be challenged to assign responsibilities, create and maintain satisfactory working relationships with the client, accept feedback, meet project deadlines, manage the production of deliverables to industry standard, and formally present their findings.

GEOM 110
Units/ Hours: 35

In this course students will examine, in-depth, the principles of how maps work. Over the past decade studies on the role of maps and communication through visualization have invoked considerable discussion and debate. Students will be introduced to scientific research models that define the complexity of geographical visualization as it takes place along a continuum within the visual communication realm. Students will engage in studying and producing map products, which will incorporate complex descriptions of analysis / visual thinking and communication / presentation components.