Higher Education
 

Niagara College, Ontario

Environment, Media and Technology Division
Xinxia Jiang (James), PhD, Coordinator
135 Taylor Road, SS4
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
(905) 641-2252, extension 4462
E-mail: jjiang@niagaracollege.ca
URL: http://niagaracollege.ca/gis/
GIS-GM Postgraduate Program

Description of Program:

An alternative to the traditional Master's Degree, the Postgraduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allows for the development of an application based skill set that compliments existing experience and expertise within the student's chosen field.

Graduates of the Niagara College Postgraduate GIS program are highly motivated and superbly qualified individuals that are valuable additions to a diverse range of businesses and agencies that employ GIS. Of particular interest are the internship opportunities and the applied GIS thesis projects that form the cornerstone of the program. Students receive invaluable experience with real GIS problems and real clients while completing their postgraduate certificate.

The program is offered as three semesters (15-week, 10-week, and 10-week) that commence in September and end in June. A total of 17 courses delivered via 755 contact hours are required to successfully complete the certificate. As this is an applied certificate, almost all classes are delivered in a 'hands-on' lecture/lab format.

Course Listing

Term One (15 Weeks—September to December)

UNITS
 
GISC9118 Foundations of Mapping and Cartography 3 Credits (3 Hours/Week; 45 Hours Total)
GISC9231 Introduction to Remote Sensing 3 Credits (3 Hours/Week; 45 Hours Total)
GISC9301 ArcGIS Applications 3 Credits (3 Hours/Week; 45 Hours Total)
GISC9302 GIS as a Profession/Thesis Planning 3 Credits (3 Hours/Week; 45 Hours Total)
GISC9303 GIS Database and Data Warehouse Concepts 3 Credits (3 Hours/Week; 45 Hours Total)
GISC9304 GIS Systems and Programming 3 Credits (3 Hours/Week; 45 Hours Total)
GISC9314 Surveying and Geospatial Data Development 3 Credits (3 Hours/Week; 45 Hours Total)
 
Term Two (10 Weeks—January to March) UNITS
 
GISC9216 Digital Image Processing 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
GISC9305 CAD and GIS 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
GISC9307 Programming ArcObjects with VBA 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
GISC9308 Spatial Analysis and Spatial Statistics 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
GISC9309 Thesis Project Development (Field Placement) 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
GISC9311 Geodatabases 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
 
Term Three (10 Weeks—April to June) UNITS
 
GISC9306 Geospatial Applications 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
GISC9310 Applied GIS Thesis (Field Placement) 6 Credits (8 Hours/Week; 80 Hours Total)
GISC9312 Geospatial Models in Visualization 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
GISC9313 Internet GIS Applications 3 Credits (4 Hours/Week; 40 Hours Total)
 
TOTAL UNITS 54 Credits (755 Hours Total)
 
Electives List  
 
None 0 Credits
 

Description of Courses

GISC9118
Foundations of Mapping and Cartography
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course provides the student with a working knowledge of fundamental concepts of space, data and transformation as they apply to mapping, GIS and related fields. Lecture topics include the figure of the earth, coordinate systems, concepts of scale, map projections, map generalization, map design, colour theory, geographic data, relational databases, class intervals and statistical mapping. Labs provide formal training in MapInfo Professional, Manifold, AutoCAD, and ArcGIS, experience in cartographic presentation, and an overview of the capabilities of vector GIS. Map making and map production are also emphasized.

GISC9231
Introduction to Remote Sensing
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course gives an overview of the theory and practice of remotely sensed imageries. Exercises provide experience in the interpretation and analysis of a variety of image types obtained from aircraft and satellites, especially panchromatic and colour airphotos, multispectral scanner images, thermograms and radar images. Traditional analog methods are emphasized, but digital methods (using Erdas Imagine) are also covered. Readings provide insight into remote sensing applications.

GISC9301
ArcGIS Applications
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course provides intensive 'hands-on' exercises on the use of Esri's ArcGIS-ArcInfo from introductory to advanced levels. The three views of GIS (geodatabase, geovisualization, and geoprocessing) will be thoroughly covered using ArcCatalog, ArcMap, and ArcToolbox. Students learn fundamental GIS concepts and become familiar with a wide range of GIS functionalities available in ArcGIS, from simple to advanced, including map making and production, geodatabase creating and editing, geographic analysis, data editing and compilation, geocoding, metadata management, geoprocessing using tools, the conventional Command Line windows, and ModelBuilder. Students are also given the opportunity to customize, extend, and automate geoprocessing functionalities using Python scripts.

GISC9302
GIS as a Profession/Thesis Planning
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course serves as an introduction to professionalism in the business of GIS and Geomatics, and focuses on the planning, management and delivery of GIS projects for clients within budgetary and temporal constraints. Professional standards for communication and documentation are introduced at the beginning of the course. An overview of the GIS profession follows (public and private sectors). The principles of project management are explored, while the application of these principles is combined with appropriate skills to bring a GIS project from conceptualization through to completion. As the theoretical aspects of project management are demonstrated to the student, skill sets will be developed in a 'hands-on' manner. Students are expected to make formal presentations of project proposals to peers, faculty and/or GIS clients.

GISC9303
GIS Database and Data Warehouse Concepts
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course covers fundamental principles of relational database management systems (RDBMS) in a Geographic Information Systems context; provides practical guidelines for students to design, plan, develop and implement optimized geospatial databases; enhance students' ability to work with and manipulate geospatial databases in desktop and client-server environments. Microsoft Access 2003 is used to introduce RDBMS basic concepts and operations, such as storing, organizing/relating, retrieving/querying and reporting information in a file based database. Students are introduced to Structured Query Language (SQL) using Microsoft SQL Server 2000, including creation, population, query and manipulation of databases and tables in a client-server environment. The basic ArcSDE administration and theory for SQL Server are also examined. The student is acquainted with installing and configuring the SQL Server for ArcSDE, managing storage and loading geospatial data in ArcSDE. The student is also introduced to the customized database application development using Visual Basic for Applications in Microsoft Access.

GISC9304
GIS Systems and Programming
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course starts with the introduction to computer and client-server network architecture. Students are then introduced to HTML using Microsoft FrontPage 2003 to create a professional web site. This course systematically introduces the Object-Oriented Approach (OO Analysis, OO Design, and OO Programming) to solve real-world GIS problems using Microsoft Visual Studio 2003. Emphasis is given to OO programming, XML and ADO .NET. Fundamentals and use of XML in different commercial software are introduced to reflect the power and popularity of XML in today's data formatting and transforming. The connection to and manipulation of the OleDatabase, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Esri's ArcSDE will be emphasized in ADO .NET. The course also introduces Esri's MapObjects, enabling students to develop customized GIS solutions and distributed GIServices. ASP.NET is introduced as well.

GISC9314
Surveying and Geospatial Data Development
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
The course provides the student with a working knowledge of the principles and practice of surveying, and an introduction to survey-related hardware and software. Labs involve fieldwork using techniques ranging from conventional compasses to Total Stations and Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS). Structured training is provided on Esri's Survey Analyst and AutoDesk Survey. Students are given an overview that will allow for an understanding of the roles that legal (cadastral) surveys play with respect to GIS (GIM) applications. Such issues are discussed within the context of professional survey licensing requirements versus non-licensed surveys (topographic, scientific research, etc.)

GISC9216
Digital Image Processing
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC9231 Introduction to Remote Sensing
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course provides an extensive examination of digital image processing. The student is given 'hands-on' experience with image interpretation and analysis, image enhancement, classifications and Principle Component Analysis. The student is introduced to image processing techniques using different satellite image types (Landsat, Quickbird, Ikonos, etc.). Image analysis applications are undertaken using Leica Geosystems ERDAS Imagine.

GISC9305
CAD and GIS
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC 9301 ArcGIS Applications
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course focuses on the integration between Esri's ArcGIS and Autodesk's AutoCAD and provides students the opportunity to explore the similarities between CAD and GIS tools; to identify the strengths of each toolset; and to demonstrate practical methods to use CAD and GIS together to solve real-world problems. Sample problems using real-world data will be worked through by the student to allow for a "hands-on" learning experience. The basics of the display, query, manipulation, presentation and work flow of the same geospatial data in both environments are explored. Focuses will be given on creating data in one system and utilizing it in another - data created in CAD is used in GIS or data created in GIS is used within CAD. Techniques for analyzing geospatial data, converting data in CAD, GIS, and other formats for delivery to others, will also be explored. Software used in this include: AutoCAD Map, AutoCAD Raster Design and ArcGIS with extensions./p>

GISC9307
Programming ArcObjects with VBA
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC9304 GIS Systems and Programming
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
In this course students learn the fundamentals of extending existing GIS functionalities and customizing GIS applications using VBA (Visual Basic for Application) through intensive 'hands-on' exercises. The course emphasizes understanding the basic concepts of ArcObjects architecture, Object-Oriented, Component Object Model (COM) and Interface-based programming, especially the understanding ArcObjects Model Diagrams navigation. Students will also learn the powerful PythonScripting language to automate and customize the geoprocessing tasks, from simple to advanced levels.

GISC9308
Spatial Analysis and Spatial Statistics
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC 9301 ArcGIS Applications
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course provides a detailed examination of, and 'hands-on' exercises on common spatial analytical tools available in ArcGIS and its variety of extensions. Fundamental statistics concepts, including descriptive and inferential statistics, sampling, interpolation, and extrapolation theories, will be reviewed. Spatial analysis such as measurements and layer operations will be explored using ArcGIS-ArcInfo. Emphasis will be given to the point/line/polygon pattern analysis, network and surface analysis. Geospatial modeling will be introduced. Spatial analyses and spatial statistics are undertaken using ArcGIS with its extensions, including Spatial Analyst, Geostatistical Analyst, Network Analyst, and ModelBuilder.

GISC9309
Thesis Project Development
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC9302 GIS as a Profession/Thesis Planning
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
A continuation of the first semesters GIS as a Profession/Thesis Planning course. The course provides students with the opportunity to apply advanced GIS planning/analytical technology to and fine-tune the GIS project proposal established during the first semester. Systematic and practical methods of designing, planning, developing and implementing a GIS project will be introduced. The emphasis of the course is given to the establishment of a practical solution to the real-world problem, in self-directed fashion, including communication with clients, data acquisition, data preprocessing, data manipulation, geodatabase creation, data analysis, and project progress presentation. Students will have the opportunity to make formal presentations of their project proposal and project progresses to peers, faculty and/or GIS clients. Course is developed as an actual consulting project with an industry, government or NGO client.

GISC9311
Geodatabases
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC9303 GIS Database and Data Warehouse Concepts
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course covers geo-database basic concepts, current industrial implementations, and hands-on experience in practicing topics covered in the class. It also provides guidelines, labs, and exercises in designing, implementing, and utilizing geo-databases with focus on Esri ArcSDE technology. There are two setups in the classroom environment: 1) ArcSDE with SQL Server 2005 Enterprise; 2) ArcSDE with SQL Server 2005 Express. The former is installed on the database server and is used for enterprise geo-database practices, while the latter is installed on each student's machine and is used for server side configuration, implementation, and administration.

GISC9306
Geospatial Applications
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC9302 GIS as a Profession/Thesis Planning
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
This course enhances the student's previously acquired GIS/GIM skills and knowledge by exposing the student to various presentations and projects by practicing professionals in the industry. Students are encouraged to not only explore the techniques and technologies used but to question the role that the presenting professionals play in the context of the GIS/GIM business model.

GISC9310
Applied GIS Thesis
6 Credits

PREREQUISITE: None
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
A continuation of the first two semesters' GIS as a Profession and Thesis Planning and Thesis Project Development courses. The student will use formalized Project Management (PM) strategies to initiate, track and successfully close the GIS project. This course gives the student the opportunity to fine tune what they accomplished, including independently planning, designing, conducting, presenting, and implementing a GIS project to solve 'real world' problems, under faculty's one-on-one supervision. It is expected that the student will successfully accomplish the GIS project for a client external to Niagara College, or as a 'consultant' for a research issue identified by college staff. Acting as professional GIS consultants, students will formally deliver their final projects and present their achievements, findings, and recommendations to the client and public. This course is very important in determining the success of this one-year long applied GIS project. This course is developed as an actual consulting project with an industry, government or NGO client.

GISC9312
Geospatial Models in Visualization
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC9115 Introduction to ArcGIS, GISC9308 Spatial Analysis and Spatial Statistics
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
The course seeks to develop an understanding of the cognitive processes of geospatial knowledge acquisition and examines current visualization techniques for geospatial data. Cartographic and Graphic theories are explored to develop an appreciation of effective map-making with an emphasis on 3D thematic mapping. The course also covers multimedia mapping, map animation, electronic atlases, visualizing uncertainty and the development of 3D and virtual GIS using variety of software, including Esri's Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst (ArcGlobe), Terragen, AutoDesk Map3D, Google Earth/Sketch-Up. New technologies such as LIDAR are explored for their role in Virtual Reality based advanced visualizations and DEM creation/analyses.

GISC9313
Internet GIS Applications
3 Credits

PREREQUISITE: GISC9304 GIS Systems and Programming, GISC9311 Geodatabases
DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATION(S): None
LECTURE: 1 hour/week
LABORATORY: 2 hours/week
An introduction to networking, HTML and JavaScript provides the backdrop to developing a broader understanding of thick/thin GIS applications and therefore Internet GIServices. A variety of client and server Internet GIS applications are presented with project work designed to apply 'Web Mapping' to actual applications. Fundamentals of Web application planning and development, XML, and GML will be introduced. Students learn how to plan, develop, customize, and implement a Web map, with different GIS functionalities, on the Intranets or the Internet using Esri's ArcIMS. Some other Web mapping tools (Intergraph's GeoMedia WebMap, AutoDesk's MapGuide, Manifold's IMS, and open-source Web Map Server) will also be introduced.

Electives Course List

None Required

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