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GIS Skills and Mapping

Code: GISM01
Apply this course towards: Mapping with Drones

Course description

Join us in the abundant world of data with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This course focuses on the fundamentals of GIS for in-field employment, and future courses like Mapping with Drones! It is designed for those with little or no prior experience in geomatics. Gain hands-on experience working with spatial data in open-source software – QGIS, Google Earth and Gaia App. Create custom maps with open data, GPS recorded locations and digitized geographic features. Learn to classify landscape characteristics from satellite imagery and answer complex human and environment questions with vector and raster overlay analysis. You will leave this course confident in your ability to quantify and visualize spatial data trends for industry, government and business applications.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • use open source QGIS, Google Earth, and Gaia App software to answer pressing questions about human behaviour, climate, and infrastructure impacts
  • explore, symbolize, align and project vector and vaster data
  • digitize geographic features to create custom maps with cartographic elements
  • collect, edit and integrate secondary data into GeoDatabase systems
  • answer proximity questions with query, buffer, join and overlay tools
  • perform supervised classification of landscapes with satellite imagery
  • use raster analysis to summarize spatial patterns in data with zonal statistics, overlay and reclassify tools

Software and computer requirements

This program will use a variety of open geospatial software including: QGIS, Google Earth and Gaia App. Specific software instructions will be provided upon registration to the course. Therefore, software should not be downloaded prior to that time.

Please note: This course has been developed using a windows operating system. Adaptions have been made within some modules for Mac users as required.  All course modules are compatible for Mac users but may depict some style differences to those found for PC users (i.e. menus and file saving directions).

The minimum hardware requirements are listed below. These requirements have been tested and enable a student to process data and complete assignments in a reasonable amount of time. The hardware specified is not meant to represent the hardware necessary for commercial drone work. 

Minimum Hardware / Software Windows 

  • Windows 8 or newer
  • 8th Generation Intel i5 or higher processor with 8GB of RAM*, but you’ll be happiest with 16GB or more. 
  • 20GB free disk space

*Note: Additional RAM, an SSD hard drive, and newer generation processors will process datasets more rapidly.

Minimum Hardware / Software macOS 

  • macOS 11 or newer
  • Mac hardware produced 2010 or later that supports virtualization
  • 20GB free disk space
  • 8GB of RAM*, but you’ll be happiest with 16GB or more.

*Note: Additional RAM, an SSD hard drive, and newer generation processors will process datasets more rapidly. 

  • iPad or iPhone - minimum IOS 13

Registration details

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Info you should know:

Continuing Studies statement on use of educational technology

This course may use education technology such as internet-based applications or cloud services. In order to complete this course you may be required to either consent to the disclosure of your personal information outside of Canada to enable use of these technologies, or work with the Division of Continuing Studies to explore other privacy protective options (such as using an alias or nickname).