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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - Cartography and Geovisualization

Combine your interests in art, design, science and technology.

An Asian woman wearing glasses works at a computer station and examines GIS data.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year

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In this program you'll create professional, dynamic visualizations and maps using the latest geospatial technologies in GIS, data analytics and graphics applications to support industry decisions. You'll learn to visually communicate a story by researching, preparing and applying cartographic design practices to a variety of datasets. Throughout the program you'll connect with industry partners, clients and professional associations.

You learn how to:

  • Create and construct engaging data geovisualizations
  • Develop 3D visualizations and interactive maps for online and mobile applications
  • Use cartographic design, typography and symbolization
  • Design map and visualization production for both print and digital platforms

NSCC students have been recognized by the Canadian Cartographic Association, CaGIS, Canadian Geographic, NACIS and National Geographic for excellence in cartography.

This program is offered at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS), Canada's largest geomatics-focused learning environment, and prepares you for a career in the global geomatics sector.

Work experience

  • CART Lab is a work term credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • The work term is typically unpaid and lasts approximately 5 weeks.
    • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work term are your responsibility.

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC's Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) provides a focused approach to geomatics training. COGS has earned a strong reputation among employers and geomatics professionals for the quality of the programs, hands-on training and practical learning provided to students.
  • Small class sizes provide you with lots of opportunities for one-on-one interaction and support.
  • You use the most up-to-date equipment and software and get the hands-on training that makes COGS graduates the preferred choice of employers.
  • You are supported by expert faculty who bring strong industry connections and years of experience to the classroom.

Other info

  • Important abilities and skills – good colour and stereoscopic vision are physical requirements of a successful cartographer. Weaknesses in either may restrict your opportunities in this line of work.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

2022-23 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2022

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Annapolis Valley Campus -- Full time Online – Synchronous Online – SynchronousDelivered fully online with both non-scheduled and scheduled classes. Seats available

Admission requirements

  • Certificate, diploma or undergraduate degree in a related field of study such as archaeology, geography, geographic information systems (GIS), forestry, geology, resource management, urban planning, science, engineering, computer science, marketing, fine arts, graphic design, commerce, economics or business administration.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


2022-23 tuition will be announced in the late Spring once approved by the government of Nova Scotia. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. Amounts below were for the 2021-22 academic year.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • You're qualified to work in any sector that requires work with Geographic Information Systems and a has need for data visualizations, including environment, energy and mines, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, health, transportation, tourism, recreation, real estate, journalism, IT, graphic design, academia, publishing, research, municipal, provincial and federal government offices.
  • Our graduates work in Nova Scotia and around the world in a variety of mapping industries. A significant number of graduates have gone on to find successful careers as independent consultants.

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