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Remote Sensing

Learn how to extract and analyze valuable information from ground, air, and satellite-based systems.

Program Image
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
1 Year
Credential:
Graduate Certificate

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Overview

Since the introduction of GoogleEarth™ in 2005, viewing the earth remotely has become common practice. There is valuable information in imagery that can be extracted and utilized to solve geospatial problems.

In this program, you build upon your foundational geographic information systems (GIS) skills to utilize data from numerous earth observation (EO) systems.

With hands-on experience using industry-standard hardware and software, you learn:

  • to acquire and process imagery, radar and lidar to a professional level.
  • to analyze imagery and 3D elevation data, such as lidar.
  • to model various scenarios using remotely sensed data in conjunction with other geospatial data.
  • programming languages to create scripts for automation of workflows.
  • to leverage data from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), aircraft and satellites to create industry accepted solutions.
  • the importance of using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) to accurately position remotely sensed data.

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.

Other info

  • Safety training – This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • 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.

2021-22 programs

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

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
COGS Lawrencetown Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree or diploma in a related field of study such as archaeology, geography, forestry, geology, resource management, urban planning, science engineering, computer science, marketing, 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.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$5,540
Tuition (International):
$11,690

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

The field of Remote Sensing has multiple applications in forestry, geology, defence/intelligence, disaster management, conservation, oceanography, meteorology, urban analysis and agriculture.

Working in both public and private sectors in North America and beyond, graduates are:

  • operating airborne and terrestrial cameras and lidar systems
  • piloting drones and processing imagery
  • using imagery to monitor heath of agricultural crops, monitor environmental change
  • developing tools for use in GIS
  • tracking environmental changes for use in weather prediction
  • helping natural resource companies find new sources of opportunities

Future study options

  • Take advantage of our joint masters program with Acadia University. Completion of the Advanced Diploma in Remote Sensing is the equivalent of year one in the Master of Science in Applied Geomatics.
  • Continue your studies at university. This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

BUGE 6017 - Advanced Location Analysis
This course introduces the learner to locational and network methods and techniques used in spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to address a broad range of business-related applications. Consideration will be given to the knowledge, skills and processes of system dynamics that impact where a facility should be located. The learner will investigate standard techniques and solution methods for many of the locational problems society faces today.

BUGE 6021 - Data Mining
Data mining (knowledge discovery) is a key computer technology for revealing hidden patterns and trends in databases. Data analytics or Big Data are closely related to data mining. Data mining consists of data preparation, visualization, analysis, verification, and deployment. Students use such data mining modelling techniques as decision trees or neural networks, etc. for prediction, clustering, or finding rules. Practical assignments include combining data mining tools with GIS technology for mapping results of analysis.

BUGE 6027 - Network Analysis
The course focuses on solving the most typical network-related real life problems using GIS. Learners perform such network analysis exercises as finding the closest facility, determining service areas, optimizing a tour, determining accessibility, or finding an optimal location for a new facility.

GDAA 1000 - Fundamentals of Spatial Data Analytics Projects
This course will focus on understanding the nature of analytical projects using spatial data. Learners will review past projects representing environmental, business-related, and other socio-economic applications. They will learn how to define the scope of a project, find sources of data, examine data quality, prepare data, find the most appropriate analytical tools, as well as document the procedures used and discuss results. Students will also learn how to perform some analytical operations such as using spatial analysis tools and statistical tests. They will acquire skills resulting from working with GIS and statistical software packages.

GEOM 4030 - Raster Modelling and Map Algebra
Learners are required to use the ArcMap Desktop Spatial Analyst to complete a number of analytical tasks involving multi-factored analysis for modelling using Dana Tomlin’s map algebra. Map Algebra can be embedded in Model Builder, within the Raster Calculator tool or embedded in various scripting languages such as Python.

GEOM 5005 - Geodesy, GPS and Geosensors
This course exposes learners to basic concepts of geodesy, global navigation satellite systems and geosensors. The learner will be introduced to map projections, ellipsoids, datums, and datum transformations, and the theory required to plan, acquire, and process code based GNSS. Learners will also be introduced to geosensor technologies and applications and investigate the issues associated with handling the data.

GISY 5003 - Spatial Database Management
This course introduces learners to principles and techniques of relational database design, development, maintenance and use, including spatial database objects. Learners will gain a basic insight into database systems terminology and issues facing database managers and analysts.

GISY 5004 - Fundamentals of GIS
This course is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, applications and data analysis. Learners will gain experience in data input, processing, analysis, and final-map-product creation following technology advancements and industry standards. Hands-on activities provide experience in basic map design, reading, interpretation and analysis. Moreover, learners will investigate how spatial thinking and spatial perception influence spatial behaviour and assemble and process data from a variety of sources and formats.

GISY 6020 - Advanced Geographic Information Systems
This course allows the learner to address a number of advanced issues in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology including ways to use various data models, programming techniques, and means to manage large data sets and builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in GIS and Spatial Data Analysis (GISY 5004). Topics include digital elevation modelling and 3D display, systems building, raster data modelling and image integration, object modelling, and large spatial database management. Custom applications will be developed utilizing a number of programming languages.

GISY 6026 - MapInfo Professional/Vertical Mapper
This software package provides a complete environment for user-friendly thematic mapping, extremely powerful SQL querying and many typical GIS operations. Learners will also learn how to use Vertical Mapper, a grid-based contouring, modelling and display system. Vertical Mapper runs from within MapInfo and brings the power of raster GIS into this package.

GISY 6028 - Investigating Technologies
This directed studies course provides learners an opportunity to benefit from market trends in the Geomatics industry. Developments, innovations, and advancements in GIS technology lead in many directions; this course responds to market forces and demands supplying learners with relevant material.

GISY 6043 - Spatial Analysis and Geostatistcs
Spatial analysis includes evaluating spatial relationships, creating spatial clusters, identifying spatial patterns, and measuring geographic distributions. Geostatistics is a set of statistical techniques for interpolation and creating surfaces. Basic geostatistical components are exploratory spatial data analysis and structural analysis (calculation and modelling of the surface properties of nearby locations). Learners will develop skills for using geostatistical techniques and selecting the most appropriate spatial analysis tool for a given research project.

GISY 6044 - Applied Geomatics Research Project
The Applied Geomatics Research course is an opportunity for the learner to work in a project-oriented environment on an application of choice, compile required data sets (if necessary), use various software tools, complete the development/analysis of the project and fully document findings. The projects will include project definition, database definition, data collection, learning software, data manipulation, data analysis and presentation.

GISY 6060 - Geoprocessing and Modelling
The course focuses on using existing and creating new geoprocessing tools, building geoprocessing models and writing scripts. These tools are commonly used in the industry for increasing efficiency and functionality of geoprocessing workflows.

GISY 6160 - Independent Project in GIS
The Independent Project in GIS course is an opportunity for GIS learners to work in a project-oriented environment. This course option will require the full semester to allow enough time to understand the application of choice, compile required data sets (if necessary), learn the software tools required for the project, complete the development/analysis of the project and fully document the findings. Projects are often completed in conjunction with an outside contact and/or in association with one of the program faculty (including AGRG Research Associates). This is a great opportunity to better understand the research environment of the Applied Geomatics Research Group and the future options that are available to you. However, regardless of your interest in the AGRG, this is also a great opportunity to focus some of your time and effort on an application area of interest to you.

GISY 6400 - Capstone Project
This course requires independent research involving geospatial technologies with the learner customizing his/her learning around a topic of interest. The learner prepares a project proposal for approval by the faculty advisor. Upon approval, work begins on the chosen topic area, culminating with a final presentation and code/data delivery and potentially report and/or live demonstration. This course applies learning from first- and second-semester courses in a self-directed manner and can be taken individually or within groups.

PROG 5000 - Programming Fundamentals for Geographic Sciences
This course is intended for those with minimal or no prior programming experience and exposes the learner to programming in various environments. This course includes an introduction to the fundamental tools of the Internet – Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Stylesheets (CSS). Learners will develop basic web site content and control web page presentation. Object-based programming then begins with basic assignments and progresses toward Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS/RS) related data manipulation; learners will apply programming theory to a range of tasks.

PROG 5060 - Object Oriented Programming for GIS I
This course introduces learners to the principles of object-oriented programming (OOP). Exploration starts with learning the syntax, program structure, and data types of an OOP language. The course includes comprehensive coverage of the key object-oriented concepts of encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism. Course projects involve many aspects of the software development life cycle, from algorithm design to software implementation and maintenance.

PROG 5075 - Web Programming for GIS
This course explores web mapping as a tool for accessing and analyzing spatial data. Learners will use client-side scripting and associated toolkits to develop web-based maps for multiple devices. Security issues will be explored using server-side scripting and associated databases. Projects include many aspects of website development, from design to administration.

PROG 6060 - Object Oriented Programming for GIS II
This course explores the development of mapping applications using an object-oriented programming language and principles. Programmers will customize existing mapping software, embed mapping functionality in other applications, and develop custom mapping applications.

REMS 5001 - Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
This course is an introduction to the concepts, principles and applications of remote sensing technology. The specification and use of airborne and space-borne imagery for the investigation of various earth resources and environmental monitoring will be discussed. Applied learning opportunities will be provided in the laboratory and field relating to the applications of remote sensing.

REMS 6022 - Remote Sensing Systems and Applications
This course covers the design, sensor specification, and utility of past, present and prospective airborne and spaceborne remote sensing systems that have earth resources observation and environmental monitoring as their primary objective. Both active (radar) and passive (optical) systems will be covered. Applications of digital data derived from these systems in various disciplines will be discussed and investigated utilizing digital image processing techniques.

REMS 6023 - Advanced Digital Image Processing
The Advanced Digital Image Processing course is intended to allow the learner to apply the basic introductory skills including radiometric and geometric correction, image enhancement, image classification and data integration learned in previous courses (GEOS 2300 Digital Image Processing or REMS 5001 Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing). The course consists of laboratory and classroom instruction, and encourages the learner to approach remote sensing challenges in a logical and real-world approach. Advanced concepts covered may include: orthorectification, mosaic, colour space transformations, aerial photo orthorectification, digital elevation modelling, three-dimensional visualizations, and advanced enhancement techniques.

REMS 6055 - Softcopy Photogrammetry
This course provides an introduction to softcopy photogrammetry and its application to wide area mapping. Learners will build on their knowledge of aerial photography and expand their image processing skills to include industry-practiced photogrammetric workflows such as flight planning, aerial triangulation, ortho-rectification and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) production.

REMS 6066 - Digital Aerial Photography
This course provides the learner the opportunity to gain knowledge of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) technology as it applies to the acquisition and processing of digital aerial photography. Topics include IMU/GPS hardware and software, flight planning, camera calibration, aerial triangulation, ortho-rectification and mosaicking.

REMS 6085 - LiDAR Systems and Processing
This course exposes learners to the end-to-end project workflows commonly performed by the LiDAR survey industry. Focus is on fundamental operational and processing skills such as LiDAR theory, data acquisition, calibration, classification and accuracy assessment.

REMS 6090 - LiDAR Applications
This course exposes learners to various industry-related applications of LiDAR data and derived products. Focus is on data analysis and application of point and raster data manipulation techniques using a multitude of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools.

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