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Geospatial Data Analytics

Learn how to uncover hidden patterns in geospatial data and communicate your results with stunning data visualizations.

A man and woman in the geospatial analytics program look at a computer screen while two other people chat in the background.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year
Graduate Certificate

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In this graduate certificate program, you combine advanced geographic information systems (GIS) with data analytics to solve challenging, real-world problems. Using cutting edge geospatial tools, you'll learn how to discover new and valuable insights in data. You blend the art and science of data visualization to communicate results to stakeholders, and connect with industry partners and post-secondary institutions to work on real-world projects.

You learn to:

  • Design interactive dashboards and data visualizations
  • Apply machine learning and deep learning to uncover new insights in geospatial data
  • Develop custom GIS and data analytics solutions to solve complete geospatial problems
  • Use artificial intelligence to analyze imagery and other geospatial data

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.

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.
  • This graduate certificate is an intensive, one-year post-graduate level program, designed to provide you with a sophisticated set of geospatial analytics knowledge and tools.
  • Across Nova Scotia, there's a need for small- and medium-sized enterprises to have access to analytics for their decision-making.
  • Students are required to complete a project-based learning component with industry partners in one of the many sectors that use geospatial data in their operations.
  • Small class sizes provide you with lots of one-on-one interaction, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to apply your learning, ask questions and share.
  • Learn the theory and practical aspects of the program through state-of-the-art equipment and software.

Other info

  • 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.
  • No prior experience in statistics or programming is required before entering this program.

September 2024

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

Admission requirements

  • Diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or undergraduate degree from a related area. Related areas include:
    • Business (including business administration, commerce, economics, marketing)
    • Engineering (including technology and technician programs)
    • Information Technology (including computer science, Health Information Management)
    • Geomatics (includes Geographic Information Systems, urban planning, geography, geographic sciences)
    • Other related areas such as archaeology, digital humanities, forestry, geology, natural sciences, resource management
  • Consideration will also be given to those with extensive relevant experience working in a geospatial related field who do not hold a diploma or degree as specified above.
  • International students – Submit your official post-secondary documents for assessment. View document and language requirements by country
  • View NSCC programs that meet the admission requirements for this program.

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 amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

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

  • Graduates of this program are in high demand. They find employment as:
    • Data Analysts
    • Data analytics specialists
    • Geospatial data interpretation analysts
    • Geographic information systems analysts
    • Applications specialists
    • Spatial data managers
    • Entrepreneurs in a geospatial field

Future study options

  • Take advantage of our joint masters program with Acadia University. Completion of the graduate certificate in Geospatial Data Analytics is the equivalent of year one in the Master of Science in Applied Geomatics

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.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

GDAA 1001 - Fundamentals of Geospatial Data Analytics
This course focuses on the fundamentals of analyzing geospatial data. Students learn the step-by-step processes involved in typical data analytics workflows. Beginning with exploratory data analysis and data visualization, learners use descriptive statistics and graphical outputs to identify interesting patterns and trends in a wide range of datasets. They learn how to find data sources, examine data quality, prepare data, determine the most appropriate analytical tools, as well as document the procedures used and disseminate results. Students learn how to perform some analytical operations such as using geospatial analysis tools and statistical tests. They acquire skills resulting from working with GIS and statistical software packages.

GDAA 2000 - Data Mining Fundamentals
In this course, learners acquire basic data analytics skills, including business understanding, data understanding, data preparation, and some predictive analytics modelling with decision trees. The integration of data mining and geospatial technologies are a primary focus.

GDAA 2010 - Data Mining Modelling
Following Data Mining Fundamentals, learners in this course apply data mining models for predictive analytics, clustering and rule generation for discovering hidden structures, patterns and relationships in data. Numerous models are created, evaluated, compared and linked together. Results include the use of GIS for mapping and conducting spatial analysis.

GDAA 2020 - Location Analytics
Location analytics is an important component of business intelligence. In this course, learners apply the most appropriate tools and techniques to solve locational problems. Acquired skills include selecting and processing business and demographic data, evaluating existing business locations, finding the optimal location for new businesses, creating reports and mapping results. Location analytics tools are used for geocoding, creating trade areas, analyzing sites and markets, predicting sales or target marketing.

GDAA 2030 - Image Analytics
This course prepares learners for working with geospatial imagery in a machine learning environment. It provides an overview of the techniques used to manage image data, as well as tools and programming solutions used to manipulate the data. Learners will use industry standard tools and custom solutions to pull meaningful information from the data.

GDAA 2040 - Spatial Analysis and Geostatistics
This course provides learners with insight into spatial analysis and geostatistics, and promotes an understanding of how they can enhance project methodology. Learners will choose and use appropriate tools given aims and available data, and work to interpolate spatial data, study geographical distributions, analyze spatial patterns and relationships, and identify spatial clusters.

GDAA 3000 - Major Analytics Project
In collaboration with a project sponsor, learners complete a major research project where they can apply their analytical skills toward solving an authentic business problem using geospatial data. The course involves conducting a literature review, developing a project proposal and carrying out the requisite analytical research.

GDAA 3010 - Analytics Project Delivery and Reporting
This course serves as a capstone to the program, and provides learners with opportunity to marry their technical skills with an entrepreneurial mindset, and bring their analytics project to completion. The course emphasizes the importance of polish and professionalism in terms of delivery of project outcomes. Learners will present their findings as well as critique the work of others.

GEOM 5005 - Geodesy, GNSS and Geosensors
This course exposes students to basic concepts of geodesy. Students are introduced to map projections, geoids, ellipsoids, horizontal and vertical datums, and datum transformations. Students use a variety of desktop and online tools assist in manipulating spatial data and in appreciating why one spatial reference may be preferable at times than others. Given the hands on nature of the course, students are familiarized with key parameters of commonly used coordinate systems. The course focuses on the practical applications of managing a wide variety of spatial datasets, including both newly acquired datasets and those that are either in older or disparate coordinate reference systems. Spatial datasets are downloaded from multiple websites and are re-projected to a variety of industry standard coordinate system using GIS software. The course strives to provide students with the confidence to articulate many of the key concepts related to geodesy, many of which are complex and abstract in nature.

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.

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.

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.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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