Southwestern College

General Description

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) integrates innovative tools (such as software and hardware) and techniques (such as data capture, display, and analysis) that allows users to view, question, interpret, visualize, and analyze temporal and spatial relationships. GIS can be used for scientific investigations, resource management, asset management, environmental impact assessment, urban planning, cartography, criminology, geographic history, marketing, and logistics, to name a few. In fact, whenever (and wherever) there is a spatial and/or temporal component, GIS can serve as a tool for problem solving. Ultimately, a GIS helps you collect data, answer questions, and solve problems. Industries using GIS include banking, real estate, media, retail, national defense, elections, hospitals and health systems, public health, criminology, homeland security, sustainable development, natural resources, landscape architecture, regional and community planning, transportation and logistics, and many more.

Major Branches of GIS&T

Geographic Information Systems

Geographic information systems (GIS) deal with the storage of information about the Earth for automatic retrieval by a computer, in an accurate manner appropriate to the information's purpose. In addition to all of the other sub-disciplines of geography, GIS specialists must understand computer science and database systems. GIS has revolutionized the field of cartography; nearly all map-making is now done with the assistance of some form of GIS software. GIS also refers to the science of using GIS software and GIS techniques to represent, analyze and predict spatial relationships. In this context, GIS stands for Geographic Information Science.

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is the science of obtaining information about Earth features from measurements made at a distance. Remotely sensed data comes in many forms such as satellite imagery, aerial photography and data obtained from hand-held sensors. Geographers increasingly use remotely sensed data to obtain information about the Earth's land surface, ocean and atmosphere because it: a) supplies objective information at a variety of spatial scales (local to global), b) provides a synoptic view of the area of interest, c) allows access to distant and/or inaccessible sites, d) provides spectral information outside the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and e) facilitates studies of how features/areas change over time. Remotely sensed data may be analyzed either independently of, or in conjunction with, other digital data layers (e.g., in a Geographic Information System). 

Transfer and/or Graduation Preparation for GIS&T

All transferring students are encouraged to complete the Track I Certification program (see below). Students seeking an entry level position as a GIS&T Technician, are encouraged to complete the Track II Certification program. All courses in the GIS&T program are 8-weeks in length and 100% online.

Tracks for GIS&T

Track I
• GEOG 145, GEOG 150, GEOG 152 

Track II
• GEOG 145, GEOG 150, GEOG 152, GEOG 153,  GEOG 154 (or PHS 154), GEOG 155 (or PHS 155)

Other Course Recommendations for GIS&T

It is recommended that all Track II students complete MATH 119 (Elementary Statistics), and MATH 130 (Introduction to Computer Programming). 

GIS&T Faculty

Geography Courses for GIS&T

  • GEOG 145: Introduction to Mapping and Geographic Information Science (GIS)
  • GEOG 150: Exploring Our World: Maps and Geospatial Science
  • GEOG 152: GIS – Project Design and Applications
  • GEOG 153: GIS Internship
  • GEOG 154 (or PHS 154): Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • GEOG 155 (or PHS 155): Introduction to Image Analysis


Last updated: 1/9/2018 7:21:44 AM