Geographic Information Systems

Seneca College Certificate


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides the ability to automate map production and to integrate earth imagery with other data to solve geographic problems. Results can be displayed in a variety of ways including new maps, tables, charts, or all of these in combination. GIS is becoming a widely available and affordable technology which can be used by nearly every corporation, governmental agency, or nonprofit organization.

Since many academic disciplines, private businesses and public agencies use GIS, the goal of this online program is to provide students with a strong foundation in GIS applications. Individuals currently working in this or a related field will substantially enhance their knowledge and skills.


Career Opportunities

There is an unmet need for professionals with GIS technology skills.  Graduates may be employed with private companies and nonprofit organizations as well as city, regional and federal agencies.

Graduates are expected to be of interest to employers in:

  • consulting firms
  • government agencies (city, municipal, provincial  and federal)
  • map and database publishers
  • marketing and sales companies
  • oil, gas, and mineral companies
  • real estate companies
  • utilities (electric, gas, water, wastewater, and telephone)

Entry Requirements

This certificate is designed for practitioners who are the managers, technical professionals, and support staff responsible for managing and using GIS. This program is also designed to appeal to people from varying disciplines such as urban planning, civil and transportation engineering, natural resources and business.

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Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

An overview of the fundamental concepts and terminology and the role of GIS in business, government, surveying and natural resources. The course will cover the collection, management, analysis and presentation of spatial data. Additional topics will include concepts of database systems, data modeling and digital mapping.

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GIS Software - ArcView


GIS100-Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

At the end of this course, the student should be able to create data in ArcView, to query and manipulate data and geocode addresses, perform spatial analysis, produce map outputs and charts. Included with the book is a fully functioning 180 day trial version of ArcGIS software that can be downloaded from the internet and a CD of data for the book's exercises. Students will require Windows OS to install the software.

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Remote Sensing


GIS100-Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

This course is designed to teach principles and applications of remote sensing at the introductory level. Remote sensing looks at the Earth from above, and is increasingly used by many professions in including planning, environmental science, real estate, agriculture and many others. At the end of the course, the student should understand the basic principles of remote sensing, how to use the software to manipulate image data and perform preliminary interpretation of data.

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Internet Mapping


GIS100-Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

This course examines various types of internet mapping. Topics include managing data for your internet map project, geographic markup language, web map service standards, open-source and commercial solutions to serving geographical data and common tasks, and issues involved in creating maps.

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Design Management/Implementation of GIS


GIS100-Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

In this course students develop a foundation for designing and maintaining a geographic information system and become familiar with existing databases, standards and industry practices for data management.
Required software: MS Access.

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Global Positioning Systems (GPS)


GIS100-Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

This course will start with an overview of GPS history and applications. With an emphasis on the principles of GPS and how they work, students will learn about satellites and the information and signals they transmit, types of receivers and what GPS can be used for. Topics covered include accuracy and positioning, errors associated with using GPS, absolute and differential techniques, types of signals, data collection considerations, undertaking mission planning. An introduction to other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), GPS modernization, augmented GPS and future trends are also discussed. The use of a GPS receiver is NOT required for this course.

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Access Core

Learn to use MS Access for Windows, including pull-down menus, toolbars and dialog boxes. Access is a computerized database that allows you to manipulate, link, chart, query and report your data to customize the information you need. Access creates a system of relational database management in a user-friendly environment.

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Access Expert



Learn to use the advanced features of MS Access for Windows. Upon completion you will enhance tables by creating lookups, create various types of advanced queries, create advanced forms, create relationships between tables to ensure data accuracy, work with form controls, understand macro concepts, create, run and test Access macros, create and use switchboard forms, set Access defaults and apply Startup options.

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Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program graduates will be able to:

  • Apply basic geographic concepts to GIS and its components
  • Acquire and develop spatial and attribute data utilized in a GIS
  • Maintain and update data utilized in a GIS
  • Apply the principles of map design and production
  • Design and develop finished products such as maps, posters and reports for external review
  • Incorporate GIS with remotely sensed data
  • Design and develop GIS databases
  • Design, manage and complete GIS projects

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit (Advanced Standing)

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office.


If you meet all program requirements and become eligible for a Certificate, Diploma or Degree you must inform the Registrar by completing a Graduation Application form and paying the fee. Forms are available at the Registration office and online.

Certificates and diplomas are issued twice a year: Fall (October) and Spring (June). Graduation Application forms must be received no later than July 31 (for Fall Convocation), November 30 or March 31 (for Spring Convocation).

Minimum Performance for Graduation

Students will only be eligible to graduate with a Seneca College certificate or diploma if they have maintained an overall good standing in their current program of study. Students in degree programs will be eligible to graduate when they have obtained an average of C (2.5 GPA) in courses in the main field of study, and an average of C (2.0 GPA) in all other courses.

Residency Requirements

A Faculty of Seneca College may recommended a student for a certificate, diploma or degree only after the student has earned a minimum of twenty-five percent of the credit for that program at Seneca.

Program Contacts

Roberta Breen
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22663

Sharon Estok
Academic Program Manager
416-491-5050 ext.22515