Geospatial Information Science and Technology - Online and Distance Education

Geospatial Information Science and Technology

 

Courses

The Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology curriculum consists of at least 33* credit hours (beginning Fall 2017), 21* of which are required core courses taught by our Lead MGIST Faculty.  The additional 12 credit hours are electives and allow the student to focus on related areas of interest to supplement their GIS instruction and professional skills development.  As part of the program students will complete a Capstone project and develop a professional portfolio.

Students are required to take at least one course per semester (Fall and Spring) for the duration of the program (unless financial aid or other considerations require half-time (4.5 hours) or full-time (9 hours) status). Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater in order to graduate. It typically takes a minimum of 4 semesters (2 academic years) to complete the appropriate sequence of courses. Students have a maximum of 6 years to complete the program.

Core Required Courses - 21 hours

GIS 501 - Geospatial Professionalism

Units: 2

Students will examine a variety of topics critical to successful navigation of the geospatial profession, with an emphasis on map communication and presentation, interpreting geospatial research, the ethical, legal, and social implications [ELSI] of using spatial data, metadata concepts, and linking results to policy actions. Students will engage in several writing, presentation, and interpretation exercises.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 510 - Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology

Units: 3

This course provides an advanced overview of how geographic information systems [GIS] facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems. Students improve spatial reasoning and problem definition expertise while emphasizing geographic data models and structures, data manipulation and storage, customization through programming, and the integration of geospatial analysis and modeling into project-based problem solving applicable to a variety of disciplines. Skilled application of both desktop and cloud-based GIS software supports these areas. Extensive independent learning and computer experiences include virtual laboratory sessions, alongside optional online or in-person weekly help sessions to facilitate student learning.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 530 - Spatial Data Foundations

Units: 3

This course focuses on geospatial information systems from a mathematical and information science perspective. We discuss theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing geographic data, including levels of measurement, data control, and the vector data and raster data paradigms. Then we discuss the geometric underpinnings of geospatial systems: representing data with geographic elements, spatial referencing systems, and projection. Next, we explore map-related topology and computational geometry concepts. Finally, we survey the algorithms for core spatial manipulations, such as interpolation and polygon operations.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 540 - Geospatial Programming Fundamentals

Units: 3

This course provides fundamental skills for geospatial programming. Topics include calling geographic processing tools, batch processing, performing file i/o in an external computing language and building, graphical user interfaces and displays. To support these tasks, students learn basic programming concepts, such as pseudocode, flow-control, code re-use, and debugging. In the final project, students streamline GIS work-flow and customize GIS user interfaces. Familiarity with GIS software is required, but no prior programming experience is expected.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 550 - Geospatial Data Structures and Web Services

Units: 3

This course examines the spatial database models and structures used in geospatial information science and technology as well as the design and implementation of web and related mobile computing geospatial tools and systems. Students develop, evaluate, and deploy multiple spatial data models and web services that include connections to external data sources and systems.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 582 - Geospatial Modeling

Units: 3

The course provides foundations in methods for GIS-based surface analysis and modeling. The topics include proximity analysis with cost surfaces and least cost paths, multivariate spatial interpolation and 3D surface visualization. Special focus is on terrain modeling, geomorphometry, solar irradiation, visibility, and watershed analysis. Students are also introduced to the basic concepts of landscape process modeling with GIS and to the principles of open source GIS. Introductory level knowledge of GIS or surveying/ geomatics principles is required.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 590 - Geospatial Information Science Master's Project

Units: 3

This is the culmination course for The Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology degree. This course provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their accumulated degree skills and expertise by developing and communicating the solution to a complex geospatial problem through a Master's Capstone project. The project will include interoperable spatial and non-spatial data, web services, customized user interfaces and workflows completed in collaboration with a community partner. The student will design and manage a major project and professionally communicate their analysis and results to a public audience.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 660 - MGIST Professional Portfolio

Units: 1

This course will focus on creating an effective digital portfolio, including content selection, description and reflection, and web site organization and design. The digital portfolio will present personal MGIST program accomplishments to demonstrate individual competences through knowledge, skills, and abilities of a geospatial science professional. Intended for students in their last semester in the MGIST Program.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

Electives - 12 hours

The following are just a sample of electives that have been approved for students. Other courses may serve as electives after consultation with an advisor.

GIS 505 - Introduction to Geovisualization Technologies

Units: 2

This course provides an overview of emerging methods and tools for the visual exploration, analysis, synthesis, and presentation of data that contains geographic information. Specific methods include the collection and representation of three-dimensional, remotely sensed, and gigapixel imagery. An introduction to the display of digital imagery and visualizations through interactive GIS and immersive virtual environment technology is also covered. This hands-on course provides an opportunity to interact with current technologies within the Center for Earth Observation's Digital Imagery Visualization Laboratory.

Offered in Spring Only

GIS 512 - Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing

Units: 3

Principles and hands-on techniques for processing and analyzing remotely sensed data for natural resource applications. Topics include review of the electromagnetic spectrum, pre-processing [georectification, enhancements and transformations], processing [visual interpretation, indices, supervised and unsupervised classification] and post-processing [masking, change analysis and accuracy assessment] of digital image data. This course will provide students with fundamental concepts and skills needed to pursue further studies in digital processing of remotely sensed data.

Offered in Fall and Spring

TERM: Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 515 - Cartographic Design

Units: 2

Principles of cartographic design and how to apply them to produce high-quality geographic information system [GIS] based maps. Successful students will acquire an understanding of map design and experience applying it with GIS software. Students produce project maps in both print and web media.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 520 - Spatial Problem Solving

Units: 3

Focus on spatial problem solving from a geographic information perspective. Students learn to solve spatial problems through advanced analysis using geospatial technologies, learn to integrate and analyze spatial data in various formats, and explore methods for displaying geographic data analysis results to guide decision making. All course materials are delivered through the Internet, with optional weekly on-campus and synchronous online help sessions.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 521 - Surface Water Hydrology with GIS

Units: 3

The application of geographic information systems [GIS] to surface water modeling including stream and watershed delineations, regulatory wetlands jurisdiction determinations, and flood mapping. In addition students will develop spatial computation methods to support hydrological analysis in land use planning, landscape management, and engineering assessments.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Fall Term

GIS 535 - Web and Mobile GIS Protocols

Units: 3

This course examines the design, development and deployment of web and mobile geospatial applications using internet and web-based protocols. Throughout the course, students will develop and deploy web and mobile GIS maps and applications relevant to their career using on-premises hosted infrastructure. Course participants will be required to complete assignments with data relevant to their interests. Additionally, students will search for and examine scientific and popular literature to understand how the course concepts are being employed and to foster ideas and discussion.

Offered in Fall Only

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2020 Fall Term

GIS 609 - Geospatial Forum

Units: 1

The Geospatial Forum brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and students of the geospatial sciences in an exciting, weekly series of lively presentations and facilitated discussions centered upon frontiers in geospatial analytics and geospatial solutions to complex challenges. Live discussions are recorded and made available online for students.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 630 - Independent Study

Units: 1 - 3

Advanced topics not otherwise included in curriculum for advanced graduate students on a tutorial basis. Determination of credits and content by participating faculty in consultation with Director of Graduate Programs. Departmental consent required

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term

GIS Special Topics Courses

Special topics courses will be labeled GIS 595 or GIS 610 and cover topics that are not part of our regular curriculum. These offerings change each semester and there may be multiple offerings in a given semester.

Professional Skills Electives

Graduate students are also eligible to earn a Certificate in Professional Communication and Managerial Skills (PCMS) by completing 4 professional skills electives.

BUS 501 - Strategic Management Foundations

Units: 3

This course is designed to help students with an engineering or scientific undergraduate degree understand the world of business. The class will cover key business functions including finance, marketing, operations, strategy, organizational behavior. Students will undertake a semester-long group project to design and plan for a new company or new product within an existing company. Restricted to students with an engineering, scientific, or other technical background.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Fall Term

BUS 554 - Project Management

Units: 3

Life cycle view of organizing and managing technical projects, including project selection, planning, and execution. Methods for managing and controlling project costs, schedules, and scope. Techniques for assessing project risk. Use of popular project management software tools. Application of project management tools and methods to product development, software, and process reengineering projects.

Offered in Spring and Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 1

BUS 590 - Special Topics In Business Management

Units: 1 - 6

Presentation of material not normally available in regular courses offerings or offering of new courses on a trial basis.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

COM 521 - Communication and Globalization

Units: 3

Economic, political, cultural dimensions of globalization. Role of information and communication technologies, networks, institutions, and practices in human social organization.

Offered in Summer

YEAR: Offered Alternate Odd Years

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2020 Summer Term 1

COM 527 - Seminar in Organizational Conflict Management

Units: 3

Examination of conflict antecedents, interventions, outcomes through multiple texts, journal articles. Emphasis on workplace conflict, organizational outcomes, dispute system design. Evaluation through participation in class discussion, independent papers, research project, presentation.

Offered in Summer

YEAR: Offered Alternate Odd Years

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2020 Summer Term 1

COM 530 - Interpersonal Communication in Science and Technology Organizations

Units: 3

Blends theory and research to understand and analyze interpersonal communication practices and issues within organizations, including managing impressions and conversations, engaging in active listening, managing conflict, influencing others, and communicating in teams. Focus on developing and maintaining effective interpersonal at work and improving student's communication competence.

Offered in Summer

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2020 Summer Term 2

Environmental Science/Natural Resource Electives

MEA 511 - Introduction to Meteorological Remote Sensing

Units: 3

Meteorological remote sensing data sets used in operational forecast and research applications. Sensor physical principles. Emphasis is on understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the different types of observational data so that the student can judge adequacy of purpose for their applications.

Offered in Fall Only

SSC 545 - Remote Sensing Applications in Soil Science and Agriculture

Units: 3

Overview of remote sensing including history, evolution, vocabulary, and physical principles, i.e., electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with matter. Distant and proximate remote sensing techniques [aerial photography, satellite imaging, radar, lidar, etc.], hardware, and platforms and their application in the characterization and management of soils and crops. Development of strategies for incorporating remote sensing into soil and agronomic research, and of practical skills for processing, analysis, display, and discussion of remote sensing data with applications in soil science and agriculture.

YEAR: Offered Alternate Even Years

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2020 Spring Term

SSC 540 - Geographic Information Systems [GIS] in Soil Science and Agriculture

Units: 3

Geographic information systems [GIS], global positioning system [GPS], and remote sensing to manage spatially variable soils, vegetation, other natural resources. Develop: function understanding of GIS principles, working knowledge of ArcGIS, problem-solving/critical-thinking necessary to use GIS to characterize and manage soils, agriculture, natural resources. Introduction to GIS; Maps/Cartography; Vectore/Raster Data Models; Georeferencing/Coordinate Systems; Spatial Data Sources; GPS/GPS skillls/ Remote Sensing; Statistics/Interpolation; Precision Agriculture; Computer Aided Design and GIS; Creating Analyzing 3-D Surfaces. Credit not given for both SSC 440 and SSC 540.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term

Engineering Electives

CSC 540 - Database Management concepts and Systems

Units: 3

Advanced database concepts. Logical organization of databases: the entity-relationship model; the relational data model and its languages. Functional dependencies and normal forms. Design, implementation, and optimization of query languages; security and integrity, consurrency control, transaction processing, and distributed database systems.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

BAE 535 - Precision Agriculture Technology

Units: 3

Overview of technology available for implementation of a comprehensive precision agriculture program. Topics include computers, GPS, sensors, mechanized soil sampling, variable rate control system, yield monitors, and postharvest processing controls. Applications of precision agriculture in crop planning, tillage, planting, chemical applications, harvesting and postharvest processing. Credit may not be received for BAE 435 and BAE 535.

Offered in Spring Only

YEAR: Offered Alternate Even Years

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2020 Spring Term

Statistics Electives

ST 507 - Statistics For the Behavioral Sciences I

Units: 3

A general introduction to the use of descriptive and inferential statistics in behavioral science research. Methods for describing and summarizing data presented, followed by procedures for estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses concerning summarized data.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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ST 508 - Statistics For the Behavioral Sciences II

Units: 3

Introduction to use of statistical design principles in behavioral science research. Presentation of use of a statistical model to represent structure of data collected from a designed experiment or survey study. Opportunities provided for use of a computer to perform analyses of data, to evaluate proposed statistical model and to assist in post-hoc analysis procedures. Least squares principles used to integrate topics of multiple linear regression analysis, the analysis of variance and analysis of covariance.

Offered in Spring Only

ST 511 - Statistical Methods For Researchers I

Units: 3

Basic concepts of statistical models and use of samples; variation, statistical measures, distributions, tests of significance, analysis of variance and elementary experimental design, regression and correlation, chi-square.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term

ST 512 - Statistical Methods For Researchers II

Units: 3

Covariance, multiple regression, curvilinear regression, concepts of experimental design, factorial experiments, confounded factorials, individual degrees of freedom and split-plot experiments. Computing laboratory addressing computational issues and use of statistical software.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 2

ST 733 - Spatial Statistics

Units: 3

Introduction to the theory and methods of spatial data analysis including: visualization; Gaussian processes; spectral representation; variograms; kriging; computationally-efficient methods; nonstationary processes; spatiotemporal and multivariate models.

Offered in Spring Only

Other 500 level Statistics courses

Capstone Experience

An integral part of the Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology program is participation in a Capstone project during the last semester of the program. Students work directly with community and industry partners to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed in the program to real-world problems. The program works closely with each student to identify an appropriate project based on our partner’s needs and the interests of the individual students. Students present their final project to their peers and the greater geospatial community during our Professional Showcase.

Professional Portfolio

All students are also required to produce a professional digital portfolio. The digital portfolio will present personal MGIST program accomplishments to demonstrate individual competences through knowledge, skills, and abilities of a geospatial science professional. This requirement is met through taking the course GIS 660 in the last term of the program alongside the capstone course.

Learning Environment

Students in the Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology program will have access to state-of-the-art online course delivery methods and will participate in unique, interactive experiences throughout the program. Our program primarily uses Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate to manage and deliver course content to students via recordings, live online lectures, and interactive forums, in conjunction with more traditional lecture materials, such as powerpoint presentations and texts. Students will learn both synchronously (i.e., live interaction at a set time) and asynchronously (flexible timing).

Residential Component

A unique aspect of our online Master of Geospatial Information Science and Technology program is an emphasis on building relationships between our online students, faculty, and on-campus students. We feel this is an extremely important component of graduate education. It is important that our program provide a sense of community among our students, event those that may be studying in a different state or country. To facilitate this interaction, our program requires that students come to campus on two occasions during the program.

The first is an all-day orientation program at the start of the program designed to introduce faculty and advisors, bridge relationships between our new online and on-campus students, learn about the details of the program, and have fun together!

The second on-campus experience takes place at the end of the program during our Professional Showcase. Students graduating will be asked to participate in a symposium to present their Capstone projects to our community partners, and the geospatial community at NC State. It is a great networking and professional development opportunity for graduating students.