Geospatial technologies are a range of digital tools used to map and analyze geographic phenomena. Today, geospatial technologies influence how we view the world around us from data captured using space-borne satellites to providing users the ability to find that great restaurant they heard about. Geographic Information Systems generally lie at the heart of geospatial technologies by providing databases to store spatial data, analytical capability to query the data, and cartographic representation to share the data. However, geospatial technologies bring together several digital tools and information sources that can help us consider the world around us. These technologies include:
Remote Sensing: Data and images captures using space-borne or aerial sensors. The platforms range from governmental satellites to consumer drones (Unmanned Aerial Systems)
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS): Through a combination of satellites and a receiver (such as your smartphone) you can pinpoint where you are on the planet. The U.S. maintains the Global Positioning System (GPS), but a few other countries have their own GNSS in place.
Internet Mapping: While Google Maps was not the origin of web mapping, it is usually the go-to tool today whether in the browser or your smartphone app. The ability to share cartographic representations quickly and dynamically has taken the map off the shelf and placed you inside of the map (with the help of GNSS)
But these, along with location based services (LBS), microsatellites, augmented reality, and more, are just a sample of the breadth of geospatial technologies today.
The use of geospatial technologies is as broad as the technologies and data sources themselves. A few examples include:
Environmental science: The phrases earth observation and remote sensing have almost become interchangeable as we use satellites and air craft to capture data about the world to better understand what exists in specific places and how land cover changes over time. This provides a basis for understanding plant and animal habitats, topographic changes, and the human and natural alterations to the environment.
Public history & archaeology: In order to preserve our past while continuing to build our future it is imperative to create a record cultural resources. By capturing the location of resources, along with descriptions, drawings, and modern digital representations of them (from video to 3D scans), we are creating a historical record for future generations to look back on.
Business: Business is filled with location questions. Where to place a new store? What is the best/least cost route to get resources to a manufacturing facility or to ship finished products? Realtors live by the mantra ‘location, location, location”.
Again, these are just a few examples of how geospatial technologies impact disciplines across campus and jobs that you may find after graduation.
The requirements for the Geospatial Technologies Certificate at UNCP provides a broad and hands-on introduction to the technologies and data that drive geospatial technologies, while also providing students a chance to link geospatial technologies to your major through the capstone project. The Geospatial Technologies Certificate provides UNCP students in good standing from all majors the opportunity to learn and apply the conceptual knowledge and technical skills needed to be proficient within a fast growing industry. The Geospatial Technologies Certificate consists of 12 hours of course work.
Required courses: (7-8 hrs)
- GGY2500 (3 hrs): Introduction to Cartography
- GGY2700 (4 hrs) Geographic Information Science or GGY4040 (3 hrs) Remote Sensing
- GGY4610 (1 hr) Geospatial Technologies Certificate Capstone
Methods courses: (4-5 hrs)
- Departmental approval. Examples of appropriate courses include: