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Undergraduate Program Themes

Geoinformatics

As computing, imaging, and space science technologies continue to advance at unprecedented rates, we as geographers embrace these developments to improve our studies of spatial and temporal patterns and processes. Geoinformatics integrates the study and examination of hardware, software, tools, techniques, and pedagogy related to the main developments in geographical science, including geographic information systems, remote sensing, photogrammetry, and global positioning systems.

A geographic information system is a digital spatial database system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, displaying, and analyzing geographically referenced information. Remote sensing involves the science, technology, and art of evaluating satellite data, while photogrammetry is the science of taking detailed measurements from aerial photographs.

Global positioning systems link a constellation of satellites in orbit that together with ground control stations and roaming receivers can accurately triangulate positions on the surface of the Earth.

Our approach is to focus on the development and application of geoinformatics in both physical and human geography and build from introductory courses in the second year to advanced courses in years three and four.

We focus on both the human applications and physical applications of geoinformatics, and offer a wide range of courses that:

  • Introduce and incorporate geoinformatics for purposes of retrieving biophysical or geophysical landscape properties for land cover classification, resources mapping, environmental monitoring, change detection, and accuracy assessment.
  • Explore spatial analysis techniques for geological applications.
  • Study extensive natural and anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., wildfire, harvesting) in boreal forest regions.
  • Investigate economic and social processes in retail and shopping activities, neighbourhood characteristics and immigrant settlement patterns
  • Critically uncover questions related to spatial equity and social justice in cities.

Through the incorporation of these rapidly developing technologies and continually emerging opportunities, it is possible to ask questions and perform geographical analyses that prior to recent developments would have been impossible, or at the very least daunting.