Certificate in Applied Digital Geography and GIS

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This certificate program has been developed for professionals currently practising or anticipating careers in government, industry, utilities, planning, municipal services, health, and retailing, who wish to enhance their professional skills in digital geography and geographic information systems (GIS). The certificate is designed to provide both training and education in digital geography.

The program responds to today’s need for enhanced computer literacy in the management and analysis of digital spatial data, and the application of that data in decision-making. Digital geography is an area of study that concentrates on the electronic capture, storage, manipulation, and analysis of geographic data. Using location as the “look-up” key, disparate data sets can be linked and related to each other for a whole range of workplace applications. Following initial courses in which principles and concepts of digital geography and fundamental skills in GIS are introduced, the workplace applications are stressed in courses aimed at specific specialties. Higher level courses focus on refining GIS tools and implementation issues.

Students in the program are expected to have a working knowledge of desktop PC Windows environments.

For detailed certificate and program information, please visit www.ryerson.ca/ce/gis.

For related career information, please visit Industry Overview.

Academic Coordinator: Joe Aversa, certificates@geography.ryerson.ca.

See more courses and programs relating to Computer and Information Technology or Science and Engineering.

Admission Criteria

Eligible applicants must have the following:

Undergraduate degree or college diploma in an acceptable related field. Applicants must complete an application for pre-approval and be approved before registering for the first course.

Advanced Credit

All applicants to the program are eligible to apply for advanced standing, with credit being granted for course work undertaken, or for professional practice, providing the course work or professional practice meets or exceeds the academic goals and content of the program courses for which credit is being sought. Advanced credit applications will be evaluated by the academic coordinator and the program director, and subject to normal Ryerson admission policies and procedures. Students may be required to take a challenge examination in order to ascertain eligibility for advanced standing. Students will be eligible for a maximum of three course credits toward the certificate.

Program Open House

Students who have questions about the admission criteria and/or would like to know more about this certificate are invited to attend a Program Open House. Please see Open House for dates, times, and location.

Certificate Requirements

The successful completion of six courses, with a cumulative grade point average of 1.67 or higher, is required for the certificate.

Certificate Registration

Students may be registered in only one certificate program at any one time. To allow maximum flexibility in crediting external courses and/or courses previously taken at Ryerson, students should register in the certificate at the beginning of their first course (see also Courses and Programs FAQ). For complete details on the advantages of early registration, registration deadlines, and Transfer Credit restrictions, all students should read Registration in a Certificate Program.

Requirements for Graduation

To graduate, you must successfully complete the published certificate curricula from the year you registered in the certificate. Certificate requirements must be completed within six years from the time you were first admitted into the certificate program. In some circumstances, certificate requirements may change, resulting in courses no longer being available. In such cases, Course Substitutions/Directives may be requested. Also, you must apply on RAMSS to graduate, prior to the appropriate application deadlines (see Important Dates). For complete details, all students should read Graduation.

Required Courses

The introductory core courses are designed to provide the student with a good contextual background in digital databases and the principles of applied digital geography. They form the foundation upon which further courses rest and students must complete both courses before continuing.

CODG 101   Digital Geography:  Spatial Databases and Digital Cartography
CODG 102   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography and Spatial Analysis


Electives (select a total of four courses)

Electives – Group A (select one or two)

Five professional applications courses allow the student to focus on an area of interest.

CODG 123   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography Applications in Utilities Planning
CODG 124   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography Applications in Business Decision-Making
CODG 125   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography Applications for the Municipal Professional
CODG 126   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography Applications in Environmental Management
CODG 127   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography Applications in Community and Social Services


Electives – Group B (select two or three)

These courses are designed to provide the student with some understanding of the more complex core skills and issues facing business, municipal, environmental, utilities or community and social services professionals when they employ digital geography in their decision making.

CODG 130   Digital Geography:  Legal and Ethical Issues in GIS and Digital Data
CODG 131   Digital Geography:  Issues and Innovations
CODG 132   Digital Geography:  Customizing GIS Software: Applications Programming
CODG 133   Digital Geography:  Map Algebra: Topology and Overlay
CODG 135   Digital Geography:  Digital Image Processing and Applications
CODG 136   Digital Geography:  Web Mapping


As the sixth course for certificate completion, students may take one course in the first level of the Advanced Certificate in Applied Digital Geography and GIS (provided the prerequisite is met).

Note: Because most courses have a significant lab component and since there are a limited number of lab stations, enrolment in most courses is limited to 30 registrants.

Distance Education

The following courses are available in a distance education format this academic year.

CODG 101   Digital Geography:  Spatial Databases and Digital Cartography
CODG 102   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography and Spatial Analysis
CODG 124   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography Applications in Business Decision-Making
CODG 125   Digital Geography:  Digital Geography Applications for the Municipal Professional
CODG 131   Digital Geography:  Issues and Innovations
CODG 132   Digital Geography:  Customizing GIS Software: Applications Programming
CODG 136   Digital Geography:  Web Mapping