Geographic Information Science
The technical program in the Department of Geography prepares students for professional work in the fields of cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems. The program emphasizes conceptual understanding tied to practical application of geographic information technology. It integrates well-established mapping concepts with emerging graphics and database technologies. In addition to technical courses, students have the opportunity to execute projects for client organizations such as the Santa Clara County Department of Planning and Development and the Monterey County Planning Planning and Building Inspection Department. Graduates are fully prepared to undertake a broad range of responsibilities including cartographic production, geographic analysis, GIS application development, and GIS project management.
Students may study geographic information science at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, the Department offers a Certificate in Geographic Information Science for students enrolled in University degree programs and for those taking courses through San Jose State's Open University program.
- Create GIS solutions for fields such as resource and facilities management, marketing, and planning.
- Build and organize spatial databases from a variety of sources, including maps, remotely-sensed images, and field observation.
- Develop application software to exploit GIS functionality.
- Apply fundamental mapping technologies (such as map projections and geographic coordinate systems) to cartrography, geographic information systems, and remote sensing.
- Interpret topographic and thematic maps.
- Measure and analyze spatial information derived from mapping, remote sensing, geographic information systems, and field observation.
- Use aerial photography and satellite imagery to identify a variety of environmental features.
- Apply basic photogrammetric techniques to measure features from aerial photography.
- Digitally correct and enhance multispectral images.
- Rectify digital images to geographic coordinates.
- Identify, classify, and extract natural and cultural features in combination with aerial photographs and field observations to build and update geographic databases.
- Effectively portray information from geographic information systems, imagery, and field observations, using a variety of graphic design techniques.
- Apply computer technology to productively address map design and production problems.
- Create informative cartographic representations of geographic processes using animation and multimedia techniques.
- Design effective user-interfaces for interactive mapping applications.
- Solve real problems by "reading" urban and rural landscapes and applying appropriate geographical concepts and methods.
- Measure and record landscape features and characteristics.
- Verify spatial databases and remote sensing analyses through direct field observation and measurement.
- Plan, design, and execute GIS projects to solve client problems.
- Identify and negotiate requirements, deliverables, schedule, and acceptance criteria.
- Organize project team to assure product delivery and achieve client acceptance.Students experience a diverse array of application courses in both systematic and regional geography in addition to their technical courses.
Students also draw on the many resources available at San Jose State University to expand their programs, including such fields as Mathematics, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, and Meteorology.