Academic Catalog

Geographic Information Systems Technology

Program Description

Geospatial technology is the unifying tool with which spatial phenomena is explored. Geospatial technology consists of Geographic Information Systems, Global Positioning Systems and Remote Sensing. The Geographic Information Systems Technology program at Foothill College provides opportunities for career preparation and lifelong learning by providing courses that meet workforce needs. Geographic information systems are collections of computers, software applications and personnel used to capture, store, transform, manage, analyze and display spatial information. The associate degree provides a solid technical background in geographic information systems concepts and applications including cartographic concepts, database design, programming and interdisciplinary applications of the technology. The outcomes of the associate degree align with the U.S. Department of Labor geospatial competency model for geospatial careers. The degree also includes general education and elective courses required for graduation. Completion of the degree requires practical work experience in geographic information systems. The Geographic Information Systems Technology degree prepares students for entry-level technician jobs.

Learn more about the program on the Geospatial Technology & Data Science website.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to apply cartographic principles of scale, resolution, projection, data management and spatial analysis to a geographic nature using a geographic information system.
  • Students will be able to plan, evaluate and execute an original geographic information systems project.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to communicate orally, in writing and graphically, the outcome of geographic information systems analysis.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate an awareness of professional obligations to society, employers and funders and individuals as outlined in the Geographic Information Systems Professional Certification Institute Code of Ethics.

Career Opportunities

Geographic information systems skills are highly desirable in agriculture, archaeology, business, cartography, government, law enforcement, marketing, oil and gas, real estate and urban planning.

Award Type(s)

  • AS = Associate in Science Degree
  • CA = Certificate of Achievement

Units Required

  • Major: 42.5-43.5
  • Certificate(s): 21.5-43.5

Associate Degree Requirements

English Proficiency
Select one of the following:
ENGL 1ACOMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1AHHONORS COMPOSITION & READING5
ENGL 1S
ENGL 1T
INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
and INTEGRATED COMPOSITION & READING
8
or equivalent
Mathematics Proficiency
Select one of the following:
MATH 105INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA5
MATH 180QUANTITATIVE REASONING5
or any MATH course approved for Foothill GE Area V, Communication & Analytical Thinking

A minimum of 90 units is required1 to include:

  • Completion of one of the following general education patterns: Foothill General Education, CSU General Education Breadth Requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
  • Core courses (25.5 units)
  • Support courses (17-18 units)

Note: All courses pertaining to the major must be taken for a letter grade. In addition, a grade of "C" or better is required for all core and support courses used for the degree or certificates.

Core and Support Courses

Core Courses
GIST 11INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING4
or GEOG 11 INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING
GIST 12INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY4
or GEOG 12 INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY
GIST 52GEOSPATIAL DATA ACQUISITION & MANAGEMENT4
GIST 53ADVANCED GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY & SPATIAL ANALYSIS4
GIST 54ASEMINAR IN SPECIALIZED APPLICATIONS OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS I2
GIST 58REMOTE SENSING & DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING3
C S 1AOBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING METHODOLOGIES IN JAVA4.5
or C S 3A OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING METHODOLOGIES IN PYTHON
Support Courses
Select two courses from the following:9
INTERMEDIATE SOFTWARE DESIGN IN PYTHON
JAVASCRIPT FOR PROGRAMMERS
INTRODUCTION TO DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
DATA VISUALIZATION
DATA ANALYTICS & MANAGEMENT
And two courses from the following:8-9
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
WORLD REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY
Total Units42.5-43.5

Certificate Requirements

Certificate of Achievement in Geographic Information Systems Technology I

  • Units: 21.5
GIST 11INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING4
or GEOG 11 INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING
GIST 12INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY4
or GEOG 12 INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY
GIST 52GEOSPATIAL DATA ACQUISITION & MANAGEMENT4
GIST 54ASEMINAR IN SPECIALIZED APPLICATIONS OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS I2
GIST 58REMOTE SENSING & DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING3
And one course from the following:4.5
OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING METHODOLOGIES IN JAVA
OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING METHODOLOGIES IN PYTHON
INTERMEDIATE SOFTWARE DESIGN IN PYTHON
JAVASCRIPT FOR PROGRAMMERS
INTRODUCTION TO DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
DATA VISUALIZATION
DATA ANALYTICS & MANAGEMENT
Total Units21.5

Certificate of Achievement in Geographic Information Systems Technology II

  • Units: 30
GIST 11INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING4
or GEOG 11 INTRODUCTION TO MAPPING & SPATIAL REASONING
GIST 12INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY4
or GEOG 12 INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY
GIST 52GEOSPATIAL DATA ACQUISITION & MANAGEMENT4
GIST 53ADVANCED GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY & SPATIAL ANALYSIS4
GIST 54ASEMINAR IN SPECIALIZED APPLICATIONS OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS I2
GIST 58REMOTE SENSING & DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING3
And two courses from the following:9
OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING METHODOLOGIES IN JAVA
OBJECT-ORIENTED PROGRAMMING METHODOLOGIES IN PYTHON
INTERMEDIATE SOFTWARE DESIGN IN PYTHON
JAVASCRIPT FOR PROGRAMMERS
INTRODUCTION TO DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
DATA VISUALIZATION
DATA ANALYTICS & MANAGEMENT
Total Units30

Certificate of Achievement in Geographic Information Systems Technology III

  • Units: 42.5-43.5

The Certificate of Achievement in Geographic Information Systems Technology III is awarded upon completion of the core and support courses listed for the AS degree. General education courses are not required.