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The Best GIS Education Programs in the World are in Canada

In honour of the 5th annual Back to School GoGeomatics Socials, we are going back to our roots.  Some of the earliest articles in our magazine were interviews with GIS, geomatics and cartography instructors across Canada. Six years ago we learned about their programs and what they taught.

Canada GIS Education

Canada is the birthplace of GIS and a large part of the underlying geomatics technology used world wide today. So it’s no surprise you can find find the best GIS education programs in Canada.

So we’re doing it again and have reached out to over 15 of the very best GIS and geomatics programs in Canada to find out what their programs are like and what makes them special today. These interviews will provide an unparalleled look into the core of Canadian geospatial education.

We will roll out the interviews  on an ongoing basis over the coming months.  You can find each one in our Canadian Spatial Times newsletter as we publish each week.

Some of the best Geospatial education programs in Canada

  • BCIT GIS program in Vancouver
  • Algonquin GIS graduate certificate program in Ottawa
  • Ryerson Applied Digital Geography and GIS in Toronto
  • Langara Continuing Studies Open Source GIS in Vancouver
  • COGS Geographic Sciences Cartography Concentration program in Nova Scotia
  • SAIT The Bachelor of Applied Technology GIS program in Calgary
  • SAIT Geomatics Engineering Technology Program in Calgary
  • NAIT Geomatics Engineering Technology program in Edmonton
  • Brock University Geography & Tourism program in St Catharines
  • Lakehead University Department of Geography and the Environment in Thunder Bay
  • Okanagan College Advanced GIS Certificate program in Salmon Arm
  • Fleming GIS program in Peterborough
  • University of Regina B.GISc Program in Regina
  • Queens Geography program in Kingston
  • UNB Geomatics Engineering Program in Fredericton
  • Western Geography program with specialization in GIS in London
  • University of Calgary Geomatics Engineering program

If you know a great Canadian geospatial program that should be highlighted please let us know by using our contact form; you’ll find the link on the menu at the bottom of the page.

13 comments on "The Best GIS Education Programs in the World are in Canada"

  1. fionag11 says:

    GIS for Resource Management Certificate, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Prince Albert SK

    1. Jon Murphy says:

      Hi Fiona, Thanks for continuing to follow along on the magazine and commenting on articles that strike you. Great suggestions for an interview. Do you have a contact or a former student in the program I could talk to for a lead into the program. It’s one I know very little about.

  2. Archana Srivastava says:


    In the list above “The best GIS program in Canada”, I would like to add the Masters in Geographical Information Systems (MGIS) program in the University of Calgary. It is one of the best Masters program. I have done this myself. Please I request you to add in the list.

    Archana Srivastava, GISP
    GIS Analyst for more than 10 years

    1. Jon Murphy says:

      HI Archana, Thanks for the comment. Would you be interested in writing about your own experience taking the program instead of me doing an interview. It’s nice to get first had student perspective.

    2. OKOCHA LUCKY says:

      Hi I’m actually looking forward in earning MASTERS degree in GIS or RS, but I saw only Ucalagry on the choice. Do I still get other options and better schools there in Canada? I would also appreciate if someone could put me through personally or give me good orientation on how to go about it. Thanks.

      1. Jon Murphy says:

        Hi Lucky, Check out our big list of education programs at the top of the site.It’s a menu option. That will give you an idea of the different programs in Canada.

  3. Robert Ryerson says:

    Jon: Your list’s focus seems to be more on technical education and training. But when we come to the Universities I cannot believe that the University of Waterloo is not on your list! Grads of the Waterloo program and faculty members have made their mark in, especially, remote sensing. It also granted the first PhD in the field of remote sensing in Canada in 1975. Grads include people like Steve Franklin, Mike Kirby, Derek Peddle, Paul Treitz, Joe Piwowar, Jinfei Wang, Peng Gong – and me (among many others). I would also include Sherbrooke and Laval…

    1. Jon Murphy says:

      HI Bob thanks for your comment. Yes, there are a lot of schools and program not on the list. Thanks for pointing out all the amazing grads that came out of Waterloo. We just started a new Meetup group in the area so my contact with the school are not as good as with some of the others where we’ve had groups running for years.. Who should I contact to ask for an interview?

  4. No says:

    I would not say Brock’s Geography and Tourism program is an elite GIS program. Niagara College, down the street from Brock, is much more comprehensive and offers a solid internship program.

  5. pjohnson says:

    Hi Jon,

    Happy to provide an instructor perspective on the University of Waterloo Geomatics program and also Geography and Environmental Management (which has a significant GIS and RS focus). I can also arrange for a student perspective. Thanks for profiling GIS programs across the country, this is definitely a good way to raise our collective profile and I am sure that many prospective students check out this site in their research finding out just what exactly Geomatics is all about.


    Dr. Peter Johnson
    peter.johnson at uwaterloo.ca
    Associate Professor
    University of Waterloo
    Department of Geography and Environmental Management

    1. Jon Murphy says:

      Hi Peter, Thanks for the contact. I’ll send an email to you to get the process started. We also really love getting a student contributions and perspectives.

  6. Jolaiya Emmanuel says:

    This is amazing, someone like me looking for where i can have my masters have a lot of choices here but I would like to ask the one that offers scholarship or the lowest tuition fee

  7. CSB says:

    UVic has a combined BSc in Computer Science and Geomatics. They also have a minor in GIT. You missed it.

Comments are closed.

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