What is Mapping Science and Geo-Information
Mapping Science and Geo-Information is the discipline that deals with portraying the surface of the Earth and the spatial information found on it. In order to understand the importance and the level of interest in this discipline it is sufficient to realize that over 80 % of human activities today are location dependent. Mapping science and geo-information have a direct impact on understanding a wide spectrum of spatial phenomena, and social and environmental processes.
A few examples of the diverse applications of the Mapping Sciences and Geo-Information discipline include: engagement in national infrastructure projects, urban planning, environmental change research, analysis of aerial imagery for intelligence and security, underground or laser based mapping and much more.
The discipline of Mapping and Geo-Information is founded in mathematics, physics, computer science, geodesy and planetary sciences. During the course of their studies, students are introduced to the world of satellites and lasers, navigation systems, image processing, remote sensing and related algorithms.
The activity areas
Modern mapping and geo-information topics are many and diverse. They include:
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – A combination of environmental and planning data layers with spatial information for analyzing spatial phenomena. These systems are familiar to many, mostly because of their everyday usages, such as exploring routes, tourist attractions and entertainment venues in the user’s immediate vicinity. However, GIS also provide large-scale infrastructure management in any large organization in the world.
Digital photogrammetry and laser – Image analysis, satellite imagery and laser systems data for feature extraction and three-dimensional modeling. The identification and modeling are based on advanced mathematical models specifically developed for this purpose.
Remote Sensing – An imagery method using terrestrial and satellite based sensors that record signals outside the visible spectrum. Remote sensing allows the creation of images of environmental elements such as nitrogen, hydrogen, and other biological components, which cannot be identified with the naked eye.
Topographic surveying and engineering – Determination of location information of features on the surface of the Earth. These measurement products form the basis for the planning and executing of engineering projects of different complexity levels.
Land Management and Cadastre – Management and registration of real property rights. Under the laws of the State of Israel this activity can be carried out only by government licensed graduates of the Mapping and Geo–Information program, who create plans for land rights registration.
Satellite geodesy (GPS) and navigation – Determination of exact location and motion direction with maximum accuracy using GPS satellites. Navigation in this context is not limited to the commonly familiar GPS devices; it includes more sophisticated applications such as aircraft and ships guidance, and fleet management.
Career and Employment Areas
The proliferation of spatial, geographic and engineering information, sophisticated computer systems, and the Internet has made the science of geo-information a pivotal component of many industries. In the last decade, this is one of the world's fast growing fields.
Employment opportunities available to graduates of the Mapping and Geo-Information program are diverse and fascinating. Graduates find employment in the private sector and in hi-tech companies. They work for companies engaged in the management of geographic information and image processing, companies that develop navigation systems for vehicles, aircrafts and ships, companies involved in infrastructure and project management, and more. In the Public sector, graduates work for government agencies, defense agencies and land authorities.
The growth of this field and the increased demand of location-based applications and data processing has resulted in a steady increase in the demand for skilled professionals in Israel and abroad.
- The only degree in Israel that combines science and engineering with an understanding of the context, environment, and society in which we live.
- In February 2011, an International Academic Assessment Committee found that the Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty at the Technion is among the best in the world, and that its curriculum is at a very high quality. It is in par with the ten best universities in the U.S., such as Stanford, Berkeley, MIT and Cornell, in terms of the level of teaching and research.
- Faculty members and researchers routinely receive international awards for achievements in research.
- Scholarship for outstanding students in the field: The Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering has an unprecedented scholarships program. The faculty has many scholarship grants that cover tuition and part of the cost of housing and living expenses.
Mapping and Geo-Information at the Technion offer two study tracks – a four year degree track in Mapping and Geo-Information Engineering and a three year undergraduate degree in Mapping Science and Geo-Information. Students can specialize in three study tracks: digital mapping and geographic information systems, property, and navigation and precise measurements.
The Study Programs are considered among the most advanced in the world and prepare the graduates to successfully deal with the challenges of modern era technologies in general, and Mapping and Geo- Information ones in particular.
Bachelor of Science in Mapping and Geo – Information Engineering (Four-year)
The four year degree curriculum is composed of common Technion wide topics, such as mathematics and introduction to programming; faculty wide topics such as statistics, engineering economics, numerical methods, discipline specific courses including surveying fundamentals mapping, geodesy and GPS, photogrammetry, computer mapping and more; specialization tracks in mapping and spatial information or in engineering and geodetic measurements, and a host of elective courses.
Bachelor of Science in mapping and Geo-Information (three-year)
The three year degree in Mapping and Geo-Information is similar to the four year one, except it does not include faculty specific engineering courses and has a fewer number of elective courses.
Reuma Arav, Doctoral student in Mapping & Geo - Information Engineering program
How did I learn about the mapping and geo - information program
I was deliberating which degree course to pursue at the Technion and then I stumbled across a newsletter of the Mapping and Geo-Information engineering program. I was curious to learn more about an area I knew nothing about. To my surprise, I found that it is the foundation of any development, design, and construction, and that none of this could happen without the involvement of a mapping and geo-information engineer.
Experiences during studying in the program
During my studies, after each semester I realized more the unlimited possibilities that the field offers. I found that mapping and geo-information touches many fields – whether as a basic tool of measurement for infrastructure and real estate or whether an advanced mapping method for other professional areas, such as environmental analysis, architecture, earth science, archeology, precision agriculture and more.
Where the degree took me
Today, I explore the development of sinkholes along the Dead Sea coastal plains and retreat of coastal cliffs that threaten the stability of the buildings in the center of the country. The study was based on technologies such as aerial and terrestrial laser scans. The results provide the necessary tools for decision-making on conservation, development and monitoring infrastructure in the studied areas. I am able to conduct research that greatly contributes to the environment. The Mapping and Geo-Information Engineering program exposed me to an amazing and fascinating field that can help develop remarkable things. "
The course curriculum is outlined on the interne at: ugportal.technion.ac.il