What hardware will I need for this program?

The hardware requirements for the MGISA program depend heavily on whether you will be working on campus or online.

Stage 1 (Face-to-Face)

Students entering Stage 1 (Face-to-Face) will be required to have their own laptop computer capable of running ArcGIS 10.2.2 Desktop and storing large geo-referenced databases. ArcGIS only runs on Windows operating systems (Windows 7 or Windows 8). Under an agreement with ESRI Canada, Vancouver Island University’s IT department will make ArcGIS available to students.

Newer Mac computers which run Intel chipsets can have Windows 7 or 8 installed in addition to the native Mac operating system. To do this, however, you will need to install Apple Boot Camp or Parallels as well as a copy of Windows (7 or 8), and you will need sufficient disk space to run both the OS X and Windows operating systems. We have a number of students who do this every year, since it allows them to work with a single laptop computer, rather than having to buy a second Windows-specific machine.

Students are provided with GPS units for use during projects.

Stage 1 (Online)

Students will need to have an Android tablet that is able to receive GPS (or GPS+GLONASS) signals. Models change yearly; for specific recommendation as to what model to acquire, please contact paul.zandbergen@viu.ca.

Students need a broadband Internet connection (ADSL, Cable Modem, or Fibre Optic connection) so that they can rapidly transfer data to and from the VIU server computers on which most of their lab work will be done. Please note: a cabled connection between your router and computer is required for proper operation of the Remote Desktop connection software in Windows. Wireless connections (802.11a/b/g or n) cause frequent disconnections which will significantly interrupt your work.

Users of Mac computers can connect to our server computers using the Mac version of the Remote Desktop Client software.

Stage 2 (Blended Mode)

Students entering Stage 2 (Blended Mode) will be required to have their own laptop computer capable of running ArcGIS 10.2.2 Desktop and storing large geo-referenced databases. ArcGIS only runs on Windows operating systems (Windows 7 or Windows 8). Under an agreement with ESRI Canada, Vancouver Island University’s IT department will make ArcGIS available to students.

Newer Mac computers which run Intel chipsets can have Windows 7 or 8 installed in addition to the native Mac operating system. To do this, however, you will need to install Apple Boot Camp or Parallels as well as a copy of Windows (7 or 8), and you will need sufficient disk space to run both the OS X and Windows operating systems. We have a number of students who do this every year, since it allows them to work with a single laptop computer, rather than having to buy a second Windows-specific machine.

Stage 2 (Online)

Students need a broadband Internet connection (ADSL, Cable Modem, or Fibre Optic connection) so that they can rapidly transfer data to and from the VIU server computers on which most of their lab work will be done. Please note: a cabled connection between your router and computer is required for proper operation of the Remote Desktop connection software in Windows. Wireless connections (802.11a/b/g or n) cause frequent disconnections which will significantly interrupt your work.

Users of Mac computers can connect to our server computers using the Mac version of the Remote Desktop Client software.

What software will I need for this program?

Under an agreement with ESRI Canada, Vancouver Island University's IT department makes the full suite of ESRI ArcGIS software available to students while they are enrolled in the MGISA program, including the off-campus GIS practicum work, and for roughly 2 months following their completion of the program. Supplementary GIS and web mapping software will also be used in the delivery of the program. Software supplied by the MGISA program is for academic use only, both during and after completion of the program.

Students will also require MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint on their computers. You may be able to obtain a discount on Office Home and Student as a Vancouver Island University student.

What textbooks will I need for this program?

Required Textbook:

Paul Bolstad, GIS Fundamentals, 5th edition published in 2016 by Eider Press. You can order the book by going to http://www.xanedu.com and searching for GIS – make sure to select the 5th edition. You can order a printed copy with a digital PDF download for US $38 or just a digital PDF download for US $22. Prices are in US $, but they do ship to Canada for reasonable rates. We will use it in multiple courses (i.e. 501, 521, 525), so you will get a lot of use out of it.

Other Textbooks:

Instructors for each course may assign additional textbooks. These will be posted several weeks in advance of the course start date so that you have time to order and take possession before the class start dates.

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