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Geography and Geospatial Technology

What is Geography?

According to the American Heritage® Book of English Usage the term “geography” is derived from the Greek prefix geo meaning “earth” or “land” and graphia meaning “writing”. Thus the term “geography” refers to the ancient cultures’ exploring their world and the environment they lived in and communicating about it in writing. Their travel reports were instrumental for non-travelers to make sense of their world.

In short, geography is the science of place and space.

Why Study Geography?

Geography synthesizes physical and social processes as they apply to places to arrive at an intricate picture of the diverse cultures, political and economic systems, landforms and environments we find on earth. This includes not only an analysis of the different spatial differences but also processes of the social and economic systems and the causes and effects of social inequalities.

What is GST?

Geospatial Technology (GST) refers to geographical information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing (RS), and emerging technologies that assist the user in the collection, analysis and interpretation of spatial data.

U.S. Department of Labor, 2005

Why Study GST?

GST is a rapidly expanding field which can be applied to virtually any profession from public health to real estate. GST joins three technologies (GIS, GPS and RS) to create  a visual, geographic representation of any subject matter. This technology can enable a nurse to track the spread of a disease from a surgical instrument; a citizen to evaluate and locate the best place to build a house; a university to determine the best location for an English Language center in accordance with demand.

The NOVA program is open to high school graduates, professionals and students waiting to enter a four year college or graduate school. It is also available to high school students under dual enrollment/concurrent enrollment. NOVA GST students must have basic computer and math skills. For those students who wish to continue their education beyond the community college, NOVA articulation agreements help ensure a smooth transition. Whether you already have a profession and want to pick up new skills or you are preparing to enter a new career, GST can help to ensure future job security.

Contact Information:

Janice Ouellette
Program Coordinator, Geospatial Studies
1831 Wiehle Avenue, Room 345
Reston, VA 20190-5266
Email: jouellette@nvcc.edu
Phone: 571.434.6089

Barbara Crain
Assistant Professor of Geography
21200 Campus Drive
Sterling, VA 20164
Email: bcrain@nvcc.edu