Student: Brock University

Matt Marotta

Nov. 17, 2014

Before I begin discussing my day, I’d like to describe my educational background. In 2011 I began my first year of study as a Human Geography student at Brock University. I attended Niagara College last year as part of a joint program between Brock and Niagara College and earned a post-graduate certificate in GIS-Geospatial Management.

This was a great decision because I gained a lot of hands on experience working with GIS software and learning about the many applications that are involved with GIS. Plus, I will end up with a Bachelors Degree and a Post-Graduate Certificate after four years as opposed to five. While at Niagara College, I discovered that GIS presents a wide variety of employment opportunities and that I enjoyed the field very much. As a result, I found my career path for when I finish my studies at Brock this coming April.

Now, on to my day…

My only class for the day was a fourth-year Advanced Remote Sensing that has us completing a Remote Sensing based project of our choice in small groups. Our group chose to undertake urban change detection in the four-mile creek area using high-resolution orthoimagery. This involved creating supervised classifications of our study areas using Exelis ENVI Classic. Today, we brought the results of the classifications into ArcGIS in order to conduct a raster analysis to pinpoint areas where once arable land is now covered by urban features.

Remote Sensing

Viewing a supervised classification result in ArcGIS.

For the rest of my day, I will be working on completing assignments for my other courses. These include:

  • Crime analysis – as a part of a group, we are analyzing changes in crime rates in Los Angeles County from 2006 to 2011. By the end of the project, we will have python scripts that can be used to automate the processes that we completed for analyzing our data along with our maps and analysis. (See Featured image for a sample!)
  • Population Change – for a different course, I chose to investigate population change in Vancouver for my final project.


Population Change

Population data for Vancouver.

  • Spatial Database Development – although I do not set time aside to work on this (yet!), it is something that is constantly evolving in my mind. For my internship class at Brock, I am developing a spatial database for Geospatial Niagara that will store information about all of the thesis projects that have been completed in the Niagara College GIS- Geospatial Management program. This database will be open to the public sometime in March – April 2015. Sometimes I will simply have an  idea as to how an aspect of this project will work or how the end result will look/function. If the idea is good enough, I will do some quick research to see if it is possible and then adjust my                                                                                               ‘mental blueprints’. This is a project that I am very excited about                                                                                           completing.

Lastly, while I am in the middle of working on the projects I have listed above, I like to stop every now and then and read about what’s going on in the world. I have particularly been interested in reading about the ESA’s Rosetta mission. Every time I read about details of the mission, I can’t help but think that I have learned some of the same skills that the team is using to analyze the comet through Remote Sensing.


Read More

Show Less

Related Posts