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Course details

This course introduces the student to the topic of geodetic positioning through a series of lectures and assignments. Topics covered include fundamental geodetic concepts, coordinate systems and coordinate transformations, the Earth’s gravity field, geoid models and height systems as well as horizontal and vertical geodetic datums, reference systems and reference frames, and datum transformations. The course concludes with direct and inverse computations on a sphere, an ellipsoid and in three-dimensions, and an introduction to space based positioning techniques.


  • Course registration is restricted to students with conditional acceptance into the 2nd year of the Geomatics Diploma Program.





Course offerings

Fall 2023

Below is one offering of GEOM 5120 for the Fall 2023 term.

CRN 48146


Wed Sep 06 - Tue Dec 19 (15 weeks)

  • 15 weeks
  • CRN 48146
  • $1095.51
Class meeting times
Dates Days Times Locations
Sep 06 - Dec 19 N/A N/A Online

Mohammad Rajabi

Course outline

Course outline TBD — see Learning Outcomes in the interim.





Important information
  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. Departmental approval needed
  3. Important course information will be sent to you prior to your course start date. Check your myBCIT email account to access this information.
  4. Students may receive approval to register for this course with completion of 2-year Geomatics diploma. To receive approval, please email your official academic transcript(s) and BCIT Student ID to If you are new to BCIT, create an ID at **IMPORTANT: The final exam must be written at an approved Exam Centre only. Details will be emailed to you after registering for the course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Outline the history of geodesy and its relevance to the current practice of geomatics engineering.
  • Discuss the uses of different geodetic reference surfaces and orientation.
  • Explain the geodetic concepts and quantities of the celestial sphere, time, latitude and longitude.
  • Apply geodetic computations using spherical and ellipsoidal earth models.
  • Relate different types of coordinate systems - Terrestrial (including Conformal Mapping), Celestial and Orbital.
  • Discuss the Earth’s Gravity Field, Gravity potential, Gravity Anomalies and the effects of Gravity on survey instruments and field procedures.
  • Discuss and discriminate between various vertical datums and geoid models used in North America.
  • Relate different height systems, including their relationships to Earth’s Gravity Field.
  • Apply height computations in different height systems.
  • Relate different types of Geodetic Datums, Reference Frames and Spatial Reference Systems used in North America.
  • Perform Datum and Coordinate System Transformation, Forward and Inverse Solutions on the ellipsoid and in three dimensions.
  • Apply corrections and reductions to terrestrial observations for gravity and ellipsoidal effects.
  • Outline the physical properties, instrumentation, applications and accuracies of some Space-Based Positioning Techniques, such as Transit Doppler, GPS, GLONASS, COMPASS, Galileo, LLR, SLR, and VLBI.

Effective as of Fall 2017

Related Programs

Geodetic Positioning 1 (GEOM 5120) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Geomatics
    Bachelor of Science Full-time


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