British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response


GEOM 4080 - Coordinate Systems and Mathematical Cartography

Geomatics Part-time Studies Course

School of Construction and the Environment

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the fall 2021 term as informed by BC Public Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

Course Details

This course consists of two components: Coordinate Systems for Geomatics and Mathematical Cartography for Geomatics. The Coordinate systems component includes topics on Time reference systems, Terrestrial reference systems and reference frames (such as International Terrestrial Reference Systems and Frames, Canadian Spatial Reference Systems, Canadian vertical datum, etc.), Celestial reference systems, including Equatorial, Horizon, Ecliptic and International Celestial Reference, systems; and Orbital coordinate system. The Map Projections component treats the concepts and properties of map projections; Classifications of map projections; Theory of distortions (Conformality, Equivalency, Equidistancy, Tissot's indicatrix); Cylindrical projections (including Mercator, Transverse Mercator (TM), Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), Local Transverse Mercator (LTM)); Conic projections; Azimuthal projections; Stereographic projection (including the stereographic double projection used in the Maritimes).


MATH 2511 and GEOM 3050





Fall 2021

Below is one offering of this course for the Fall 2021 term.

CRN 47465

Wed Sep 08 - Wed Dec 15 15 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
Sep 08 - Dec 15 Online



Course Outline

TBD – see Learning Outcomes in the interim




  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. Departmental approval needed
  3. Make sure you have passed the prerequisite courses MATH 2511 and GEOM 3050. 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 mid-term and the final exams must be written at an approved Exam Centre only. Details will be emailed to you after registering for the course.
  4. Important course information will be sent to you prior to your course start date. Check your myBCIT email account to access this information.

This course offering has been cancelled. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.


Learning Outcomes

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

  • Explain the properties of different coordinate systems used in Geomatics with regard to origin and orientation of axes.
  • Interpret and apply time systems, such as universal, sidereal, atomic and coordinate time systems.
  • Distinguish among the different reference systems and frames used in Geomatics, such as Canadian Geodetic Reference System and Frame, Celestial Reference System and Frame, Orbital systems, etc.
  • Compute positions in the coordinate reference systems used in Geomatics.
  • Relate different reference coordinate systems used in Geomatics with each other.
  • Explain the problems of map projections.
  • Describe the properties of surfaces used in map projections and the fundamental equations of those surfaces.
  • Discuss the elements of map projection distortions (conformality, equivalency, equidistancy) and how those elements are represented mathematically.
  • Evaluate distortions of maps using basic computational and graphical procedures.
  • Classify map projections using different bases, such as the traditional bases of map projections classification.
  • Choose a suitable map projection for a region.
  • Illustrate the graticule appearance of different map projections used in Geomatics, such as Mercator, TM, UTM, LTM, Stereographic (including double projection), and Lambert conformal Conic.
  • Discuss the properties, advantages and disadvantages of some map projections, such as Lambert conic projection, Mercator conformal cylindrical projection, Gaussian conformal projection of ellipsoid, UTM, 3TM, stereographic double projections.
  • Prepare field measurements for use in map projection grid systems.
  • Relate geographic coordinate system to map projections grid systems and transform coordinates calculated in one system to equivalent ones in the other.

Effective as of Winter 2018

Related Programs

GEOM 4080 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Geomatics Engineering Technology
    Full-time   Diploma


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