British Columbia Institute of


GIST 7160 - GIS Databases & Big Data

Geographic Information Systems Part-time Studies Course

School of Construction and the Environment

Course Details

This course is an introduction to database systems and Big Data. Topics will include database and GIS terminology. Database systems will be compared e.g. RDBMS, ODBMS and RDBMS. ESRI’s enterprise geodatabase will be examined. Data modelling: conceptual, logical and physical and data normalization, will be reviewed. SQL and data integrity constraints will be covered. Finally a basic introduction to what big data is, how it can be imported into a geodatabase, and the data visualized with ArcGIS.


GIST 7100 and GIST 7128





Fall 2019

Below is one offering of this course for the Fall 2019 term.

CRN 44205

Thu Sep 12 - Thu Nov 28 12 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
Sep 12 - Nov 28 Online


William Johnstone

Course Outline




  1. Internet delivery format.
  2. Departmental approval needed
  3. **IMPORTANT: The final exam must be written at an approved Exam Centre only. Details will be emailed to you after registering for the course or visit for information. Students should be accepted into the GIS program and completed the prerequisites prior to registration of this course. To receive approval, please email your BCIT Student ID to For more information about online courses at BCIT, please visit: Students must check your e-mail account for start-up instructions sent upon registration of this course. To be successful in our online courses, plan to spend 4-6 hours per course each week on your studies, starting Week 1. Our courses are highly interactive with participation requirements weekly. Most of our online learning courses require a textbook. You can search for your course textbook at : If no textbook is listed, course material will be provided via e-mail.
  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 is in progress. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

In Progress

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, the student will be able to:

  • Distinguish between and give examples of data concepts such as raw data vs metadata, spatial vs attribute, structured vs unstructured vs semi-structured, and big vs little.
  • Distinguish between and give examples of DBMS models: RDBMS, OODBMS, ORDBMS, GIS, LIS, Spatial DBMS, Graph DBMS. ·
  • Distinguish between and give examples of spatial data structures.
  • Describe the architecture of a modern enterprise spatial DBMS.
  • Create attribute and spatial queries using spatial enabled SQL.
  • Implement spatial databases using GIS desktop tools including ArcGIS.
  • Download and import sample Big Data into a geodatabase from a Big Data database.
  • Visualize a Big Data derived dataset using ArcGIS.

Effective as of Fall 2016

Related Programs

GIST 7160 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Geographic Information Systems
    Part-time/Distance & Online Learning   Advanced Certificate


Interested in being notified about future offerings of GIST 7160 - GIS Databases & Big Data? If so, fill out the information below and we'll notify you by email when courses for each new term are displayed here.

Contact Information

Suggest course days and times

If you are interested in taking this course on-campus (classroom delivery only) and would like to see it offered on specific days and/or at specific times, please indicate your preferences below. Day and time suggestions are not applicable to online courses.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

Programs and courses are subject to change without notice.

Find Courses

Payment Changes At BCIT

We've changed the way we accept payments.

Find out more

Course Navigation, Related Links & Tools

Registration News

Registration is currently open for the Fall 2019 term.

The sneak preview for the Winter 2020 term starts Fri, Oct 18 at 8:30 am (PDT).

Students may register for Winter 2020 term courses online, by phone, mail or in-person starting Wed, Oct 23 at 9:00 am (PDT).

Classroom Locations

Classroom locations are subject to last minute changes. Please check the Part-time Studies Classroom Locations listing at on the first day of any course you are registered for.

Part-time Studies Financial Aid

Will you be studying at BCIT part-time? Do you need assistance funding your studies? Find out if you qualify for Part-time Studies financial aid ›