The Ocean Mapping program is designed to:


  • Provide a solid understanding of ocean mapping technologies through practical application of marine surveying, remote sensing, oceanographic instrumentation, and Geographic Information Systems for the collection, management, analysis and dissemination of ocean data.
  • Provide comprehensive knowledge of the theory and practice of hydrographic surveying and applied disciplines.
  • Provide an environment to practice analytical reasoning, decision-making, problem-solving and solution development as it relates to Marine Geomatics.
  • Graduate students with a 3 year Marine Institute (MI) Diploma of Technology complimented by a Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) Bachelor of Technology Degree.




The Ocean Mapping Program is designed to:


  • Prepare graduates to enter the workforce with an advanced level of technological literacy and competency with respect to marine technology.
  • Immerse students in both the theory and practical aspects of marine technology, allowing for a seamless transition from the classroom to the real world.
  • Provide the students with the necessary expertise in all aspects of Ocean Mapping, including the collection, processing and management of physical, biological and chemical data pertaining to the ocean.
  • Integrate and apply the use of satellite imagery and other methodologies to determine the many parameters in the ocean.
  • Develop the skills to design, develop, store, analyze manage and disseminate spatial and attribute information within a Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Examine the ocean cube comprised of the surface, water column, seabed and seabed subsurface.
  • Operate and troubleshoot traditional and industrial standard marine surveying equipment within relevant working environments.
  • Operate and troubleshoot oceanographic instrumentation equipment within relevant working environments, both land and sea.
  • Utilize electromagnetic and acoustic remote sensing technologies for advanced analysis of marine data.
  • Design, develop and manage Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the developer, analyst, Information Technology (IT), manager and end-user perspectives.


Main Areas of Study


The first year of the Ocean Mapping program is similar to the common first year structure of other programs at the Marine Institute, with the inclusion of some program specific areas of study. All students will complete core courses in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Electrotechnology. Additionally, students will:


  • Complete a communication skills course designed specifically for the School of Ocean Technology pertaining to technical report writing in semester one.
  • Complete a course covering the fundamentals of oceanography in semester one.
  • Complete a short safety course in WHMIS in semester one.
  • Complete a course covering the fundamentals of underwater acoustic applications in semester two.
  • Complete a course covering the fundamentals of applied computer programming in semester two.
  • Following semester two, a six-week technical session will be completed whereby the students become actively engaged in the practical application of ocean mapping technology in the fields of Hydrography, Tides, Surveying and Oceanographic Instrumentation and seamanship. Some of the practical elements associated with data acquisition will be performed at sea on a Marine Institute vessel.
  • Students will also complete specialized courses that focus on marine navigation, chart work, confined space, small vessel operation and practical boat handling.


The second year of the Ocean Mapping program marks the beginning of a more concentrated effort towards the theory and application of Geodesy, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Hydrographic Surveying and Oceanography, with emphasis placed on the utilization of ocean-related data. Year 2 will also include two additional math courses to compliment student learning of ocean mapping concepts. Students will:


  • Complete courses in Geodesy, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Computers and Networking and Oceanography in semester three as well as an additional math course in calculus.
  • Complete courses in Advanced Remote Sensing, Tides and Water Levels, Intermediate Surveying Practices, Sidescan Sonar and Geophysical Remote Sensing and Multibeam Sonar in semester four as well as an additional math course in Calculus.
  • Following semester four, a six-week technical session will be completed whereby the students become actively engaged in intermediate techniques associated with system deployment, field data acquisition, system design, implementation techniques and best practices utilized for data processing and visualization. In addition, students will also complete a series of short courses associated with Marine Safety, including STCW-Basic Safety, Restricted Operator’s Certificate, and Marine Basic First Aid, all of which are essential when working within a marine environment.


The third year of the Ocean Mapping program marks the beginning of the more advanced ocean mapping techniques whereby students learn methods and techniques used in the fields of data design and management as well as overall system integration and performance. Students will:


  • Complete advanced courses in Geospatial Data Management, Shipboard System Integration, Advanced Surveying Practices, ENC Chart Production as well as the commencement of the ocean mapping data management capstone project in semester five.
  • Complete a series of advanced courses in the form of web-based mapping and application development,paper chart production, system performance, Students will also learn advanced surveying practices through specialized hydrographic applications such as port management and coastal engineering, offshore geophysics, construction hydrography and seismic surveying as well as the formal completion of the ocean mapping data management capstone project in semester six.
  • Following semester six, a six-week technical session will be completed whereby the students become actively engaged in advanced techniques associated with field data collection, advanced system design and implementation techniques and best practices, ROV surveying operations as well as advanced techniques utilized for data processing and visualization. In addition, students will complete security awareness training as it relates to proper vessel protocols.
  • Immediately following the third Technical Session, students will begin a comprehensive work term placement component whereby the students are fully immersed with an ocean mapping related work place and performing the tasks required within industry. The duration of the work term is flexible by design as it will reflect the individual job duties of each student. In general, students are required to complete either an eight-week work term or a total of 320 hours to fulfill the requirements for successful completion.


In the fourth year of the Ocean Mapping program students start their Bachelor of Technology – Engineering and Applied Science option. The Bachelor of Technology program prepares graduates for career advancement in engineering/applied science technology industries. It is designed for students who have graduated from an accredited diploma of technology program, or enrolled in our combined programs such as this one. Courses in the program provide the student with an introduction to professional skills such as project management, finances and societal concepts as they relate to technological companies. It should be noted that many of these courses can be completed via distance or through traditional face to face delivery options.


Characteristics of Graduates:


Successful graduates of the Ocean Mapping Program will have a proven work ethic and an excellent understanding of all aspects of ocean mapping technology, preparing them for employment within a variety of fields within ocean mapping.


Accreditation Status


The Ocean Mapping program has successfully attained international recognition under the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) as a Category B Hydrographic Surveyor program, making the program accepted and recognized worldwide. Also the Ocean Mapping program has successfully attained national accreditation under the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) for national recognition in the field of Surveying and Geomatics at the technologist level. The Ocean Mapping Program is a Diploma / Degree program and has incorporated Bachelor of Technology components from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (MUN), indicating its Degree recognition. As a result, the Ocean Mapping program is formally recognized provincially, nationally and internationally.




As per the Marine Institutes minimum entrance requirements for Diploma of Technology Programs, Refer to the Admissions Section of the Marine Institute Calendar.


Applicants should possess strong skills in both mathematics and science to enter this program.


Upon successful completion of the diploma portion of the Ocean Mapping program students will be accepted into the Bachelor of Technology – Engineering and Applied Science option.




The Ocean Mapping Program is a three year program that consists of:


  • Six (6) thirteen-week academic terms.
  • Three (3) six-week technical sessions and One (1) work term.
  • Forty-Eight (48) courses.


The Ocean Mapping Bachelor of Technology Program consists of thirteen (13) courses that can be completed on a full time or part time basis. Please refer to the Degree Program Regulation in the Fisheries and Marine Institute section of the 2018-2019 Memorial University Calendar for details on the required courses for the Bachelor of Technology – Engineering and Applied Science Option,




CHEM 1100 (Chemistry)
CMSK 1104 (Introduction to Technical Reporting)
ELTK 1100 (Electrotechnology)
MATH 1100 (Pre-Calculus)
ONGR 1200 (Descriptive Oceanography)
PHYS 1100 (Physics)
CHEM 1200 (Chemistry)
CPSK 1102 (Introduction to Programming)
ELTK 1200 (Electrotechnology)
MATH 1101 (Introduction to Calculus)
OMAP 2000 (Underwater Acoustics Applications)
PHYS 1200 (Physics)
OMAP 1302 (Ocean Mapping Field Camp I)
NASC 3309 (Introduction to Navigation)
SFTY 1124 (Confined Space Entry Awareness)
SFTY 1125 (Small Vessel Operator Proficiency)
SFTY 1135 (Practical Boat Handling)

ELTR 2118 (Introduction to Computers and Networking)
GEOG 2103 (Introduction to GIS)
GEOG 2104 (Introduction to Geodesy)
GEOG 2200 (Remote Sensing)
MATH 1200 (Calculus)
ONGR 2203 (Applied Oceanography)

GEOG 2201 (Intermediate Surveying Practice)
GEOG 3104 (Advanced Remote Sensing)
MATH 2101 (Advanced Calculus)
OMAP 2100 (Advanced Tides and Water Levels)
OMAP 2200 (Sidescan Sonar and Geophysical Remote Sensing)
OMAP 2201 (Multibeam Sonar)
NASC 2107 (ROC-MC)
OMAP 2302 (Ocean Mapping Field Camp II)
SFTY 1102 (Marine Basic First Aid)
SFTY 1114 (STCW Basic Safety - STCW’95 VI/I))
GEOG 3105 (Advanced Geospatial Data Management)
GEOG 3201 (Advanced Survey Practices)
GEOG 3403 (Electronic Navigation Chart Development)
OMAP 3100 (Shipboard System Integration)
OMAP 3401 (Data Management Project I)
GEOG 3204 (Web-based Mapping and Application Development)
GEOG 3205 (Paper Chart Production)
OMAP 3101 (System Performance)
OMAP 3202 (Specialized Hydrography)
OMAP 3501 (Data Management Project II)
STAT 2108 (Applied Statistics)
OMAP 3302 (Ocean Mapping Field Camp III)
SFTY 1134 (Security Awareness Training)
WKTM 3302 (to follow Technical Session)


Bachelor of Ocean Technology – Engineering and Applied Science


Please refer to the Bachelor of Technology Degree Program Regulation in the Fisheries and Marine Institute Section of the 2017-2018 MUN Calendar for detail on the required courses,




Students will be required to pass a Transport Canada Seafarer medical.




Evaluation of the Ocean Mapping Program will occur on a regular basis to ensure that all academic and accreditation criteria have been met and to ensure that the program is designed and implemented to represent the optimal education stream for the students, faculty, school and Institute.




Information about the industry


Ocean Mapping graduates will be entering a broad and diverse field that has a variety of specific niches that require the services and expertise within this program and through their training, the students will easily and seamlessly fit in to any business model. Until now, there was never a formal job title of Ocean Mapper because the typical roles were traditionally performed by a group of people. Graduating as an Ocean Mapper, students will be technologically literate and competent in all the sectors of the industry, thus making them extremely employable and attractive to local, national and international companies.


Types of companies graduate will find work


  • Graduates of this program are expected to avail of careers in a variety of areas, ranging from the private sectors and consultant agencies, provincial and federal government departments as well as educational and research institutions, One of the great aspects of the program is that graduates can seek employment either at sea or ashore or a combination of both because the knowledge and expertise they have attained will apply to both environments. Graduates may find themselves at sea on a survey vessel operating equipment to collect process and analyze information. Many opportunities also exist where graduates can work ashore in a scientific capacity, analyzing and presenting data.


Types of job titles


  • Ocean Mapper
  • Spatial Database Analyst
  • Special Projects Team Lead
  • Hydrographic Surveyor
  • Database Administrator
  • Computer Programmer
  • GIS Technician / Specialist
  • Web Developer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Remote Sensing Specialist
  • Instrumentation Oceanographer
  • Applied Researcher
  • Project Manager
  • Computer Network Specialist




Locally (Newfoundland and Labrador), Nationally (Canada), and Internationally (Worldwide)




Typical activities for an Ocean Mapper graduate are as follows:


Hydrographic Surveyor


  • Ability to undertake industrial activities including the precise positioning, data acquisition, processing, analysis, management and dissemination of marine environments
  • Ability to measure and map the sea-surface, water column, seafloor and seafloor substrate
  • Ability to utilize software and equipment relating to satellite and terrestrial positioning, single beam echo sounders, multibeam echo sounders, laser scanners, LiDAR and Sidescan Sonar for the production of nautical charts and maps
  • Ability to utilized remotely operated (ROV) and autonomous (AUV) underwater vehicles for hydrographic data acquisition
  • Ability to manage projects and produce reports
  • Ability to provide accurate and reliable information for other disciplines such as navigation, dredging, environmental monitoring, oils and gas and oceanographic research
  • Ability to work as a team of technical specialists

Spatial Database Administrator


  • Experience with Oracle or SQL Server installation, configuration and administration, with strong abilities using either Oracle Spatial or SQL Server Geography and Geometry data types
  • Spatial Database Backup and Recovery
  • Archive Log Management
  • ESRI ArcSDE tuning and configuration
  • Strong understanding of the geodatabase, including the types and their usage
  • Experience with raster and vector data loading with change control and optimization
  • Ability to install and configure a Windows environment
  • Ability to design, configure and maintain a spatial data warehouse
  • Ability to handle large quantities of data in a seamless environment

Remote Sensing Specialist


  • Competence in using ArcGIS Desktop and Server including processing and manipulation of a wide variety of spatial data, building databases, spatial analysis, 3D visualizations & map production
  • Experience in Remote Sensing techniques, such as classification, feature extraction and image analysis using Idrisi Taiga software or equivalent
  • Competence in digital Photogrammetry and orthophoto production, preferably using PCI Geomatica or equivalent
  • Familiarity with sub-meter GPS applications, including data acquisition and post-processing
  • Abilities in a relevant language such as C++, Python etc an advantage
  • Experience with web approaches, interfaces, & protocols such as html, xml, css, php, etc
  • Familiarity with implementation of OGC compliant standards such as WMS, WFS, etc
  • Sound understanding of computer networking, client-server and database technologies

GIS Technician / Specialist


  • Work with the project management team to plan and implement new systems within a marine environment
  • Deploy marine applications onto web servers and configure systems based on identified requirements
  • Maintain a high implementation quality standard through attention to detail and thorough review and testing procedures
  • Deliver written material as need to summarize implementations, report on status or provide clients with how-to instructions
  • Support existing client implementations by troubleshooting and diagnosing issues, providing clients with guidance and feedback and applying hot fixes where necessary
  • Provide technical guidance regarding the implementation of ArcGIS Server and integration requirements within marine-based solutions
  • Install and manage ArcGIS Server systems
  • Work with clients on the configuration of Map Services, layer definitions, cartography, thematic map definitions, and map server performance tuning
  • Process/prepare data for web sites, configure map server settings, and create static HTML content.