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Principles of Geographic Information Systems Level 6


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Dr Shino Shiode
  • Assessment: a 3000-word report (100%)

Module description

In this module we introduce the basic principles and applications of geographic information systems (GIS). Principles covered include those underlying:

  • representation of the geographical world in a digital form
  • manipulating and analysing spatial data
  • presenting and understanding geographical information for decision support.

We will introduce the features of typical software systems used through practical work, and present case studies of their application in environmental, archaeology, human geography and socio-economic fields.

We will use the specialist GIS software package ArcGIS. You will be entitled to a free educational copy of the software to install on your PC so that you can undertake self-paced practical exercises at home.

Indicative syllabus

  • Introduction to geographic information science
  • Introduction to ArcGIS software package
  • Representing geography in a digital form
  • Spatial data models
  • Map production
  • GIS data
  • Vector GIS analysis

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate practical experience of using at least one commercial GIS software package
  • relate theory surrounding digital representation of spatial phenomena to practical analysis of spatial data
  • relate theory surrounding spatial analysis methodologies to applied spatial analysis tasks
  • conceptualise theoretical concepts for the representation of spatial data
  • import, integrate, manipulate, analyse and report spatial data using contemporary GIS packages
  • work successfully with diverse GIS data formats and standards.