The University of Southampton
Courses

GEOG2021 Advanced Geographical Information Systems

Module Overview

The module will look at the conceptual, practical and methodological issues associated with using GIS for environmental and socio-economic applications.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To develop an advanced understanding of the conceptual, practical and methodological issues associated with using GIS for environmental and socio-economic applications. It will appeal to human and physical geography students as well as those in cognate disciplines (e.g. environmental sciences, social sciences). Particular emphasis is placed on the acquisition of practical skills using major software systems

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • The application of geographic information science for the understanding of social and economic problems and environmental management
  • Understand the importance of the geographical characteristics of data.
  • Confidently use a range of relevant forms of IT software.
  • Understand the ways in which geographical data of various types can be combined, interpreted and modelled.
  • Analyse and critically interpret secondary geographical data.
  • Marshal and retrieve data from library and Internet resources
  • Use appropriate techniques, including computer software, to produce clear diagrams and maps.
  • Understand the different types of spatially explicit model and their relative strengths and weaknesses.
  • The influence of spatial and temporal scale upon human and physical processes.
  • The use of concepts of space and spatial variation in geographic analysis
  • Analyse critically literature in human and physical geography.
  • The theory, acquisition, analysis and interpretation of geographical data across a range of applications.
  • Abstract and synthesise information from a range of different geographical sources.
  • Produce fluent and comprehensive written reports on complex topics.
  • Analyse and understand data in human and physical geography using computer techniques.
  • Pursue knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way.

Syllabus

This module is comprised of two parts. Part I focuses on spatially distributed dynamic models with particular emphasis on environmental modelling. A range of spatially distributed models will be studied from application areas such as forestry, climate change, and land use planning. Subjects such as model calibration and validation, sensitivity analysis and what-if scenarios are covered, and students should be able to recognise the different types of spatially distributed model by the end of the module. In Part II of the module, the focus is on techniques and concepts in spatial data handling. This encompasses issues such as newly emerging sources of geospatial data, accessing and inputting data, measuring accessibility, and issues of scale and uncertainty. Finally, the usefulness of GIS for enhancing the operations of real-world organisations will be evaluated. It should be emphasised that the methods and techniques used, and the skills developed in both halves of the course, are applicable across the breadth of quantitative geography (whether human or physical) and environmental science.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures provide a sound knowledge base and structure. Computing practicals provide the opportunity to put these concepts and methods into practice and to gain hands-on experience of using two major GIS software packages (the open source Quantum GIS software and ESRI’s ArcGIS). The practical sessions and associated coursework are problem-based to encourage students to develop skills in the context of the solution of real-world problems

TypeHours
Independent Study120
Teaching30
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Longley, P.A., Goodchild, M.F., Maguire, D.J., Rhind, D.W. (Eds) (2005). Geographical information systems: Principles, Techniques, Management and Applications. 

Geoconvert.

Software requirements. QGIS and ArcGIS desktop, both on computer workstation clusters and for use by students on own laptops/computers.

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 33%
Coursework 33%
Exam 34%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) %
Exam %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites

To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

CodeModule
GEOG2010Introductory Geographic Information Systems
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