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The University of Southampton

GEOG2010 Introductory Geographic Information Systems

Module Overview

The module will introduce the basic concepts and techniques underpinning geographic information systems.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the concept of spatial variation and properties that distinguish spatial data from other types of data.
  • Employ technical methods in geographical information system.
  • Use GIS software for a range of tasks including entering and handling spatial data, and executing functionality such as buffering and overlay
  • Explain the importance of the spatial characteristics of geographical data.
  • Analyse and critically interpret geographical data.
  • Abstract and synthesise information.
  • Understand the properties of spatial data models.
  • Understand the difference between reality and data representation.
  • Have an awareness of the significance of scale.
  • Gain knowledge of the representation of the physical and human world in GIS.
  • Have a command of the methods of geographical analysis and interpretation.
  • Have knowledge of a range of analytical and observation techniques in geographical information systems.
  • Confidently use a range of relevant forms of IT software.
  • Marshall and retrieve data from library and internet resources.


Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful frameworks for the handling of geographically referenced data. This module comprises a mixture of lectures and computer-based practicals delivered using popular GIS software. The lecture material will focus on the fundamental concepts of GIS at an introductory level, including an introduction to spatial data, methods for data input, storage and analysis, and map preparation. The module is suitable for all students, with example applications drawn from both human and physical geography and beyond. The techniques and processes taught using these examples are easily transferable to other disciplines. The module allows progression to the modules 'Advanced Geographical Information Systems' (GEOG2021/3006) and 'Applied GIS: Using GIS in the Workplace' (GEOG3067); and is complementary to modules in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods comprise a range of activities, some instructor-led others student-led, designed to provide students with a range of learning opportunities. These include: lectures, online and face-to-face self-paced computing practicals, companion video demonstrations, Blackboard discussion forums, help sessions and guided reading.

Independent Study121
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Software. Students will use ArcGIS and standard office software. ArcGIS is available on-campus or available through iSolutions for installation on students’ own PCs.

Blackboard. Materials will be made available to the students through Blackboard.



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Coursework 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Coursework 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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