GV2GIS-Geographical Information Systems

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Geoffrey Griffiths

Email: g.h.griffiths@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module introduces students to the techniques and application of digital data for solving geographical problems in the modern world. The first part of the module provides students with technical skills in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The approach is 'hands-on' allowing students to explore digital map data from a range of sources for a wide range of applications in human and physical geography.

The aim of the module is to provide students with the technical skills to understand and apply digital data from a range of sources for analysing, interpreting and solving geographical problems.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module it is expected that a student will be able to:
- Understand the principles of map design including projection and coordinate systems; graticules and grids; scale and resolution;
- Identify and download digital map information (topographic, geology, soils, land cover, population census etc) from the Ordnance Survey (Edina Digimap) and other sources;
- Develop skills in analysing different types of digital data (raster & vector) within a GIS environment including, data input, databases, spatial overlay;
- Develop practical skills for the presentation of different types of maps.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be expected to understand the applications of digital data in a range of geographical contexts.

Outline content:
The first part of the module is a series of practical sessions using ESRI ArcMap GIS software to introduce students to the potential of GIS for the production of maps of high cartographic quality. These practical sessions teach students the fundamentals of GIS including: data sources and data input; data display and 'on-screen' interrogation and digitising; coordinate systems; spatial analysis and map composition. In the remaining practical sessions students are required to select an individual topic and, using the skills already acquired, to complete and write-up a technical report for submission. Topics vary but include, for example: impacts of flooding; planning; environmental assessment; indices of development and relative deprivation etc.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The approach is practical and 'hands-on' with most of the teaching and learning taking place in computer labs. Students will be taught to download the relevant GIS software onto their own laptops and will be encouraged to consolidate techniques learnt during practical sessions in their own time.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Project Supervision 6
Practicals classes and workshops 20
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 100

Other information on summative assessment:
The first assignment (40%) will involve an element of fieldwork on Whiteknights campus to collect data followed by practical sessions to process the data and submit as part of a set practical exercise. The second assignment will involve students selecting a topic on the application of GIS for environmental assessment/planning and writing-up as a technical report

Formative assessment methods:
Students may be expected to undertake and submit formative assignments on specific technical topics related to learning complex software.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Last updated: 6 April 2016

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