SOIL&WAT 2501 - Spatial Information and Land Evaluation II
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code SOIL&WAT 2501 Course Spatial Information and Land Evaluation II Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 5 hours per week, plus field trip Course Description Spatial information is fundamental to decision making in all environmental disciplines. It is widely used in natural sciences areas from agriculture, environmental management to mining industries. The breadth of applications of spatial information is increasing rapidly due to a vastly improved availability of spatial data and the recently accelerated development of geographic information systems and remote sensing tools. The subject introduces theory, history and current methods of spatial information presentation, generation, and analysis. It gives an overview of major Australian and South Australian mapping programs and spatial information in government agencies. Students are introduced to factors that shape the landscape and learn how to interpret land surface features. In field exercises students are introduced to surveying, the use of Global Positioning Systems, field navigation and safety.
Course Coordinator: Dr Bertram Ostendorf
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesA succesful student in this course should be able to:
1 Understand processes that shape earth surfaces; 2 Use global coordinate systems to determine locations at global and local scales; 3 Read and topographic maps; 4 Use computing techniques to handle spatial data; 5 Use modern online mapping tools with their own spatial data; 6 Understand the theory of GPS and be able to use GPS to collect spatial data; 7 Apply advanced data computing skills and GIS methodology to map landscape features.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-7 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4-7 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,4-7 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 7 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4-7 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-7
Recommended ResourcesBourough, P.A., McDonnell,R.A. Principles of Geographic Information Systems (1998)
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course consists of the following:
- 1 X 2-hour lecture per week
- 1 X 3-hour practical per week
- 1 day field trip held in class time
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities Summary
Schedule Lecture Practical Week 1 Introduction to maps Topographic map reading, Scales, Distances, Bearing Week 2 Quantifying spatial data Practice using Excel, Equations, database functionality, visualisation, pivot tables Week 3 Spatial databases and computing aspects of spatial data Basic computer sciences, structures of databases, Introduction to Access, Data entry and visualisation of tabular dat Week 4 Introduction to ArcGIS ArcGIS intro - using own data sourced from the internet Week 5 Spatial information sources and data formats GPS outside prac, waypoints, mapping own data, open source spatial data, government data access, spatial data formats: raw data, kml, kmz, gpx and shapefiles Week 6 Airphotos – old method, new technologies Merits and Limits, space-time issues, photos vs. maps, Field of View, Parallaxes Week 7 Surveying Outside prac, Levelling and Traverses, computer data entry/report preparation Week 8 Introduction to remote sensing Introduction to image analysis software, interpretation of satellite images for environmental monitoring Week 9 The third dimension: terrain and topography Interpreting and analysing topography from different forms of data Week 10 Natural Resource mapping Interpretation of aerial photos for natural resource mapping, preparation for field day Week 11 Field Day- Wirra Conservation Park GPS-based mapping, site characterisation and Navigation Week 12 Presentation of Spatial Data Getting the map and field data into the GIS, final report preparation
Specific Course RequirementsThis course has a one day field trip in class time.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Type of Assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
Outcomes being assessed/achieved Due date Practical reports Formative & Summative
No 1-6 Weeks 1-9 Field Trip reports Formative & Summative 15% No 1-7 Week 12 Exam Summative 40% No 1-7 Exam period
Assessment DetailPractical reports: (45%)
There will be 9 practical reports, worth each 5%. These reports cover material in the theoretical lectures and require students to reflect on the learned, conduct exercises under guidance and work out problems that require transfer of knowledge. Practical reports are 1-2 page long with graphical or numerical answers. Only minimal individual feedback is given but the practical is followed up by extensive discussions during the next lecture and practical. Students ared engaged in group discussions under supervision of lecturers and demonstrators.
Field trip report (15%)
During a period of three weeks, students form groups and prepare the field data collection, conduct the data collection during the field trip, and use their data for a scientific report that includes a GIS visualisation of their own spatial data. Students are required to write a scientific report that includes introduction, their own detailed method of field data collection, presentation including GIS artwork, and conclusion from their own data. Students will also complete an assessment of the relative contributions of group members.
The final examination will evaluate theoretical knowledge and the ability to write coherent and concise statements. It is a 3-hour exam.
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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