GEOG 3027 - Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018
General Course Information
Course Code GEOG 3027 Course Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours a week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites GEOG 2129 or SOIL&WAT 3020WT or SOIL&WAT 3007WT or other introductory GIS course approved by the Course Coordinator and another 3 units of Level II undergraduate study Assumed Knowledge It will be assumed students have proficiency at research and written skills for Level III as well as basic familiarity with GIS systems Course Description This course builds upon the foundation GIS knowledge and skills acquired at the introductory level and guides students in the development of increasingly sophisticated spatial analysis capabilities. Theory will include detail of the principles that underpin the spatial modelling and analysis techniques employed in the practical exercises. The course has a strong practical focus, and students will gain experience in field data collection, network analysis and the construction, manipulation and interpretation of raster data sets in a GIS environment.
Course Coordinator: Dr Dorothy Turner
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.One lecture and one two hour workshop a week for 12 weeks
Course Learning Outcomes1. To perform sophisticated raster and vector GIS analysis in a GIS environment;
2. To understand the structure, advantages and limitations of raster datasets;
3. To develop a broad appreciation of spatial analysis techniques and application areas;
4. To develop specific skills in the construction and manipulation of raster data sets;
5. Be able to explore and solve spatial problems using GIS techniques and technology
6. To develop skills in the creation, management and delivery of spatial data in an online GIS environment
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) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1, 2,3,4 ,5 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
1,2 ,3,4 ,5 ,6 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
4, 5, 6 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
3,4 ,5, 6 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
1,2 ,3,4 , 6,
Required ResourcesBook Title: An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4th Edition) Author: Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius, Steve Carver
Publisher: Pearson Education Limited ISBN-13: 978 0 273 72259 5
This book is available to purchase from Unibooks. The Barr Smith Library also holds one reserve copy, with two available for general borrowing. Readings are set for all lectures and some workshops, and are expected to be completed BEFORE the lecture or workshop
Recommended ResourcesBook Title: Geographical Information Systems Author: Julie Delaney and Kimberley Van Niel
Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN-13: 978-0-195-55607-0
Copies of this book are also available to purchase from Unibooks. This book is useful as it is written be Australian authors and provides Australian examples of GIS in action.
Supplementary reading in additional GIS texts is highly recommended to improve understanding of the concepts and procedures behind the theory and practice to which students are exposed each week. The Barr Smith Library maintains a Resource Guide for Geographic/Spatial Information Systems at:
This list includes a number of general and specialist texts from which students can choose to support and extend the weekly readings and prepare for the examination.
In addition, I particularly recommend:
Book Title: Geographic Information Analysis (either edition) Author: David O’Sullivan, David Unwin
Year: 2003 or 2010
The library currently has one copy of each edition, additional copies to be confirmed! Book Title: Principles of Geographical Information Systems
Author: Peter Burrough, Rachael McDonnell
Year: 1998 Publisher: Oxford UP
This is a much older text, but very good. Any similar basic GIS text would also be appropriate.
Online LearningOnline Textbooks
There are a variety of online texts available, some of which are extremely comprehensive.
• www.spatialanalysisonline.com – Extremely comprehensive text by Michael De Smith, Paul Longley and Mike Goodchild;
• natureofgeoinfo.org – An open geospatial textbook edited by David DiBiase, hosted by Penn State University;
• giscommons.org – GIS Commons: an introductory textbook on GIS by Michael Schmandt, Sacramento State University;
• www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/contents.html - “The Geographer’s Craft”. Older online text compiled by Kenneth Foote;
• www.esri.com/industries/ebooks - an excellent source of free E-books on a wide variety of GIS topics. Covers the application of GIS in a wide range of industry sectors.
• www.gis.com - a good overview of GIS and geographic thinking. Includes glossary and career links;
• www.esri.com – students should familiarise themselves with this website, particularly the
Support and News sections. It is recommended that you follow the use and developments of the software under the Publications area of the News section.
Other websites as presented during lectures/workshops
The specialist GIS software – ArcGIS - used in this course is only available in limited teaching labs throughout the University which are only open 8am – 6pm.
You should find that ArcGIS is installed in the following locations:
• All Students: Union building suites
• Science Students: Any of the science faculty suites;
• Humanities Students: Napier 106, Napier 107 and Napier 202.
Please take into account the access restrictions when planning your assignment work.
Under special circumstances, ArcMap GIS software is available for home use. Please contact the course coordinator if you feel you have a case to request home use.
It is strongly recommended that you bring a USB or other external drive to all workshops to back up your data and maps.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course consists of one lecture and one two-hour practical workshop per week, which incorporates both theory and practice in an integrated and flexible schedule which allows practical experience to align very closely with theoretical learning.
Classes will be held each week, including weeks 1 and 12.
Because of the integrated and interactive nature of these classes it is important that students commit to attending all sessions.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. You will need to allocate appropriate time for your study (contact and non-contact time). University policies suggest that for a 3-unit course that there should be 12 hours of learning activities per week:
• Structured learning/contact time (lectures and workshops): 3 hours per week;
• Reading and preparation: 3 hours per week;
• Preparation of assignments: 4 hours per week;
• Exam Preparation: 2 hours per week
Learning Activities SummaryThis course builds upon the foundation GIS knowledge and skills acquired at the introductory level and guides students in the development of increasingly sophisticated spatial analysis capabilities. Theory will include detail of the principles that underpin the spatial modelling and analysis techniques employed in the practical exercises. The course has a strong practical focus, and students will gain experience in field data collection, network analysis and the construction, manipulation and interpretation of raster data sets in a GIS environment.
Specific Course RequirementsStudents must have completed Introduction to GIS to enter this course
Small Group Discovery ExperienceStudents will undertake small group discovery activities via the workshops and group work
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.
Take Home Exam
Learning Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5
10% Based on weekly practical classes
(Summative, Formative, Diagnostic)
Learning Objectives 1,2,3,4,5
Minor practical report
20% (Summative, Formative, Diagnostic)
Learning Objectives 2, 3, 4, 5
Major practical report
40% (Summative, Formative) Learning Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Assessment Related RequirementsAttendance is very important in this course.
Assessment DetailMinor Practical Report (20%)
This practical assignment is designed as a refresher in basic GIS operations and spatial thinking. It involves the application of vector spatial analysis techniques to address a range of research questions, along with the exploration of different GIS platforms.
Full details will be provided separately – all documents and data will be available on MyUni.
Due: End of Week 4
Workshop Exercises (10%)
Some weekly workshops will include an assessment task which allows students to demonstrate both the successful completion of the workshop tasks, and their understanding and application of the skills and techniques which they are learning week by week. Full details of the assessment task are made available as appropriate each week.
Major Practical Report (40%)
The practical assignment requires students to apply the GIS knowledge and techniques they have learnt in workshops to construct a raster model of climate change vulnerability in the Adelaide area. This assignment tests your ability to work independently in using the GIS software and new techniques, and through presentation of the results of your analysis in a formal report, you will be able to demonstrate your understanding of spatial relationships and data issues.
Full details will be provided separately – all documents and data will be available on MyUni.
Due: End of Week 13
Take-Home Examination (30%)
There will be a take- home examination held during the formal exam period. Students will have 48 hours to complete the paper, and can refer to course notes, textbooks, etc., throughout. The exam will consist of 3 sections addressing both the theoretical and practical aspects of the course. Question choice will be provided in both sections.
The exam structure and general content areas will be discussed in detail during the course review lecture.
The timing of the exam will be determined through consultation as soon as the formal exam timetable for the semester has been released.
All assessment pieces, including the exam, can be submitted through MyUni.
SubmissionThere will be penalties for late submission so make sure extensions are negotiated with the coordinator.
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.SELT feedback from recent years has led to the allocation of some assessment marks towards the weekly workshops. Review of indivudal course components is undertaken each year following student comments/discussion throughout the course as well as the formal SELT process.
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.
The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.