GEOG 3027 - Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 3027
    Course Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    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 Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dorothy Turner

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. 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,
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Book Title: An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4th Edition)
    Author: Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius, Steve Carver
    Year: 2011
    Publisher: Pearson Education Limited
    ISBN-13: 978 0 273 72259 5

    This book is available online from the Adelaide University Library and 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 Resources
    Book Title: Geographical Information Systems (2nd Edition).
    Author: Julie Delaney and Kimberley Van Niel
    Year: 2007
    Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN-13: 978-0-195-55607-0 

    There are 3 copies of this book at the Barr Smith Library (1 reserve and 2 for general borrowing) and 1 copy at Waite Campus Library. 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 GIS/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 (2nd edition)
    Author: David O’Sullivan, David Unwin
    Year: 2010
    Publisher: Wiley
    ISBN-13: 978-0-470-28857-3

    This book is available online from the Adelaide University Library. There are currently also two copies in the Barr Smith Library. 

    Book Title: Principles of Geographical Information Systems
    Author: Peter Burrough, Rachael McDonnell
    Year: 1998
    Publisher: Oxford UP
    ISBN 0198233663

    There is currently 3 copies available (one each at the Barr Smith Library, Roseworthy Campus Library and Waite Campus Library).
    This is a much older text, but very good. Any similar basic GIS text would also be appropriate.

    Online Learning


    All lectures will be recorded and available through MyUni.
    All lecture slides, workshop instructions and workshop data will also be available through MyUni.

    Online Textbooks

    There are a variety of online texts available, some of which are extremely comprehensive:


    There are many websites with information about GIS, the industry, and using GIS, including:
    • - a good overview of GIS and geographic thinking. Includes glossary and career links;
    • - GIS Lounge is an information portal, providing links to numerous news items, tips, and resources including introductory texts on all things GIS. This site is run by Caitlin Dempsey who has authored numerous articles about GIS and the spatial industry; and
    • – peak body for the surveying and spatial sciences in Australia. This site provides information about education/careers, and links to local events in South Australia and other States/Territories such as Spatial Information Day ( The Free Student Program offers membership and various benefits to students with an interest in GIS, including access to discounted events held in Adelaide.


    The GIS commercial software that will be used in this course is ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 10.5.1. 

    This software is available in limited teaching labs across the University from 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday. 

    You should find that ArcGIS is installed in the following locations:
    • Science Students: Any of the science faculty computer suites
    • Humanities Students: Napier 106, Napier 107 and Napier 202.

    Although ArcGIS is not available for standalone installation on your personal computers, it can be accessed anytime through the University’s ADAPT platform (Any Device, Any Place and Time). Please review the setup guides and instructions for using ADAPT. Please contact Technology Services or the course coordinator if you are having problems accessing this.

    Please take into account any access restrictions when planning your assignment work.


    It is strongly recommended that you do all coursework on your U drive as this can be accessed from any university computer, or from your home computer through ADAPT, and is regularly backed up.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Modified arrangements have been made to assessments and the details provided here reflect recent updates.
    Assessment Task Weighting
    Workshop Portfolio (in 3 parts) 30%
    Minor Practical Report 30%
    Major Practical Report 40%
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    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 ( 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.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    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.

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