Principles of GIS for Environmental Science (Nankai) DUMF5115

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces the principles and practices of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and gives practical experience in their use in addressing environmental issues.


Teaching will be over a 2-3 week period, with further time for practical work, study & reflection, and examination.

Requirements of Entry

Admission to Joint Graduate School

Excluded Courses





GIS analysis study and report (30%)

Database building exercise and report (10%)

DTM application exercise and report (20%)

Examination (40%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

■ To describe the principles of geographic information systems (GIS)

■ To introduce concepts of co-ordinate systems, datums and map projections

■ To explain 2 & 3D vector data structures and concepts, including point, line and polygon entities, attributes and topology

■ To explain 2 & 3D raster data structures and concepts

■ To introduce several well-known GIS analytical tools

■ To introduce spatial interpolation and digital terrain modelling

■ To introduce several applications of GIS

■ To explain how to design an efficient geospatial database

■ To build confidence in the use of one particular GIS package

■ To encourage the use of help files and relevant web pages, etc., to develop the initiative and creativity which contribute to the transferable skill of problem solving in information technology

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe GIS as a combination of geospatial data input, processing, output and personnel subsystems;

■ discuss the use of different co-ordinate systems, datums and map projections in mapping and GIS;

■ distinguish between the vector and raster representation of real world objects;

■ explain overlay, buffer, network, terrain and neighbourhood analysis in GIS;

■ explain the process of spatial interpolation;

■ discuss the creation and use of digital terrain models;

■ design an efficient geospatial database;

■ solve application problems in GIS based on available workstation and on-line help files;

■ apply acquired GIS skills to applications related to the environment;

■ prepare point fields and other gathered data for processing in the GIS environment.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.