Topographic Mapping and Landscape Monitoring GEOG5025

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

An introduction to topographic mapping, including Digital Elevation Modelling, and basic coverage of photogrammetric and remote sensing principles and data sources and the monitoring & modelling of landscape change.


All classes will be on one day of the week during the second half of semester 1 (normally Fridays)

Requirements of Entry

Evidence of appropriate background in GIS


GEOG 5019 Principles of GIS


Assessment is based on an essay (50%) and a report on a computer practical exercise (50%).

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


The coursework exercise uses an extensive dataset. It would be extremely time consuming to reproduce an alternative dataset.

Course Aims

To introduce Topographic maps and their production.

To introduce DTM production and their application in Geomatics

To introduce the fundamentals of photogrammetry, including orthoimage production.

To introduce selected principles and applications of Remote Sensing.

To give practical skills in using topographic information for monitoring and mapping the landscape and landscape change.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify the geometric and radiometric distortions present in aerial imagery, and present means for their correction;

■ explain the flowline for orthophoto production;

■ explain the principles of LiDAR and critically assess its use for DTM generation;

■ describe and evaluate the concepts and models used in digital terrain and surface modelling;

■ assess data sources for digital terrain modelling;

■ evaluate and compare algorithms for creating digital terrain and surface models from different types of data;

■ describe methods for visualising DTM data;

■ generate image products including DTMs and orthoimagery using Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry;

■ discuss the applications of topographic mapping and digital terrain models;

■ discuss the application of selected types of remote sensing;

■ critically asses the use of topographic information in monitoring and mapping landscape change.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Attendance at all practical sessions