Fundamentals Of Geomatics (Intensive) GEOG5083

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • 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 the essential mathematical background of Geomatics, including co-ordinate systems, datums, map projections and co-ordinate transformations


Classes will be offered over a two week period, to be arranged.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses

Fundamentals of Geomatics I (10 credits)

Fundamentals of Geomatics II (10 credits)

Fundamentals of Geomatics (combined) (20 credits)


Assessment is based on a number of practical exercises, a class test and an end of semester examination.

Main Assessment In: December and April/May

Course Aims

Geospatial information acquisition, processing and management requires familiarity with certain concepts including: coordinate systems and map projections, figures of the earth, 2&3D trigonometry, survey sampling, statistics of central tendency, solving sets of equations, least squares adjustment, correlation, matrix algebra and computer programming, generally conducted within the frameworks established by national and international professional and standards organisations. It is the intention of this course to ensure that all programme participants have familiarity with these topics and having completed this, will be able to apply this knowledge in the gathering, processing and managing of geospatial data.


Some applications are specifically addressed in this course (mostly as practicals), but many are addressed or revisited in other courses within the programmes. It is for this reason that this material is considered to consist of essential fundamentals for both MSc programmes.


The course is supported by a series of tutorials on mathematical principles applied to surveying & mapping.



To prepare students in the mathematical, statistical and computational techniques to support the study of Geomatics;

To use central tendency statistics and probability to represent the quality of surveys and maps;

To introduce concepts of coordinate systems, datums and map projections;

To prepare students to instigate a projection change using available and self-developed software;

To introduce the principles and use of Least Squares in surveying & mapping.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ describe the basic principles of geodesy, including the size and shape of the Earth, datums and Earth-based coordinate systems;

■ explain the principles, concepts and application of coordinate transformations and map projections;

■ select appropriate map projections;

■ based on central tendency statistics, determine the precision of a set of observations, and estimate their accuracy;

■ determine the correlation between two sets of apparently independent variables.

■ explain the principles and applications of least squares in surveying & mapping;

■ write short programs using VBA (and other Basic based languages).

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Attendance at all practical sessions