Principles of GIS (intensive) GEOG5084

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Repeated in Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

An introduction to the principles and practice of Geographic Information Systems.


Classes are run intesively over 1 week.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Continuous assessment 40% including Essay (20%) and GIS practical task (20%); a 1½ hour examination 60%

Main Assessment In: December and April/May

Course Aims

The course's combination of lectures and practicals will give participants the knowledge of the analytical and databasing concepts which will contribute to the specification of the design of a GIS, its implementation and appropriate use; and to develop an awareness of graphical methods of exploring and representing geospatial information in a typical GIS environment.

Teaching aims:
To describe the principles of geographic information systems (GIS)
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 several applications of GIS
To explain how to design an efficient geospatial database
To build confidence in the use of one particular GIS package - ArcGIS
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

Having completed this course, students will be able to:

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

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

■ implement overlay, buffer, network, terrain and neighbourhood analysis in the ArcGIS (or equivalent) environment;

■ 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 development and recreation;

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

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

  Attendance at all practical sessions