GEOGY328-20B (BTG)

Geographical Information Systems

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences


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Paper Description

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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is a widely used computer technology for organising and analysing information associated with space, which includes land-use, water, environment, people, and primary and service based industries. Consequentially most Government organisations and 100s of private companies employ GIS graduates, including the defence force. This paper will introduce the main concepts of GIS, and provide you with the skills to apply GIS to a range of spatial problems.

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Paper Structure

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This course will be taught as a block course as a series of workshops mostly during the 2 weeks of the Semester B teaching recess. Most workshop days will involve a quiz, and a computer lab exercise. You are expected to work in your own time experimenting with the GIS software, reading, and reviewing notes. The course contains assessments of computer exercises, a project, quizzes and a final test.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • do the following
    • Describe the key features and functions of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
    • Discuss the capabilities and limitations of GIS
    • Describe the mechanics of GIS including database structures and models
    • Design and implement a GIS project using GIS software and present this in a scientific poster format
    • Perform a range of GIS operations including data input, buffering, geo-referencing, model building and use GIS software for spatial analysis, network analysis, surface modelling, 3-D visualisation, network analysis, and terrain analysis.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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The assessment for this course will be based on:

Seven computer laboratory exercises - 35% (5% each)

Ten multi-choice quizzes 10% (1% each)

A project poster 25%

A final test 30%

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Seven computer laboratory exercises
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Ten multi-choice quizzes 10% (1% each)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Project poster
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Final test
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Refer to recommended reading
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Recommended Readings

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The central library contains many books and journals on GIS. It is recommended that you read a general text book on GIS. The following ebooks are available:

  • Albrecht, J. (2007). Key concepts & techniques in GIS. Retrieved from
  • Clarke, G., & Stillwell, J. (2003). Applied GIS and spatial analysis. (pp. 420 p.). Retrieved from
  • Crampton, J. W. (2010). Mapping: a critical introduction to cartography and GIS [ebook]. Chichester, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from Wiley-Blackwell Online Books.
  • Fazal, S. (2008). GIS basics. Retrieved from ebrary database
  • Galati, S. R., & ebrary Inc. (2006). Geographic information systems demystified [ebook]. Retrieved from ebrary database
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Other Resources

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GIS software

For this paper you will use ArcGIS Pro to complete lab exercises and a project. This software is available in the computer lab on campus.

You can also install ArcGIS Pro on your home computer if you have the Windows operating system.

See instructions in the Google Drive folder for this paper, ‘Installing ArcGIS Pro with a student license’

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Online Support

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All assessments will be submitted through Moodle. Lab instructions, videos, software and course material will be available through Moodle.

Students will have the option to install software on their home computer if they wish to complete the labs off campus.

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You can expect to spend 150 hours in total on this paper. This consists of 24 hours of relevant GIS theory and 20 hours of supported lab time. You are expected to also work in the labs during your own time as well as do additional reading and assessment preparation.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: GEOG328

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