Geographical Information Systems


The main aims of this unit are: to provide an overall GIS introduction to explain who uses a GIS to introduce the special characteristics and the nature of geographical data to provide practical training in GIS software to provide basic training in GIS analysis to give students basic knowledge for GIS project making.


 Operating systems 
 Basic common desktop/office software (spreadsheet, word processing etc)
 Graphical user interfaces

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students will be able to:   identify potential GIS applications understand the basic spatial data concepts within GIS design a simple Geographical Information System use various GIS software packages / understand basic GIS functionality integrate different spatial data in GIS context in order to complete complex real world applications communicate knowledge – create professional GIS technical reports create maps as GIS outputs introduce themselves to GIS research 


Basic concepts of GIS – spatial data models and structures – data input and management – GIS data sources – GIS peripherals – data exploration – GIS design – vector data analysis – raster data analysis – digital terrain models – Geographical data output and visualization – overview of commercial GIS – introductory GIS laboratories – practice in commercial GIS software packages – GIS laboratory series.

Content Delivery

The sequence of the educational procedure is as following: a)    GIS Introduction – presentation of the main principles of GIS (traditional lecture – slides) b)    Introduce GIS in action – application (lecture – slides – software demonstration) c)    GIS Tutorials (software exercises – interaction with students) d)    Practical application of theoretical knowledge – GIS software utilization e)    Final evaluation

Coursework And Assignment Details

Assignements                % of the total grade a) Class*                                      10% b) Laboratories**                         20% c) Project*                                    40% d) Test*                                         30% *individual work, ** individual work/group (of 2 students) work     a)  Class assignment involves attendance, participation, response and contribution to the lesson.   b)  The Laboratories assignment is based on the evaluation of brief GIS practical exercises of the unit. Most of the outputs of these exercises are used in (c)   c)  Project assignment is based on the evaluation of the final project. The description of the project report is as following:   Length: ~ 3000 words, (+maps, figures, references) Description of the steps for the analysis Answers to the questions Final maps d)  A final test with multiple choice questions based on the reading material (theory and lab)