GEOGY538-20X (BLK)

Automated Spatial Analysis using Geographic 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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This paper will introduce students briefly to graphical models (Model Builder) but focuses mainly on Python programming for automated GIS analysis. The assessment consists of six lab exercises and a project whereby students apply automated spatial analysis to an application of their choice. The paper is taught as a block course and consists of five days of supported learning in a computer lab plus additional time working independently to complete labs and the project – see schedule below for the dates.

While learning how to automate GIS, students will also be gaining an understanding of GIS functions and data sets. An important part of the paper will be to gain confidence in GIS for a range of applications in both human and physical geography. The best way to learn programming is to actually do hands on programming, so this course is taught in a computer lab. There will be brief discussion in the lab and then you are expected to work on the labs exercises.

Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge in programming. Through a sequence of intermediate steps students will be shown how to build a series of GIS functions that can be executed automatically. This can then be applied repeatedly for different data sets and areas.

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Paper Structure

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This paper will be taught in KB.04 over 5 days and then students will have additional time to finish lab exercises and complete the project. You need a swipe card to access this lab, which is obtained first by visiting the FASS reception and then Campus Security. Class will go from 9am to 12 midday and 1pm to 5pm.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes
    • Use Python code and model builder to develop GIS applications.
    • Identify suitable GIS applications.
    • Critically assess GIS limitations and impacts on society.
    • Use GIS as a research tool and to manage a GIS project, including the presentation of results.
    • Conduct independent research and to communicate results.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Information on assessment will be provided with each lab. The assessment of the project will be discussed in class.
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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. Six labs 5% each
17 Jul 2020
12:00 AM
2. Project Proposal
17 Jul 2020
12:00 AM
3. Project Poster
21 Aug 2020
12:00 AM
4. Project Script
21 Aug 2020
12:00 AM
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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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:

  • 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

Other GIS books worth reading are:

  • Longley , Goodchild, Maguire, and Rhind 2005 Geographic Information Systems and Science. John Wiley and Sons. Call Number: G70.212 .G44 2005
  • Jones, Christopher B. Geographical information systems and computer

cartography. Harlow: Longman, 1997. Call Number: GA102.4.E4J65 1997

The library also has the following Journal: International journal of geographical information science : IJGIS. London ; Washington, DC : Taylor & Francis, c1997- Call Number: G70.2.I61
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Online Support

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Online resources will be made available for this paper through Moodle. All assessments will need to be submitted through Moodle. The grading will also be provided through Moodle.
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You can expect to spend 150 hours in total on this paper
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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper is part of the GIS Specialisation.
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Prerequisite papers: GEOG328 or GEOGY328 or GEOG558 or GEOGY558




Restricted papers: GEOG538

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