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ENVS808 – Introduction to Geographic Information Science for Postgraduates

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Lecturer
Joseph Maina Mbui
Contact via Email
12 Wally's Walk Room 405
Email to schedule an appointment
Lecturer
Michael Chang
Contact via Email
12 Wally's Walk Room 406
Email to schedule an appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MEnv or MSc or GradDipEnv or GradCertEnv or MEnvEd or MEnvMgt or MEnvPlan or MPlan or MEnvStud or MSusDev or MWldMgt or MMarScMgt or GradDipSusDev or GradCertSusDev or GradCertSIA or GradDipSIA or MConsBiol or GradDipConsBiolor or PGDipSc in Biodiversity Conservation
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit provides students with a comprehensive introduction to geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS) and remote sensing. Students will learn core concepts and develop advanced technical skills in data acquisition and management, mapping and spatial sampling and analysis. Students are provided training using the latest commercially available geospatial software. ENVS808 covers the application of geographic information science across a range of disciplines, including environmental science and management, physical and human geography and urban and environmental planning.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  2. Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  3. Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  4. Effectively communicate the outputs of geographic analysis in both map and written formats
  5. Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Assignment 1 5% March 17 2017
Assignment 2 10% April 7 2017
Assignment 3 17% April 28 2017
Assignment 4 13% May 26 2017
Quiz 10% April 7 and June 9 2017
Final Exam 45% Check exam timetable

Assignment 1

Due: March 17 2017
Weighting: 5%

Report on the week 2 – 3 practical exercises using the ESRI ‘Virtual Campus’.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assignment 2

Due: April 7 2017
Weighting: 10%

Report on GIS essay topic.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  • Effectively communicate the outputs of geographic analysis in both map and written formats
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assignment 3

Due: April 28 2017
Weighting: 17%

Report on the week 4 - 7


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  • Effectively communicate the outputs of geographic analysis in both map and written formats
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assignment 4

Due: May 26 2017
Weighting: 13%

Report on the week 8 - 11 practical exercises on data capture, raster analysis and advanced mapping.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  • Effectively communicate the outputs of geographic analysis in both map and written formats
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Quiz

Due: April 7 and June 9 2017
Weighting: 10%

Two short quizzes on lecture topics.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence

Final Exam

Due: Check exam timetable
Weighting: 45%

Final exam covering all aspects of the unit.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Effectively communicate the outputs of geographic analysis in both map and written formats
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Delivery and Resources

ENVS808/708 provides students with a comprehensive introduction to geospatial technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS) and remote sensing. Students will learn core concepts and develop technical skills in data acquisition and management, mapping and spatial sampling and analysis. Students are provided training using the latest commercially available geospatial software.

ENVS808’s lectures cover a range of topics to introduce you to geographic information science, including: coordinate systems and map projections, how to create your own digital data, spatial analysis with vector and raster data, cartography (map making), remote sensing and 3D analysis. The practical classes apply standard geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of disciplines, including environmental science and management, physical and human geography and urban planning.

Delivery

This unit is offered both internally and externally.

Lecture program and location

There is one 1 hour lecture per week. Please check lecture times and rooms at the Macquarie University timetables website (www.timetables.mq.edu.au). Lectures are recorded and posted to iLearn via Echo360. Internal students are expected to attend lectures in person; external students can access lectures through iLearn.

Practical program and location

There is three 3 hour practical class per week. Please check practical times and rooms at the Macquarie University timetables website (www.timetables.mq.edu.au). Practical class sizes are limited by the number of available computers. You must use the online enrolment system to change the time/day of your practical class. Practicals begin in Week 2.

If you would like to use your own computers, they must have Windows 7 or above, Vista or XP operating system (the ArcGIS software is NOT supported by Mac or Linux operating systems.). A copy of the ArcGIS software will be sent to all external students. You must install this software on your computer.

Workload

ENVS808 earns 4 credit points towards your degree. You are expected to invest at least 9 hours of study per week on average over the semester. This includes your lectures and practical exercises (4 hours per week), assignments and the final exam.

Submission of assignments

All students are required to keep a backup of the submitted version of their assessments.

Assignments should be in a MS Word or PDF file format. All maps and tables associated with the assignment must be incorporated in the MS Word document or PDF.

Students are not permitted to email their assignments or submit them in a softcopy format. Assignments are to be submitted via the Turnitin link provided in iLearn by 5PM on the date specified.

How do I request an extension?

Extensions must be requested by email from the unit convenor prior to the assignment’s due date (except in exceptional circumstances), and supported by appropriate documentation (e.g. a medical certificate).

Extensions will only be granted in writing (by email) at the discretion of the unit convenor. Otherwise, automatic penalties will apply. Assignments that are handed in late without an extension or exceptional circumstances will not be marked if they are submitted more than 7 days after the due date. If submitted within 7 days, marks will be deducted for lateness at the rate of 5% of the possible mark per day.

Return of marked assignments

Your assignments will be returned via iLearn within two teaching weeks of the submission, and will include written feedback.

Requirements to complete this unit satisfactory

1. Attend lecture and practical classes (internal students);

2. Complete all assignments and the final exam; and

3. Acquire a pass grade or above.

Grades for the unit as a whole will be awarded according to the following general criteria (course rubric).

 

Developing

Functional

Proficient 

Advanced

General description of the level of attainment

Has not yet reached the desired standard. Limited understanding of required concepts and knowledge.

A fail grade (or under some circumstances a conceded pass) would be given

Has reached basic academic standards. Work has limited translation of concepts and procedures to new contexts unless aided.

A pass grade would be awarded

Has completely reached the standards expected. Can work  independently in new contexts, adapting procedures to meet the context. Demonstrates awareness of own limitations.

A credit grade would be awarded.

Has gone beyond the expected standards. Exhibits high levels of independence and can use concepts to generate new ways of completing procedures. Can engage in critical reflection.

A grade of distinction or high distinction would be awarded.

Resources

Technology used

This unit will use Echo360 and iLearn, and ArcGIS, Google Earth and MS Excel software, and GPS for the practical exercises.

You will require access to a computer and broadband internet to complete this unit. The library computers and computer labs are available for casual use outside scheduled practical classes.

Internal students who have a home computer with a Windows operating system may obtain a copy of the ArcGIS software from the unit convenor. The ArcGIS software is NOT supported by Mac or Linux operating systems. It is not essential for internal students to have ArcGIS installed on their home computer as the computers in the computer labs are available for casual use outside scheduled practical classes. However, external students must have ArcGIS installed on their home computer.

Unit web page

This unit’s webpage will be available on iLearn. Information about how students can access iLearn can be found at: http://www.mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/index.htm

The iLearn page uses Macquarie University’s standard interface and has links, access to lectures (as audio files through Echo360, and as downloadable PDF presentations) and practical instructions. Important announcements will be made through iLearn, so check the ENVS808 page regularly.

Information about how to access lecture recordings through the Echo360 EchoCenter page in iLearn can be found at: http://mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/lecture_recordings.htm

Required and recommended texts/materials

Chang, K. 2008. Introduction to geographic information systems. McGraw Hill, New York. [Available at Macquarie University Library].

Unit Schedule

Week Lecturer Lecture date Lecture Practical Assessment Assessment due date
1 Maina 28-Feb Introduction to Geographic Information Science No practical    
2 Maina 7-Mar GIS basics: data formats and software demonstration ESRI Training    
3 Maina 14-Mar Coordinate systems and map projections ESRI Training Assign. 1 17-Mar-2017
4 Maina 21-Mar Spatial analysis with vector data GIS Techniques    
5 Maina 28-Mar Spatial analysis with raster data GIS Techniques    
6 Maina 4-Apr How to make a map GIS Techniques Assign.2 & Quiz 1 7-Apr-2017
7 Maina 11-Apr Creating digital data GIS Techniques    
    17-Apr SESSION 1 BREAK      
8 Michael 2-May Remote Sensing 1:  Terrain products, TIN & 3D Raster Analysis Assign.3 28-Apr-2017
9 Michael 9-May Remote Sensing 2 Data Capture - Georeferencing and Digitisng    
10 Michael 16-May Online GIS Data Capture - Georeferencing and Digitisng    
11 Michael 23-May GIS Projects, DFD, & ModelBuilder Preparation and Presentation of Maps Assign.4 26-May-2017
12 Maina 30-May Introduction to GIS with Python & R Using R for GIS  

 

13 Maina 6-Jun Unit summary & exam preparation; GIS careers (re-visit) No practical Quiz 2 9-Jun-2017

 

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3
  • Assignment 4
  • Quiz
  • Final Exam

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3
  • Assignment 4
  • Quiz
  • Final Exam

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and define key concepts and principles of geographic information science, including scale, projections, interactions and interdependence
  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3
  • Assignment 4
  • Final Exam

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Effectively communicate the outputs of geographic analysis in both map and written formats

Assessment task

  • Assignment 4

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Perform basic operations using geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing software
  • Organise, analyse and interpret geographic information using a range of techniques
  • Identify and apply appropriate geographic information science concepts and techniques to a range of contexts

Assessment task

  • Assignment 4

Changes from Previous Offering

In 2017 we have incorporated scripting using R and Python as part of our introduction  to GIS course.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
02/03/2017 Changed assignments' 3 & 4 submission dates on the unit schedule, and updated the staff contact details with office number