ENVS264 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 principles of GIS, 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.
ENVS264’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.
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 the iLearn.
Practical program and location
Internal students: There is one 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.
External students: You must have a home computer with a 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 provided to all external students. You must install this software on your computer.
ENVS264 earns 3 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).
|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.
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 ENVS264 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].