Planning and management agencies use geographic information systems (GIS) for data storage, visualization (mapping), and the provision of information to support decision making. Having completed the unit ENV(S)264 (Introduction to Geographic Information Science), you have acquired the basic skills to drive a GIS and to perform some of these tasks. In ENVS390, you build on this fundamental knowledge by learning to apply advanced GIS concepts and techniques within the context of urban and regional management.
ENVS390 is a PACE and CAPSTONE unit of the major of spatial information science (SIS), and is designed to integrate student’s knowledge and experiences from their whole program in preparation for the next stage of their careers. ENVS390’s lectures cover a range of topics to assist you in advancing from the basic skills required to drive a GIS (i.e. ENVS264) to working with a GIS in urban and regional management, including: where to find spatial data and how to create your own spatial data, advanced editing, spatial and pattern analysis with vector data, 3D analysis and visualization, network analysis and web GIS. This unit provides you with advanced GIS skills that are applicable to a wide range of agencies tasked with urban and regional management.
Lecture program and location
This unit is only offered internally. Please check lecture times and rooms at the Macquarie University timetables website (www.timetables.mq.edu.au).
Practical program and location
There is one 3 hour practical class per week. Please check practical times and rooms at the Macquarie University timetables (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 1.
There is one compulsory field work activity in this unit during which students record property land use and built form data within the local council areas. Assignment 2 is based on this field work. The field work activity is conducted by students during week 7 and the session 2 break at their leisure (i.e. students have the freedom to decide when they, as an individual or group, conduct the field work activity). Students will need to arrange their own transport and personal field equipment. Further details on the field work activity and the field work induction will be provided during the Week 6 lecture. You must attend the Week 6 lecture and conduct the field work induction before proceeding with the field work activity.
ENVS390 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 hardcopy format. Assignments are to be submitted via the link provided in iLearn by the deadline specified.
How do I request an extension?
Extensions must be requested via ask.mq.edu.au, 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 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
- Acquire a pass grade or above.
This unit will use ArcGIS, Google Earth, MapInfo and MS Excel software 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.
Students who have a home computer with a Windows 7 or higher 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 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.
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
Required and recommended texts/materials
There are no prescribed texts for this unit. However, there will be recommended reading associated with some lectures.
Health and safety during field work
Assignment 2 includes a field activity that takes place in premises other than the University. Any student who has a disability that may limit their participation in field work or that could result in a medical emergency in the field should notify the Unit Convenor immediately. As a general guide to the level of physical fitness required, you should be able to walk 5 km over footpaths in a few hours.
A PACE Activity is an experiential activity allocated to, and undertaken by, a student within a PACE unit which may take place in premises other than the University (usually the Partner Organisation’s premises). When working or studying in non-University premises, the primary responsibility for the health and safety of our students becomes that of the Partner Organisation hosting the student. However, as a student, you also have a legal responsibility under the Workplace Health & Safety Act 2011 and the Macquarie University Health & Safety Policy to ensure the health and safety of yourself and of others in the workplace.
Each student has a moral and legal responsibility for ensuring that his or her work environment is conducive to good health and safety, by:
- ensuring that their work and work area is without risk to the health and safety of themselves and others
- complying with the University’s and Partner Organisation’s Work Health & Safety Policy and Procedures
- reporting hazards and incidents as they occur in accordance with University and Partner Organisation’s policy
- actively participating in all health and safety activities and briefing sessions (eg emergency evacuation procedures, site inspections etc)
Each student is also required to advise their Unit Convenor or Faculty PACE Manager as soon as possible when:
- he/she feels unsafe at any stage during the PACE activity
- he/she did not receive a safety induction prior to the commencement of the activity covering: First aid, Fire and emergency evacuation; and Injury/incident reporting
- he/she did not receive any specialised instructions/training necessary to carry out the role
- an incident/accident happens (even when reported to the Partner Organisation/supervisor and managed by them)
Non-compliance with the above may result in withdrawal of the student from the PACE Activity.
Students in the Faculty of Science should also be familiar with Faculty-specific practices as appropriate: http://web.science.mq.edu.au/intranet/ohs/
Students should note the information below in case they find themselves in any emergency situations.
- Remove yourself from any danger.
- Call 000, if necessary.
- Speak to your partner-based supervisor, if possible. The Organisation may have emergency procedures to follow.
THEN - if the emergency occurs in office hours (i.e. Monday - Friday 9am-5pm)
- Contact your Unit Convenor by phone/email as soon as you can.
- If you cannot reach your Unit Convenor, contact your Faculty PACE Manager by phone/email.
OR - if the emergency occurs outside of office hours (i.e. outside of Monday - Friday 9am-5pm)
- Phone Campus Security Office on (02) 9850-9999 as soon as you can. This is a 24 hour, 7 days a week service and it does not matter where in Australia you are when you call. Please identify yourself as a PACE student when you call.
N.B. For any minor issues with your participation activity, please speak to your partner-based Supervisor. If the problem is more serious, please contact your Unit Convenor or your Faculty PACE Manager.
If you are experiencing difficulties and need to speak to a counsellor:
- Contact the MQ Counselling Service at Campus Wellbeing on 9850-7497 (Monday - Friday, 8am-6pm)
- 1800 MQ CARELINE (1800-227-367) - information and referral service (24 hours, 7 days a week)
- If you would like to speak to a counsellor outside of office hours, you can also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours, 7 days a week).