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CEG8702 : An Introduction to the Fundamentals of GIS

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alistair Ford
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. To
understand the fundamental concepts of a GIS and its uses and applications. To gain hands-on experience of using a GIS to solve real-world problems.

This module introduces students to Geographical Information Systems, the concepts behind them,
and associated data types and formats. The module aims to demonstrate how GIS uses a wide
range of data to analyse data spatially and produce stunning visual outputs. It aims to introduce
students to the ways that GIS we analyse data to look for spatial correlations and patterns, to
understand geographical processes, and link data that shares a spatial location. The module aims to
give students practical experience of using the latest commercial GIS programs and accessing
geospatial data.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture content covers:

What is GIS?: Who uses it, why they use it, what you can do? What is special about spatial? Data
models for Spatial data: Discrete vs continuous field mapping;
Thematic Mapping: types of thematic maps, uses of thematic maps, classification models for
thematic maps;
Continuous data: Sampling and interpolation, DTMs, heights and volumes; Vector Data Attributes
and databases: Data management and attribute data;
Data formats and data providers: standards, common formats, data providers (formal and informal);
Processing and modelling in GIS;
Visualisation, cartographic design and output from GIS.

Practicals cover:
Getting started in ArcGIS Pro Accessing spatial data Cartographic basics Introducing spatial analysis
Further spatial analysis (Raster analysis, interpolation, reclassification, MCE) Working with 3D data
Creating spatial data Analysing data.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00Revision for Exam
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials91:009:00Mix of asynchronous lectures and synchronous online lecturers, or PiP situation/space dependent
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Two practical lab reports (one formative, one summative)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam Controlled Computer based multiple choice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical61:006:00Synchronous online practicals delivered using Microsoft Azure Labs.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00PiP practical session to assist with submission development
Guided Independent StudySkills practice82:0016:00Independent practice of GIS skills after online practicals.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study145:0045:00Independent background reading of course texts /lecture notes for full understanding of material.
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CEG1702Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students are introduced to core concepts in lectures and these concepts are then explored further and practised
through practical sessions, which includes 2 assessed practicals. The practicals have been developed to enable the students to work independently and the practicals before each coursework submission will be on-campus. Each
practical session has a submission that repeats the core exercises carried out in the session. A series of Canvas tests will check knowledge after lecture/practical pairs.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1201A50online multiple-choice exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M50N/A
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report1MEditing and creating data, mapping. Approx 2.5 hours work
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students' understanding and knowledge of core theoretical factors underpinning the management, analysis and
presentation of spatial data is assessed through a digital examination. Intended skills and a practical, working knowledge of data and software is assessed through assessed practical work.

Students are introduced to core concepts in lectures and this is practised through formative practical classes, two assessed practical and a larger independent piece of work. The practicals have been developed to enable the students to work independently. The practicals develop core skills to foster independent learning and exploration. These are assessed through a GIS project that allows students to utilise the tools, processes and data introduced in the module in a holistic manner.

Reading Lists