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CEG8704 : Theory and Application in Geographic Information Systems

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jin Xing
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The module will cover the key theory of modern Geographical Information Science and how it is employed via Geographical Information System software to address real world applications in the fields of civil engineering, environmental sciences, geography and architecture. The module considers in detail the key stages involved in the capture, representation, management, analysis and visualisation of geographical data within modern Geographical Information Systems. The practical aspect of the module will allow students to apply the theory of Geographical Information Science to a number of applications. By the end of the module students will have the theory and practical skills to utilise and employ GIS in an independent manner within engineering, environmental, geographical (both physical and human) and planning/architecture fields of study.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will comprise a series of lectures that will cover the topics of: characteristics of geographical data and information, capture of geographical data and information, vector and raster models of geographical data representation, modern management of geographical data, digital map design and implementation, management and manipulation of thematic and categorical data, geographical data generalisation, The standard analysis toolbox (buffer, overlay, selection), management and manipulation of environmental data, 3D-data representation and management, Terrain representation and analysis, network models and analysis, map output and publishing, visualisation of geographical data and information.

Practicals will support the taught material and allow students to develop a series of small real-world applications. Practicals will cover aspects of loading and structuring data within a GIS, GIS data management tasks, editing geographical data, working with points, lines and polygon features, analysis of thematic and environmental data-sets, terrain analysis in GIS, network analysis in GIS, cartographic presentation and visualisation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials200:3010:00Non-synchronous lectures, delivered via Canvas VLE
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion134:0034:00Includes background reading from suggested texts, and reading lecture notes for full understanding
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion25:0010:00Computer assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00Essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical63:0018:00Application of theory in relation to real world GIS problems (synchronous delivery where possible)
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CEG2704Geographic Information Systems: Theory and Application
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used to present the underlying theory of GIS with an emphasis on choosing appropriate methods in relation to dedicated applications. Practical sessions will allow students to apply the theory in relation to real world GIS applications. Small group teaching activities (included in lectures) act as a workshop environment for students to relate the taught material on data collection and spatial data models to real world problems of design in GIS. Students are set a number of scenarios in groups and asked to develop a short presentation on how they would tackle the data collection and representation of data for the scenario in question.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A7024-hour take home examination where unseen written examination not possible.
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
CEG2704Geographic Information Systems: Theory and Application2N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment2M151 computer assessment
Essay2M15Essay (1000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2M1 computer practical submission
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam will evaluate student knowledge and understanding of GIS. The assessed coursework will assess the ability of students to apply the taught theory within GIS applications.

Reading Lists