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CEG3701 : Advanced GIS Fieldcourse

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Philip James
  • Lecturer: Dr Alistair Ford
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Mixed Location
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the module are:-

1.       To give the student advanced first - hand experience of the GIS flowline from collection, representation, analysis through to presentation
2.       To build on their existing skills in these areas studied in stage 2 and consolidate the learning within a practical environment
3.       To allow the student to develop, more fully, the links between literature and theoretical based knowledge and field - based reality. This will help to develop a realistic and critical perspective on the practicalities and limitations of field research.
4.       To introduce core themes and technologies that will be expanded upon in their stage 3 studies.
5.       To further enhance group based working and core presentation skills

Two introductory lectures will take place to familiarise the students with the study area and the working practices and goals of the course. Two days will be devoted to data collection, a further 3 days will be utilised in data validation and analysis. Two days will be used for data presentation. The final day will be utilised in completing written and oral reports.
This fieldcourse will be subsidised by the School, although a minimised cost, of the order of £200, will be payable by each student for this course.

(external factors may require that the course be run in a non residential manner from Newcastle)

Outline Of Syllabus

A fieldcourse in the UK to be held in Newcastle in October 2020 around the commencement time of Stage 3 studies. The course will integrate the material introduced in Stages 1 and 2 to real world survey problems, particularly from the perspective of precise monitoring, control, data capture and road design. This will be achieved through online lectures and pre-course study, survey design, field observation, analysis, presentation and reporting.

The different survey observation techniques of total stations, GNSS and GIS analysis will be compared and contrasted for application to DEM generation for water flow analysis including precise control, data capture and road design, illustrating their complementarity and the role and importance of transformations, datums and data analysis methods such as least squares. Students will have the opportunity to develop practical field based skills, be introduced to new technologies and analytical techniques and be able to plan and structure their activities as a group.

The course will highlight practical problems and issues faced by surveyors when designing, collecting and analysing survey data. It will highlight real-world solutions and workarounds that give a flavour of the imperfectness and reality of survey data observation and analysis, outside the confines of academia.

In the AY 20/21 the fieldcouse will run non-residential and the alternative activities will be carried out on the Town Moor in Newcastle.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00PiP or online synchronous as appropriate
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion94:0036:00group work
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities72:0014:00In-person/online help sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Group Presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00PIP on campus, computing practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork66:0036:00Fieldwork in the locality
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1107:00107:00Carrying-out self-guided fieldwork and tasks
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CEG3702Advanced Survey Fieldcourse
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1.       Lectures introduce, develop and illustrate the study area and the existing available data and its shortcomings
2.       Fieldwork provides opportunities for student- led design and planning of the spatial data flowline as teams of 3-4 students. Training in fieldwork techniques and selection of suitable processes and analytical techniques and assistance in project design will be available from staff.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20formal written individual reflective summary and report (1000 words).
Written exercise1M70A formal written report from the group (2500 words with calculations and results summary).
Oral Examination1M10Group Presentation showing final results
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1. Coursework provides an opportunity to (i) synthesize, interpret and critically evaluate a range of literature and primary and secondary data concerning spatial data handling in the study area within the context of the tasks set and (ii) demonstrate the capacity to communicate concisely and effectively in writing and through graphical presentations and to report scientific research in an appropriate manner. The coursework is presented through a formal written group report for the network exercise critiquing the data, analytical and representational techniques applied and an individual report for the Landuse exercise focussing on a critique of the methodologies applied during the exercise.

2. Field presentation provide an opportunity, within the context of group exercises, to present the initial results of fieldwork, the context of the projects and to reflect on the developments and execution of small-scale research projects conducted in unfamiliar surroundings.

Project work to be marked and scaled individually according to staff and peer assessment of respective inputs. The presentation will be assessed by staff.

Reading Lists