BIO8014 : GIS and Remote Sensing

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module aims to provide the theoretical background and practical experience necessary to understand the application of GIS and remotely sensed data in environmental resource assessment and management. It is an introductory module designed for students who, whilst familiar with PC usage, have had no prior experience of using GIS or remote sensed data. It introduces them to the key concepts of data acquisition and storage, errors and error propagation, and basic map manipulation techniques. The practical sessions take the form of a series of self-contained practical exercises, each building on skills learnt in the previous practical. Practicals will cover map manipulations, vector and raster data, classification of raw remote-sensed, and the main assignment will be in the form of a case study, in which the students will have to demonstrate their ability to use their GIS skills. Students will use leading commercial software in the practical classes.

Outline Of Syllabus

Geographical information systems, maps and spatial information.
Data types, structures, input and verification.
Data quality: the causes and implications of errors and natural variation.
Methods of data analysis in GIS.
Use of interpolation techniques in GIS
Remote sensing: spectral reflectance and data acquisition.
Interpretation and analysis of remotely sensed data.
Applications of remote sensing and GIS in biological and environmental assessment, management and modelling.
Selection of GIS and remote sensing products for applications in biological and environmental resource assessment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:002000 word report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical62:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:0012:00Lecture follow-up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0034:00Study of lectures, ReCap, Blackboard etc.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are designed to provide the students with the underpinning theory necessary to use GIS correctly (irrespective of the particular type of GIS software being used). The practicals equip the students with the necessary skills to use GIS – whilst this will be focussed on one particular GIS program, the generic nature of the various GIS operations will be emphasised, making it easier to adapt skills for a variety of different GIS. The case study assignment tests the ability of students to use the newly-acquired skills, understand the limitations of GIS approaches, and evaluate and present their findings in a form suitable for a wider audience.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M1002000 Word Case Study
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The case study tests the students' abilities to use GIS techniques to solve a practical environmental problem and familiarises them with GIS software.

Reading Lists