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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Distributed GIS (PGGE11084)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course introduces students to the concepts, technology and benefits of distributed GIS services (web, mobile and multi-computing architectures) and contrasts these with previous monolithic systems. It will illustrate the growing importance of distributed GIS in corporate and enterprise environments. The underlying technology of computer networks and the Internet are explained. Emphasis is placed on web-based systems, although consideration is also given to real-time systems and location-based services accessible via mobile devices and smartphones. Web mapping systems are explained in detail, including GoogleMaps, OpenLayers and developments in data to feed these systems, together with the impact of Web 2.0, are reviewed. The importance of standards is highlighted, and OpenGIS and other key standards are explained (including WMS, WFS, WMTS). The use of these standards to produce a range of applications from AJAX-based mashups to integrated web services - is discussed. Practicals and exercises will examine different solutions to serving geographical data.
Course description - Technological Infrastructures for Distributed GIS
- The Place of Standards, OpenGIS and Spatial Data Infrastructures
Practical: Authoring web pages
- Building Distributed GI Services
Practical: From Database to Web
- The Battleground of GI: Local Search and Web Mapping
Practical: Web Mapping APIs
- Mobile GIS, Location-Based Services and Data Issues
Practical: Integrating Paper Maps with Web Services
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Block 2 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Diagram (15%) 3rd November 2015
Report (20%) Set week 2, due Tuesday 10th November 2014 week 3
Practical (65%) SVG Exercise, set week 3,due Tuesday 24 November 2014 week 5
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Distributed GIS1:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the value of distributed geographical information and services
  2. understand the value of networked information and the organisation-wide
  3. understand the technological underpinnings of distributed GIS and the restrictions
  4. predict future developments and understand the implications of standardisation
  5. appreciate the importance standards such as the OpenGIS web mapping suite
Reading List
(*Textbooks/major reference sources):
Anderson, G. and Moreno-Sanchez, R. (2003). Building Web-Based Spatial Information
Solutions around Open Specifications and Open Source Software. Transactions in
GIS, 7: 447-466.
B'Far, R. (2005) Mobile Computing Principles: Designing and Developing Mobile
Applications with UML and XML. Cambridge University Press.
Billen, R., Joao, E., and Forrest, D. (2006) Dynamic and Mobile GIS: Investigating
Changes in Space and Time. Innovations in GIS. CRC Press.
de la Beaujardiere, J. (2004) OGC Web Map Service Interface Version 1.3.0, Open GIS
Consortium, Inc.,
Dodge, M. and Kitchin, R. (2001) Mapping Cyberspace. Routledge, London
Dunfey, R.I., Gittings, B.M. and Batcheller, J.K. (2006) Towards an Open Architecture for
Vector GIS, Computers & Geosciences 32(10) p.1720-1732
Eisenberg, J. (2002) SVG Essentials, O┐Reilly.
Erle, S., Gibson. R., and Walsh, J. (2005) Mapping Hacks: Tips & Tools for Electronic
Cartography, O┐Reilly.
Fu, P and Jiulin Sun (2010) Web GIS: Principles and Applications. ESRI Press. Redlands,
Calif. USA.
Gittings, B. M. (ed.) (1999) Integrating Information Infrastuctures with GI Technology,
Taylor and Francis, London.
*Groot, R. and McLaughlin, J. (2000) Geospatial Data Infrastructure, Oxford University
Gittings, B. M. (ed.) (1999) Integrating Information Infrastuctures with GI Technology,
Taylor and Francis, London.
Hazzard, E. (2011) Open Layers Beginners Guide, Packt Publishing
Holovaty, A., Kaplan-Moss J., (2009) The Django Book, Apress.
*Kraak, M.-J. and Brown, A. (2001) Web Cartography, Taylor and Francis, London
Kropla, B. (2005) Beginning MapServer: Open Source GIS Development, Apress
LaMance, J., Jarvinen, J. and DeSalas, J. (2002) Assisted GPS: A Low-Infrastructure
Approach. GPS World, March 2002.
Lemmens, M. (2011) Geo-information: Technologies, Applications and the Environment.
Springer Science & Business Media.
Masˇ, J., Pomakis, K. and JuliÓ, N. (2010) OpenGIS Web Map Tile Service
Implementation Standard. Version: 1.0.0, Open GIS Consortium, Inc.,
*Mitchell, T. (2005) Web Mapping Illustrated, O'Reilly
Newton, A., Gittings, B. and Stuart, N. (1997) Designing a scientific database query
server using the World Wide Web: The example of Tephrabase. In Kemp, Z. (Ed.)
Innovations in GIS 4. Taylor & Francis, London.
Newton, P. W., Zwart, P. R. and Cavill, M. E. (eds.) (1995) Networking Spatial
Information Systems. Wiley, Chichester.
*Peng, Z-R and M-H Tsou (2003) Internet GIS: Distributed Geographic Information
Services for the Internet and Wireless Network, Wiley, London.
Peterson, M.P. (Ed.) (2003): Maps and the Internet, Elsevier
Plewe, B. (1997) So you want to build an online GIS? GIS World, 10 (11), 58-60.
Plewe, B. (1997) GIS Online: information retrieval, mapping and the Internet, OnWord
Press, Santa Fe.
Portele, C. (2007) OpenGIS Geography Markup Language (GML) Encoding Standard.
Version: 3.2.1. Open GIS Consortium, Inc.,
Putz, S. (1994) Interactive Information Services Using World-Wide Web Hypertext.
Computer Networks and ISDN Systems 27(2), pp. 273┐280.
Tang, W. and J. Selwood (2003) Connecting Our World: GIS Web Services, ESRI Press,
Tosta, N. (1999) NSDI was supposed to be a verb. In B.M. Gittings: Integrating
Information Infrastructures with GI Technology, pp. 13┐24.
Vretanos, P.A. (2005) Web Feature Service Implementation Specification. Version: 1.1.0,
Open GIS Consortium, Inc.,
Williams, Mike (2010) Google Maps API Tutorial
Wilson, T. (2008) OGC KML. Version: 2.2.0, Open GIS Consortium, Inc.,
Worboys, M. F. and Duckham, M. (2004) GIS: A Computing Perspective. CRC Press,
Second Edition.
Yang, C., Wong, D., Miao, Q and Yang, R. (eds.) (2011) Advanced Geoinformation
Science. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Yeager, N. J. and McGrath, R. E. (1996) Web Server Technology, Morgan Kaufmann
Publishers Inc., San Francisco.
Youngblood, B. and Iacovella, S. (2013) GeoServer Beginners Guide, Packt Publishing
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPGGE11084 Distributed GIS,web mapping,OpenGIS
Course organiserMr Bruce Gittings
Tel: (0131 6)50 2558
Course secretaryMr Edwin Cruden
Tel: (0131 6)50 2543
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