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

Postgraduate Course: Technological Infrastructures for GIS (PGGE11234)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the concepts underlying GIS, including the building of systems and object-oriented computer programming.
Course description This course introduces students to the concepts underlying GIS, including the building of systems and object-oriented computer programming. Programming is introduced using the Python language, with illustrations of its use within GIS, together with examples of the construction of stand-alone systems and mobile apps in the android environment (built in Java). Students will be introduced to object-oriented terminology and techniques. The course introduces a basic set of programming fundamentals such as input/output techniques, selection statements, iterative loops, recursion and basic data structures. It teaches formal class design techniques to address programming tasks and emphasises error elimination and testing strategies in code development. The course also reflects on the 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. Practical work is central to learning on the course both in supervised sessions and during the participants own time. Practicals and exercises will examine different solutions to building systems to serve geographical data and give the students the skills necessary to create such systems.

Programme: Lectures by weeks
1. Technological Infrastructures for GIS - BMG
2. The Place of Standards, OpenGIS and Spatial Data Infrastructures - BMG
3. Introduction to Programming - NRJH
4. Object Oriented Fundamentals and Program Testing - NRJH
5. Class Design and Encapsulation - NRJH
6. Reading week-Kindrogan Field Course
7. Building Distributed GI Services - BMG
8. More Advanced Programming Techniques: Inheritance, Server-Based Python and DBMS interfacing - NRJH
9. The Battleground of GI: Local Search and Web Mapping - BMG
10. Mobile GIS, Location-Based Services and Data Issues - BMG
11. Java and the Android Environment - NRJH

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 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 100, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 51 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework
Feedback Students will be given feedback on a formative assessment and summative assessments, within two weeks of submission (shorter where a later assessment is dependent on an earlier)
No Exam Information
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 technological underpinnings of distributed GIS, the value of networked information and the organisation-wide deployment of a system
  3. Predict future developments and understand the implications of standardisation efforts
  4. Understand the fundamental principles underlying Object-Oriented software design
  5. Employ formal methods to produce effective software designs as solutions to specific tasks.
Reading List
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.,
Briggs, J. (2007) Snake Wrangling for Kids, O'Reilly.
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 Press.
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.
Lutz, M. (2013) Learning Python. O'Reilly.
*Martelli, A. (2009) Python in a Nutshell. O'Reilly.
Masó, J., Pomakis, K. and Julią, 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, Redlands.
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
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will provide the students with a range of highly marketable skills and introduce them to technologies sought after by employers. These technical skills relate closely to the employment opportunities identified by our Industrial External Examiner, professional bodies and graduate feedback. The students also gain skills in logical thinking, project work, organisation and report-writing.
Additional Class Delivery Information Semester 1, Tuesdays 2pm-6pm (Lecture Theatre 2.13 2pm-4pm and Lab 1.26 2pm-6pm) Institute of Geography, Drummond street
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Bruce Gittings
Tel: (0131 6)50 2558
Course secretaryMrs Karolina Galera
Tel: (0131 6)50 2572
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