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

Postgraduate Course: Spatial Modelling and Analysis (PGGE11236)

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
SummaryThe course provides a broad introduction to the methods of representing the real world and the models used for storing geospatial information, together with some of the fundamental concepts and concerns of spatial analysis. These are taught through lectures and practical work.
Course description The main topics covered include: a discussion of what is special about spatial data; basic geometrical frameworks, models and structures for describing and analysing phenomena in space, emphasising vector and raster models; a review of the so-called 2.5-dimensional (surface-based), 3D and temporal structures; the concept of formal data modelling; database management systems and database methods; a background to spatial analysis; spatial autocorrelation; modifiable areal unit problem; distance metrics; gridded space; overlay analysis; suitability analysis; Boolean and continuous classification; networks and shortest path through a network; errors and uncertainty in geographical data. A practical stream provides a robust introduction to SQL using the Oracle relational database management system and spatial analysis using ArcGIS.


Representing Reality: An Introduction to Spatial Modelling
Spatial Analysis in Geography
Formal Data Modelling and Database Management
Topology & Vector Data Models and Structures
Raster and Hierarchical Data Models and Structures
A Typology of Spatial Analytical Methods
Further Spatial Analytical Methods
Adding Dimensions
Networks and Network Analysis
Error and Uncertainty in Spatial Data
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must attend practicals in weeks 1-5 from the course Principles of Geographical Information Science (GEGR10039) to gain basic skills with ArcGIS software required to complete the spatial analysis group project work.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  34
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

Data modelling exercise (20%) - due Monday, week 4
SQL practical exercise (20%) - due Monday, week 6
Spatial Analysis component of Capital Greenspaces project (40%) - due Friday, week 11 (see Research Practice and Project Planning course information)
Multiple choice test (20%) - Monday, week 12
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the main methods for storing and encoding geospatial information in computer systems
  2. Understand the basics of relational databases and SQL
  3. Understand the principal spatial data types and be familiar with a variety of methods of spatial analysis as applicable to each.
  4. Be able to implement these principles using the ORACLE RDBMS and ArcGIS.
  5. Be able to undertake individual and group practical work, and write assignments within the specified parameters and to a professional standard
Reading List
Burrough, P. A. (1992) Are GIS data structures too simple-minded? Computers and Geosciences, 18 (Special Issue), 395-400.
Burrough, P. A. and Frank, A. U. (1996) Geographic Objects with Indeterminate Boundaries. Taylor & Francis, London.
Date, C. J. (2003) An Introduction to Database Systems (8th edition). Addison-Wesley.
Dutton, G. (1972) Harvard papers on topological data structures. Harvard Lab for Computer Graphics & Spatial Analysis, Vols. 1 - 8.
Egenhofer, M. J. and Herring, J. R. (1991) High level spatial data structures for GIS. In Maguire, D. J., Goodchild, M. F. and Rhind, D. W. (Eds.) Geographical Information Systems: Principles and Applications. Longman, Harlow. Chapter 16.
ESRI (2013). A New Dimension.
Franklin, W. R. (1991) Computer systems and low-level data structures for GIS. In Maguire, D. J., Goodchild, M. F. and Rhind, D. W. (Eds.) Geographical Information Systems: Principles and Applications. Longman, Chapter 15.
Gahegan, M. (1989) An efficient use of quadtrees in GIS. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 3 (3), 201-214.
Healey, R. G. (1991) Database Management Systems. In Maguire, D. J., Goodchild, M. F. and Rhind, D. W. (Eds.) Geographical Information Systems: Principles and Applications. Longman, Harlow. Chapter 18.
Howe, D. R. (2001) Data Analysis for Data Base Design. (3rd edition) Butterworth Heinemann, London.
Ibbs, T. J. and Stevens, A. (1988) Quadtree storage of vector data. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 2 (1), 43-56.
Langran, G. (1992) Time in Geographic Information Systems. Taylor & Francis, London.
Laurini, R. and Thompson D. (1992) Fundamentals of Spatial Information Systems. Academic Press, London.
Li, Z., Zhu, Q. and Gold, C. (2005) Digital Terrain Modelling: Principles and Methodology, CRC Press.
Longley, P.A., Goodchild, M.F., Maguire, D.J. and Rhind, D.W. (2005) Geographic Information Systems and Science (2nd edition) Wiley. (Chapters 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10)
Peuquet, D. J. and Marble, D. F. (Eds.) (1990) Introductory Readings in Geographic Information Systems. Taylor & Francis, London. Chapters 6 - 9, 15 - 20.
Piwowar, J. M., Ledrew, E. F. and Dudyeha, D. J. (1990) Integration of spatial data in vector and raster formats in a GIS environment. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 4 (4), 429-444.
Raper, J, Rhind, D.W. and Shepherd, J.W. (1992) Postcodes: The New Geography. Longman.
Rigaux, P., Scholl, M. and Voisard, A. (2002) Spatial Databases with Application to GIS. Morgan Kaufmann.
Shekhar, S. and Chawla, S. (2002) Spatial Databases: A Tour. Prentice Hall.
Strohm,R. (2011) Oracle Database Concepts 11g (Release 1). Oracle Corporation
Stuart, N. (1990) Quadtree GIS: Pragmatics for the present, prospects for the future. GIS/LIS '90, ASPRS, 373-382.
van der Knapp, W. G. M. (1992) The vector to raster conversion: (mis)use in GIS. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 6 (2), 159-170.
van Oosterom, P. (1993) Reactive Data Structures for Geographic Information Systems, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Wachowicz, Monica (1999) Object-oriented design for temporal GIS.Taylor & Francis, London.
Wise, Stephen (2014) GIS Fundamentals CRC Press, London, Second Edition.
Worboys, M. F. and Duckham, M. (2004) GIS: A Computing Perspective. CRC Press, Second Edition.
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.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Neil Stuart
Tel: (0131 6)50 2549
Course secretaryMs Heather Penman
Tel: (0131 6)50
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