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

Postgraduate Course: Business Geographics (PGGE11210)

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
SummaryGrowing utilisation of spatial information in the commercial and governmental domains is moving GIScience outside its longer-established and more traditional roles in cartography, facilities management etc. This course introduces participants to different types of corporate structure and to the use of GISystems and GIScience in business, government and third-sector organisations.

We examine the purpose and structure of companies, internal/external service provider models, business ethics, processes and professionalism, GIS consultancy and the role of the adviser. The course concludes with a discussion of current issues surrounding Big Data, open data, open source software, legal frameworks and opportunities for company formation and growth.

The Business Geographics course comprises these core activities:
- A series of lectures and workshops on key topics.
- Role-playing exercises and writing designed to hone professionally relevant skills.
- The AGI/EEO professional seminar series which students should attend.
Course description 1. The what, why and how of business: What is a company? Does it have to be a company? How to set up a company? Fundamentals of Business Geographics: Space and Time. Atomic and aggregate analysis. Data, Software, Consultancy.

2. Data and projects: Census. BARB/ISBA. Postal Geography. Administrative Geography. Profiling. Market Research. Target Group Index. Business mapping. Walk-through of past, relevant projects.

3. Software and development: Databases, Systems and Software development. CenSys bespoke mapping and profiling system. Software design methodologies. Walk through of past, relevant software development projects.

4. GIS in Business: Ethics and professionalism. Client confidentiality. Data and process value. Products or services?
Example applications / use cases: Who is using GIS? Maps everywhere. Future employability.

5. Issues of the moment and future opportunities: Desktop, Web and Mobile applications. Spatial SQL. Open Data. Open Source software. Virtualisation. Big Data. Social Media. Sensor data. Software/Platform as a Service. Cloud computing.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand typical UK private sector Company structures, ownership and governance characteristics and be able to set up a new business (Limited Company) or partnership (LLP) understanding rules and reporting responsibilities.
  2. Consider different models of shareholder ownership and professional responsibilities within business (and analogies within government/third-sector) through group work and to consider how and why ethics and professionalism are important whether as an internal or external GIS Expert or Consultant.
  3. Understand the value of different types of geographic information in various settings and consider ways to exploit its use and to be able to project plan a number of scenarios involving open source, public sector and other types of geographic information
  4. Encompass future possibilities for use/analysis of geographic information as it gets bigger, potentially more open and certainly more pervasive
  5. develop communication, management and interactive skills (including argument!) making use of alternate organisational structures, pricing models or service delivery.
Reading List
Please see current reading list for the course at:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsBusiness processes,finance,tendering,contracts,professionalism,business ethics,consultancy,la
Course organiserMr Bruce Gittings
Tel: (0131 6)50 2558
Course secretaryMrs Katherine Ingram
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