Spatial Analysis: Principles and Methods - GEOG5004

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 5 15 (7.5) DR J Tzanopoulos checkmark-circle


The overall aim of this module is to provide students with an outline of the principals of Spatial Analysis and to introduce a range of methods for collection and analysis of spatial data. Particular attention is paid to the development of students' analysis skills through the use of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS are increasingly being used in geography, wildlife conservation and environmental sciences in general to help solve a wide range of "real world" problems. As the current trend in geography and ecological studies moves towards the acquisition manipulation and analysis of large datasets with explicit geographic reference, employers often report shortages of relevant GIS skills to handle spatial data. Thus, this module will introduce the use of GIS as a means of solving spatial problems and the potential of GIS and remote sensing techniques for geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation providing the student with marketable skills relevant to research and commercial needs. Topics will include:

• understanding the major concepts in Spatial Analysis;
• introduction to the principles of GIS;
• introduction to remote sensing
• data structures in GIS;
• data sources and methods of data acquisition
• georeferencing, co-ordinate systems and projections
• working with raster and vector data
• mapping (how to create and transform maps),
• ArcGIS -overview of ArcGIS, ArcMap, ArcCatalog; ArcToolbox, Spatial Analyst.
• GIS operations (Calculating area, Intersection of polygons etc)
• manipulation, spatial data query and analysis of a wide range of geographic, environmental and socio-economic information relevant to geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation

These topics will be taught using a combination of lectures and practicals. The practical classes will provide hands-on experience using ArcGIS which is the most widely used GIS system. Students will be able to use knowledge and skills acquired in this module in practical project work.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150


Wildlife Conservation BSc
Human Geography BSc and associated programmes
Environmental Social Sciences BA

Method of assessment

100% Coursework
Practical Report 20%
Group Project 20%
Individual Report 60% NB this must be passed in order to successfully complete the module

Indicative reading

Allen, D.W. (2013) GIS Tutorial 2: Spatial Analysis Workbook. Publisher: ESRI Press
Allen, D.W. and Coffey, J.M (2010) GIS Tutorial 3: Advanced Workbook. Publisher: ESRI Press
Bernhardsen, T. (2007) Geographic Information Systems: an Introduction, 3rd edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Bolstad, P. (2016) GIS Fundamentals: A First Text on Geographical Information Systems. 5th edition. XanEdu
Burrough, P. A., McDonnell, R. A. and Lloyd, CD. (2015) Principles of Geographical Information Systems, 3rd edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Campbell, J. B. (2011) Introduction to Remote Sensing, 3rd edition. Taylor & Francis, London.
Chang, K.T. (2018) Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. 9th edition. McGraw-Hill, New York
Heywood, I., Cornelius, S., and Carver, S. (2011). An introduction to Geographical Information Systems. 3rd edition. Pearson, Harlow.
Jensen, J.R. and Jensen, R.R. (2012). Introductory geographic information systems. Upper Saddle River, Pearson Education
Lillesand, T. M. , Kiefer R. W. and Chipman J. W. (2015) Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation, 7th edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Longley, P. (2015). Geographical Information science & systems. 4th edition. Hoboken NJ, Wiley.
Webster R. (2007) Geostatistics for environmental scientists. 2nd edition. Chichester, Wiley.
Wilpen L. Gorr and Kristen S. Kurland (2011). GIS Tutorial 1 Basic Workbook, Fourth Edition. Publisher: ESRI Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Demonstrate knowledge of the generic concepts of spatial analysis and an understanding of the application of GIS and remote sensing in geography, environmental sciences and biodiversity conservation using real world examples
Apply knowledge of main concepts of spatial analysis to solve practical problems in geography, environmental sciences and wildlife conservation
Understand the main principals underlying the analysis of spatial data and remote sensing data
Gain practical knowledge of the main GIS analytical techniques and how to use them to generate maps analyse and describe geographic / environmental data
Understand GIS and remote sensing outcomes and write reports on GIS mapping and analysis


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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