Spatial Analysis: Principles and Methods - GEOG5004

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5)







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 wildlife conservation and environmental sciences in general to help solve a wide range of "real world" environmental and associated social problems. As the current trend in 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 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 environmental and socio-economic information relevant to 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:

Contact hours

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


Wildlife Conservation BSc
Human Geography BSc

Method of assessment

100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Learning outcomes

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

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