Spatial Analysis with ArcGIS

Course Description: 

The overall aim of the course is to develop basic understanding of spatially referenced data analysis and to explore the potential of GIS applications in environmental sciences, policy and management. In this course students will 1) continue working on geospatial mapping and 2) get familiar with spatial analysis using commercial and free software packages. The course builds up on the practical skills in geospatial data mining and practical GIS skills obtained during the “ICT for environmental professionals” course. The course offers more detailed discussion of geospatial data visualization and introduces quantitative analysis of geospatial phenomena. An introduction to remote sensing methods based on satellite imagery is also given.

Educational Approach: The course consists of computer class-based instructor presentations, supervised in-class exercises, individual consultations and a major individual term project. The course is based on “learn-by-doing” approach: the principles and tools described during the laboratory-based presentations will be by accompanied by students’ individual work in the class. Successful participation and completion of the course depends on student’s ability for individual work and self-education. The class will incorporate quest lecturers by GIS practitioners (e.g. Google representatives).

Key topics:
•    Principles of Spatial Analysis;
•    Cartography: units, projections, coordinate transformations;
•    Data mining and manipulation with collected data;
•    Overview of GIS tools and principles;
•    Introduction to the ArcGIS package and its components;
•    Practical ArcGIS exercises;
•    Case studies and best practices in GIS application to environmental management and sciences;
•    GIS techniques: dynamic spatial modeling, georeferencing, etc.

Software:    ArcGIS, Open Source GIS packages, Google Earth Pro, GPS

Limitations: The number of students is limited to 15

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Theory of GIS and spatial analysis
  • Best practices and case studies in environmental GIS application
  • Practical skills in using GIS packages
  • Practical skills in retrieving and manipulating spatially referenced environmental data
  • Ability to carry out independent GIS-based research
  • Critical assessment of GIS activities
  • Familiarity with GIS applications usage and potential tasks
  • GPS Theory and practice

Grading policy: 20% in-class exercises, 80% final project

The final project is to study some environmental problem by means of ArcGIS software including: problem formulation, data collection and manipulation, results interpretation. The project can be part of thesis or assignment for another course. The course is constructed in a way to encourage students’ work on the term project from the very first session through a series of home works.