Wednesday, 30 October 2013

GIS Course Note 01: Spatial is Special

Image 1. Dr.Adam Dennett introduced the course outline on 2nd October, 2013

From this academic term, Networking City is doing a teaching assistant role for ‘GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND SCIENCE’ course which is set up by CASA for their provocative master programme ‘MResAdvanced Spatial Analysis & Visualisation’ and Bartlett students. In this year, the course is opened to Urban Planning and DPU students of Bartlett, so thirty students registered, while fifteen students who were mostly from the CASA had an opportunity last year.

Dr. Adam Dennett, the lecturer, briefly showed the outline of the course and explained the meaning of studying spatial analysis, definition of Geographic Information System, linkage between GIS and scientific research, the difference between GISystems and GIScience, and short history of GIS.

During one hour his lecture, the most impressive part was what the meaning of information is in Geography and Urban studies, and how it can make an impact on decision making process. When he illustrated the structure of how one spatial data could be developed to information, knowledge and wisdom, and could be the initial point which change our environments, he emphasised not to make a graphic image by GIS programmes but to consider the meaning behind the data.

After the lecture, the students had two-hour practical session. They operated the main programmes of the course: Arc-GIS, QGIS and R on UCL computers, and checked how they can set up the programmes on their own laptops. In order to learn basic knowledge and functions of Arc-GIS, Adam recommended registering My Virtual CampusTraining on ESRI homepage and complete its modules.