Dates: 8-12 May 2017

Location: Computer lab, room 314, 3rd floor, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne

Time: Blended lectures and practical exercises from 9:30am till 5pm each day

The abundance of digital spatial data coupled with the development of technologies like Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has changed the way in which information about spatial phenomena is collected, managed, analysed and depicted. A GIS is not simply a computer system for making maps; although it can readily and very effectively accomplish this. The main difference between a GIS and computer mapping or drafting systems is that a GIS enable analysis of complex spatial interrelationships that exist between phenomena in the real world as well as their non-spatial attributes. This allows us to go beyond making static digital maps from digital data, by providing a technology with the capacity to answer questions that relate to what objects are, where they occur, and how they relate to each other.

For example, a digital map can depict the magnitude and distribution of earthquakes relative to major faults and the earths topography. A GIS can also do this, and it can be used to answer questions about the various phenomena shown on the map. How many quakes of a chosen minimum magnitude occur within a specified area and specified time period? Is there a correlation between the density of quakes and faults in a particular orientation? What is the relationship between the topographic gradient and elevation within a chosen area? Are Cu anomalies in a sediment geochemistry survey correlated with a particular lithology, regolith type or structure, and if so, where do these phenomena occur together?

This course will introduce the concept of a GIS as a problem solving technology within the geosciences, and through hands-on practical classes and lectures will provide the basic hands-on skills needed to design and implement a GIS project. Specific topics will include map projections and georeferencing, distortions in image data, raster and vector data models, incorporating digital terrain models and geophysical data, introduction to boolean logic and functions, data accuracy and access issues and limitations of GIS. The course will include examination of case histories of GIS projects and students will also build a GIS project of their own to solve a simulated exploration problem using QGIS and real world data sets.

If you have your own data for your research projects please bring it along to the course. We will schedule some time during the week to discuss and assist you with your own GIS projects.

Special Requirements: None; however basic computer skills and some knowledge of statistics would be an advantage. 

For further course and assessment information please contact Robin Armit

University of Melbourne course information can be found at: https://handbook.unimelb.edu.au/view/2017/GEOM90044