GEOG323-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Geospatial Analysis in the Social and Environmental Sciences

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course provides an introduction to spatial analysis, an important tool for exploring, analysing, modelling and visualising geospatial data. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to investigate and understand spatial patterns resulting from social and physical processes operating on the surface of Earth, such as epidemics, crime and pollution. A variety of software packages will be introduced and used to explore different aspects of spatial analysis. A number of issues inherent to dealing with spatial data, such as the ecological fallacy and modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP), will also be highlighted.

Nau mai ki GEOG323 - welcome to GEOG323. This course provides an introduction to a range of statistical techniques used in the analysis of spatial data. A comprehensive lab programme uses a variety of software packages to explore, among others, visualisation, exploratory spatial data analysis, spatial autocorrelation, point pattern analysis, spatial statistics and the modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP).

Please note: This is an advanced level GIS course. It should not be taken as your first course in GIS nor your first course using computers. GEOG205 (or its equivalent) is the assumed level of prior training and experience in GIS. The course focuses on expanding your GIS skill base, and exposing you to wider spatial analysis techniques.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Understand what spatial methods are appropriate for varying data types;
2. Be aware of some of the societal problems and critiques associated with GIS;
3. Carry out an advanced GIS or spatial analysis research project using GIS;
4. Be competent users of mainstream GIS software, gaining skills employers require;
5. Critically appraise spatial analysis in published work.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


30 points of 200-level Geography, including GEOG205, or
in special cases with approval of the Head of Department.

Timetable Note

11 hrs lectures (11 x 1 hour lectures)
18 hrs labs (6 x 3 hour labs)
121 hrs self-study and assignment work

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Ioannis Delikostidis


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Lab 1 09 Mar 2023 5%
Lab 2 16 Mar 2023 6%
Lab 3 23 Mar 2023 6%
Lab 4 30 Mar 2023 6%
Lab 5 11 May 2023 6%
Lab 6 25 May 2023 6%
Group Presentation and Group Report 15% Group presentation (Week 22) and group report
Final Exam 50% Due date tba

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Haining, Robert P; Spatial data analysis : theory and practice ; Cambridge University Press, 2003.

O'Sullivan, David , Unwin, D; Geographic information analysis ; 2nd ed; John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

The recommended texts are:
1. O’Sullivan, D. & Unwin, D. J. (2010). Geographic Information Analysis (2nd ed). John Wiley (full text online).
2. Haining, R. H. (2003). Spatial data analysis: Theory and practice. Cambridge University Press (full text online).

Supplementary readings which you are expected to read will be listed most weeks online.


Prerequisites: 30 points of 200-level Geography, including GEOG205, or
in special cases with approval of the Head of Department.

Recommended preparation: Going through GEOG205 taught materials.

Course requirements:
 Complete the laboratory programme and hand in lab assignments
 Submit the individual article review
 Pass the final online exam

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $916.00

International fee $4,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment .

All GEOG323 Occurrences

  • GEOG323-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023