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    A study of techniques as applied in surveying to built and natural environments, including statistics, trigonometry, mechanics, engineering, introductory programming, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing.

    This introductory paper covers foundational material important to future surveying papers and is recommended for progress into SURV 208 Introduction to GIS. GIS is an extremely useful tool for many disciplines in both undergraduate and postgraduate study. It encompasses:

    • Geometry and trigonometry
    • Problem-solving approaches and computational thinking
    • Geospatial data and methods
    • Essential statistics for measurement analysis
    • Essential principles from the physics of motion

    About this paper

    Paper title Geospatial Science
    Subject Surveying
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,284.15
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Schedule C
    Teaching staff

    Convenor: Professor Christina Hulbe
    Lecturers: Professor Christina Hulbe
    Associate Professor Tony Moore
    Aubrey Miller
    Dr Pascal Sirguey

    Paper Structure

    This paper reviews and introduces foundational topics in geospatial and measurement science, including:

    • Problem-solving appoaches and computational thinking
    • Essential statistics for measurement analysis
    • Geospatial data and methods

    Using the following software:

    • ArcGIS (and/or QGIS)
    • Matlab
    Teaching Arrangements

    Three or four 1-hour lectures, plus one 3-hour practical per week

    A 3-hour final exam (all students must gain a minimum of 40% in the final exam in order to pass the paper)

    Internal assessment will count for 50% of the final mark and all work must be completed to meet terms.

    • Practical labs 45%
    • Blackboard quizzes 50%
    • Seminar reports 5%


    • Information regarding all aspects of the paper will be provided via the Blackboard site and during the lecture. The Blackboard site will be updated regularly. Your instructors are also available during scheduled lab practicals and at other times by arrangement. If you have a question, ask.

    Student responsibilities and participation:

    • It is your responsibility as a student to be aware of the requirements for this paper. How you participate in the paper is both your responsibility and your choice. It is important that you attend lectures. Content is developed over sequences of days, so when you skip days, you miss information, linkages between key ideas and worked examples. You should be aware that you will not earn the best marks possible if you routinely arrive late or choose not to attend lectures and practical sessions.
    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    All materials are available online.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to

    • Apply problem-solving skills and strategies, including computer implementation of simple mathematical algorithms
    • Understand the importance of measurement errors, use descriptive statistics to quantify errors, and choose and apply appropriate hypothesis tests to gain deeper understanding of the data used in geospatial analysis
    • Use GIS to visualise data and conduct simple spatial analysis and understand the fundamentals of remotely sensed data and its application in geospatial science


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-38, 40-41
    Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
    Thursday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
    Friday 11:00-11:50 39


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Monday 08:00-10:50 28-34, 36-38, 40-41
    A2 Wednesday 08:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
    A3 Wednesday 16:00-18:50 28-34, 36-41
    A4 Thursday 08:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
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