GEOG 317 : Remote Sensing and GIS


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Further develops key concepts of geographic information science as it is applied to earth and environmental sciences including physical geography. Covers techniques for describing the physical environment, ways of analysing and visualising the environment, particularly raster-based surface models. Also compares theories of remote sensing from space, the air, non-imagery raster data. Skills in analysing and properly using various types of remote sensing materials are developed through labs.

Course Overview

A comprehensive introduction to the process of acquiring data about the Earth's surface and atmosphere from a variety of platforms remotely, including drones, airplanes, and satellites. A critical assessment of the pros and cons of different types of data and their best uses in monitoring the environment and resources management. Students will have the chances of developing analytical and reasoning skills in converting remote sensing data to the desired information both manually and digitally through the completion of labs. Examples will be provided to illustrate how different types of GIS/remote sensing data can be used jointly to tackle real world problems.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 15 points from EARTHSCI 210, GEOG 210, GISCI 140 and 45 points at Stage II

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the principles of sensing various targets from sensors mounted on the ground and from the air and space (Capability 1)
  2. Develop skills in making use of remotely sensed data to produce thematic maps (Capability 1)
  3. Identify and critically analyse the needs of solving real world problems using the best data available (Capability 3)
  4. Develop ability to think critically and creatively to convert remote sensing data to the desired information using the most appropriate analytical methods (Capability 2)
  5. Develop independence and integrity in completing the course work (Capability 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 40% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Test
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam

Learning Resources

Jensen, John R. 2007. Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective (2nd edition), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 592 p.
Emery, William, and Camps, Adriano, 2017. Introduction to Satellite Remote Sensing (1st edition): Atmosphere, Ocean, Land and Cryosphere Applications, Elsevier, eBook ISBN: 9780128092590
Thermal Remote Sensing of Active Volcanoes: A User's Manual (2013) by Andrew Harris. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2014.896499 

Special Requirements

Students must pass the practical (at least 50%) to pass the course.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, a two-hour tutorial, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 03:09 p.m.