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SSGE027S4 Introduction to Spatial Thinking Coursework


This module will be assessed on this piece of coursework only. This coursework element accounts for 100% of the total mark for the module, and includes four parts:

• Part A (20%) – Map evaluation: Critically evaluate a map and make a higher-quality map.

• Part B (15%) – Terrain Analysis: Analyse the terrain of Mount St Helens after an eruption.

• Part C (20%) – Suitability Analysis: Find places using spatial operations.

• Part D (25%) – Short Essay: Discuss one of a set of proposed topics.

• Part E (20%) – Field trip: Present the data collected during the field trip.

You must answer all five parts. The archive contains resources necessary to complete the coursework. In the coursework, use your spatial thinking skills and refer explicitly to the core concepts covered in the module (objects, fields, networks, events, and quality). See the assessment criteria below for more detail. You will have to submit a report in PDF format (one document) at the link provided on Moodle. Submission checklist:

• Start from template report_template_ist.docx available on Moodle.

• The file should not exceed 20 MB in size.

• Do not upload datasets.

• The report can include figures, maps, tables, and charts as needed.

• All maps should include title, legend, and scale bars.

• Make sure that you stay within the word limits of each section. The word limits do not include figure captions, tables, and references.

• As much as possible, avoid using screenshots of QGIS or other tools, but export maps as high-quality figures (png or pdf formats).

What you have to do

Write a report that contains a critique of the map in Figure 1, pointing out all the flaws in both design and in map making. Using the provided data, you will then have to create a new population map. When creating the map, remember that:

• you do not have restrictions on the page orientation;

• you can add a base map if needed;

• you can add insets and captions if you feel it could help to convey information;

• you can add local authority boundaries.

You are free to use your cartographic skills in order to create a readable and informative population map.

What you have to do

Use the digital elevation model (DEM) provided to interpret the topography (in 300 words) of Mt St Helens after the eruption. Things to do:

1) Change the colour of the DEM for clear visualization;

2) Create hillshade, slope and aspect maps.


In the archive folder Part_B-mt_st_helens in the file, you will find the digital elevation model (DEM) of Mt St Helens (mtsthelens_after.dem). Submission

This section of the report (word limit: 500 words) must contain:

1) Maps: Coloured DEM, slope, and aspect maps. Include legends and scale bars.

2) Discussion of topography: An interpretation of this topography and how the event changed it.

3) Terrain analysis methods: A discussion of how different methods of terrain analysis helped you in understanding topography.

You work for a real estate agency that helps clients find locations in London. Your clients are looking for areas that match specific criteria and they want you to produce maps that will support their decision-making (for example to open new shops and cafes). The analysis will focus on “points of interest” (POIs) in London, i.e. spatial objects that have a particular function, such as pubs, restaurants, and hotels.

What you have to do

Using QGIS, analyse the points of interest using buffer, intersection, and union operations to produce maps that will show the following areas. Produce a map for each set of criteria (3 maps). Note: As the data is expressed in metres (see below), you can specify distances in metres in the buffer tool.

a) Education: All areas that are within 400 metres from schools AND universities  (intersection of two layers).

b) Night life: All areas that are within 300 metres from pubs OR restaurants (union of two layers).

c) Cultural activities: All areas that are within 250 metres from museums OR cinemas OR theatres (union of 3 layers).


To answer such spatial questions, you can use the provided dataset that contains points of interest in London and neighbouring areas ( For each point of interest, this dataset contains:

• osm_id: identifier of the object

• name: name of object (if available)

• type: type of object (restaurant, pub, museum, cinema, theatre, school, or university)

• The geo-location is expressed in British Grid (in metres).

Structure. This states that:

i. No individual academic member of staff can allow extensions.

ii. Coursework submitted late is given two marks: a penalty mark of the Pass Mark, assuming it is of a pass standard, and the ‘real’ mark that would have been awarded if the work had not been late. Both marks are given to the student on a cover sheet. If the coursework is not of a pass standard a single mark is given.

iii. Students submitting coursework late have the opportunity to provide written evidence, medical or otherwise, as to why their work was submitted late. This should be submitted to the Tutor or Programme Director, as appropriate and thence to the Mitigation Sub-Committee (see point v below). If no such documentation is received prior to the meeting of the Mitigation SubCommittee the ‘real’ mark will not be considered and the penalty mark will stand.

iv. An absolute cut off deadline for late submission and accompanying documentation shall be specified.

v. All requests are held over and considered by a sub-group of the relevant Exam Board prior to a meeting of the full Exam Board. This sub-group should be called the Mitigation Sub-Committee and should meet termly and/or prior to the full Exam Board, as appropriate. All cases on file should be dealt with at that meeting/those meetings, and the results presented to the full Exam Board.

vi. Appropriate procedures should be put in place for students on interdisciplinary programmes. This should normally involve submission of evidence to the relevant module tutor, who should pass it on to the Mitigation Sub-Committee of the School in which the program is based.


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