Presentation on theme: "Small is Beautiful but Large is Necessary: Internet GIS for the Masses Gemma Davies Duncan Whyatt Alan Blackburn Department of Geography, Lancaster University."— Presentation transcript:
Small is Beautiful but Large is Necessary: Internet GIS for the Masses Gemma Davies Duncan Whyatt Alan Blackburn Department of Geography, Lancaster University.
Introduction and Aims Geog120 – First year module in Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing (New in 2003/4) Aims: –Introduce basic concepts of Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing, drawing on links between them and how they fit together –Demonstrate breadth of applications in human, environmental and physical aspects of geography
The Challenge Provide hands on experience of Cartography, GIS and RS, ………but circa 230 students each year Formal practical classes impossible due to insufficient staff resources and space in computer labs Work is team marked hence needs to be straight forward, yet challenging enough to differentiate across the full range of abilities
Practical Skills Cartography – basic map design GIS – spatial and attribute query RS – introduction to a range of images, and information that can be extracted Examples drawn from SPEGIS
SPEGIS Aims: –Develop an integrated GIS to enhance undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and learning in Geography. –Collect as much spatially referenced data as possible for the Silverdale peninsula and River Kent estuary Data and application examples from this project used as the focus for this module Many outside organization have contributed data and research ideas to the project.
Cumbria Arnside and Silverdale AONB
Delivery – Meeting the Technical Challenge Hands on experience through a series of self- guided assessed practical sessions Web based GIS delivered using ArcIMS with Java based feature services in order to achieve functionality required Provide students with 24 hour access to practical material Support for practicals provided via an on-line discussion site, manned on a rota by a team of demonstrators
Why ArcIMS? Provides simplified interface for students Can be linked easily to other supporting material within a web based environment Ease of access for students from their own machines in their own time Part of the ESRI product range used in subsequent years
Practical Assessments 1.Cartography – Modify display properties of topographic and chloropleth map
2. GIS – Series of spatial and attribute queries, followed by short reflection on tasks under taken Name the restaurant(s) within 2km of Arnside railway station
3. Remote Sensing – Questions based on image interpretation The land surface appears darker in the IR image acquired at 11:30 than in the image from 7:30. Why? In the true colour composite image areas of dense vegetation appear green but in the false colour composite they appear red. Why?
Academic Limitations of ArcIMS Cartography - Unable to add legends, scale bars etc to maps and print quality poor GIS - Only very simple spatial and attribute queries possible. Little other functionality Remote Sensing – No image processing available, unable to even query the value of a pixel
Technical Issues To use ArcIMS Java feature services the local machine needs the right JRE and a viewer installing. This restricts where practicals can be accessed from Year 1 – Ran fairly smoothly Year 2 –Feature services failed on regular basis –Students failed to get ArcIMS working in their rooms and therefore restricted to working in departments main teaching lab, partly due to changes in JRE security –ArcExplorer used as a back up
The Student Perspective Overall students seemed to find the sessions easy to follow, despite technical glitches The practicals were easy to follow, provided time was allowed for ArcIMS problems. I am looking forward to GIS?RS in the 2 nd year Have alternative locations to be able to do the practicals as labs are often booked out for lessons When ArcIMS is working the practicals are interesting, but it can be frustrating when it does not work Stability of ArcIMS only improvement required. Especially on remote PCs, i.e. ones in study bedrooms I have bought a lap-top for completing computer based tasks and expect to be able to use it
Our Conclusions Despite its limitations, fairly happy with ArcIMS solution Fulfilled delivery of basic concepts – evident in students progressing to 2 nd year Assessment and marking seem effective Technical problems this years main concern – need to resolve before next year Failed to provide 24 hour access expected
The Future Intend to keep using ArcIMS, but remain open to alternative ideas Would like better ESRI support for use of feature based services in ArcIMS Increase sharing of experience with GIS community GEES forum for discussion for Web-based GIS applications?
Any comments or questions? What are your experiences of using web based GIS or teaching introductory concepts to large groups?