Imaging the Environment

Subject GEOM30009 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours, comprising of two hours of lectures and two hours of practical work per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Joseph Leach

Subject Overview:


This subject will introduce students to the use of imagery in the mapping of both human and natural environments. Imagery is often the cheapest way to gain spatial information about the environment, especially for large areas, but analysis and interpretation of the data requires sophisticated techniques. Usually the light or other electromagnetic radiation being emitted or reflected from the surface being imaged needs to be interpreted into another variable of interest, such as the type of vegetation on the surface. Once interpreted, the information must be communicated to others; usually in the form of maps or reports.

This subject builds on a student’s knowledge of the physical and built environment relevant to their discipline and allows them to interpret and communicate that knowledge. On completion of the subject students should have the skills to perform routine image analysis tasks in the workplace using industry standard software. This subject partners with others to the geomatics majors of the undergraduate science and environments degrees to allow the student to progress to a professional masters degree in geomatics or to enter the workforce in a paraprofessional role.


Image interpretation basics
Image acquisition and formation
Fundamentals of image processing and measurement
Both aerial photography and satellite imagery will be used to illustrate the techniques of measurement and interpretation by which both spatial position and semantic content can be extracted from image data.

Learning Outcomes:


Having completed this unit the student is expected to:

  1. Describe those characteristics of different image techniques which allow information to be extracted from the image;
  2. Extract data from images;
  3. Applying image data to the creation of maps;
  4. Analyse image data to monitoring both human and natural environments;
  5. Interpret image data to inform management of human and natural environments.
  • Four short practical reports, totaling no more than 2400 words, due across the semester (10% each, 40%) Addresses Intended Learning Outcomes, ILOs, 1 to 5
  • 3-hour end-of-semester examination (60%) ILOs, 1, 4 and 5
Prescribed Texts:

Karl Krauss, de Gruyter, 2007 Photogrammetry 2nd Ed
Lillesand, Kiefer and Chipman, 2003 Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation 5th Ed., Wiley and Sons

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have:

  • The ability to apply knowledge of basic science fundamentals
  • The ability to communicate effectively, not only with other scientists but also with the community at large
  • The ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • The ability to function effectively as an individual and in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, with the capacity to be a leader or manager as well as an effective team member
  • An expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, capacity to do so
  • The capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • Openness to new ideas and unconventional critiques of received wisdom



Lecturers and individual practical assignments


Krauss,K., 2007. Photogrammetry. 2nd Edition. Walter de Gruyter/Berlin
Lilles,T., Kiefer,R.W. and Chipman,J., 2007 Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation 6th Edition. Wiley and Sons

Online interactive tutorials


This subject uses industry standard software for image analysis and accesses industry databases of imagery, such as that provided by NASA, as the basis of practical work.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environmental Engineering Systems major
Environmental Science
Environmental Science major
Environments Discipline subjects
Geomatics (Geomatic Engineering) major
Marine Biology
Master of Engineering (Geomatics)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Understanding Location

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