Locational and Network Analysis with GIS
Dr P. Densham
Unit value: 0.5 unit Year 3 Term 2
Brief Course Description
This course introduces students to methods of locational and network analysis that have long been one of the foci of spatial analysis, and to their use in current geographic information systems (GISs) to address a broad range of applications. Early researchers in the field of locational analysis, such as Von Thunen and Weber, sought to explain the locational patterns that they encountered through generally-applicable laws. Their work resulted in the normative school in classical location theory and enabled researchers to say where a facility should be located. As the field developed, the positive school brought a new theoretical and methodological perspective to location theory: the focus changed to the consideration of process and the understanding of system dynamics. The subsequent evolution of the Geographic literature on locational analysis, and the input of a large body of derivative theory in the form of algorithmic solution methods from Operational Research and Management Science, has served to yield standard techniques and solution methods for many of the locational problems society faces today.
After successful completion of this course, students will:
1) Have a knowledge of the body of theory and solution methods developed to solve many
2) Understand the methodologies and techniques developed to formulate and solve locational
3) Be able to formulate and solve a range of locational models using methods embedded
in commercially-available GISs.
The course will consist of a mix of lectures and practical sessions. Lectures will introduce the theory and associated methods of network and locational analysis. Practical sessions will enable students to work with software to solve various models in a range of application contexts. A particular focus of the course will be on techniques for solving facility location problems: location-allocation models.
Method of Teaching
Lectures and practicals will be taught in a weekly three-hour slot.
Form of Assessment
Unseen written examination (100% of the assessment).
Pre-requisites and Relationships with other Courses
Whilst there are no formal prerequisites for the course, students that have taken GEOG2022 Geographical Information Systems and Science will be familiar with some of the concepts and GIS software used in the course.
Suggested Preliminary Reading
Longley, P.A., M.F. Goodchild, D.J. Maguire and D.W. Rhind, 2005. Geographic Information Systems and Science, Wiley, Chichester. (Sections on network and locational analysis.)