Quantitative Methods in Geography

Humanities & Social Sciences
Geography and the Environment
Course Code
GEOG 2251
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course in an introduction to the use of quantitative information in geography, including data collection, management, and analysis. Analytical procedures will include graphical presentation of data, descriptive statistics, application of probability and sampling theory, and inferential statistics. Examples will be taken from both physical and human geography. Computers and data analysis software will be used.
Course Content
  1. Introduction
    • quantitative geography
    • statistics
    • nominal, ordinal, interval data
    • primary and secondary data
    • measurement and collection of data                    
  2. Visualization of data
    • tables, graphs and maps
  3. Descriptive statistics
    • central tendency
    • variability
  4. Spatial data analysis
    • areal and point data
    • directional statistics
  5.   Probability theory and distributions
    • random variables
    • discrete probability distributions
    • continuous probability distributions
  6. Sampling and populations
    • types of samples
    • random sampling
    • sampling distributions
    • geographic sampling
  7. Parametric inferential statistics
    • estimation
    • hypothesis testing
    • t-tests
    • confidence intervals
    • statistical significance
  8. Nonparametric statistics
    • comparison of parametric and nonparametric tests
    • examples of nonparametric tests
  9. Correlation
    • Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient
    • nonparametric correlation coefficients
    • spatial autocorrelation
  10. Regression
    • simple linear regression model
    • goodness of fit
    • assumptions of  linear regression
    • non-linear regression models
    • multiple regression analysis
  11. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
  12. Chi-Square testing
  13. Time series analysis
    • characteristics of time series
    • data homogeneity
    • smoothing
Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lecture, labs, observation, analysis and interpretation of geographic data, multimedia, individual and/or team projects and small group discussions.

Means of Assessment

The evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria during the first week of classes.

Evaluation will include some of the following:

  • Laboratory assignments with a combined value of up to 50%.
  • Multiple choice and short answer exams with a combined value of up to 50%.
  • A term project with a value of up to 25%.


An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Laboratory Assignments 40%
Midterm Exam 25%
Final Exam 25%
Term Project 10%
Total 100%


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be  able to:


  1. Explain the role of quantitative information in geographic research and applications
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of  basic descriptive statistics and regression methods as they apply to problem solving in Geography
  3. Perform basic data manipulation, statistical calculations and graphical presentation by hand, and using computer spreadsheets or statistical software (e.g. Excel, SPSS)
  4. Evaluate the roles of probability theory and sampling distributions in drawing inferences about populations based on samples
  5. Identify when and where statistical procedures are appropriate


Textbook Materials

Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:


  • Shafer, D.S. and Z. Zhang (2012).  Beginning Statistics. Open source textbook: http://2012books.lardbucket.org/
  • Haan, M. (2013). An Introduction to Statistics for Candian Social Scientists.  Oxford.
  • Harris, R. and C. Jarvis (2011).  Statistics for Geography and Environmental Science. Pearson
  • Rogerson, P.A. (2010).  Statistical Methods for Geography:  A Student's Guide.  Sage






One 1100-level Geography course, or permission of instructor


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

This course is not required for any other course.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Athabasca University (AU) AU MGSC 2XX (3) 2012/09/01 to -
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO GEOG 216 (4) 2013/01/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU GEOG 2XX (3) 2003/05/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU GEOG 2390 (3) 2012/09/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOG 2XXX (3) 2009/01/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GEOG 251 (3), Q 2009/01/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOG 2700 (3) 2010/09/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOG 270 (3) 2009/01/01 to 2010/08/31
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GEOG 2XX (3), *non-lab 2009/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO GEOG 271 (3) 2009/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV GEOG 2nd (3), Precludes credit for UBCV GEOG 374 2009/01/01 to 2019/04/30
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV GEOG 2nd (3), Exempt UBCV GEOG 374 2019/05/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC MATH 240 (3) 2009/01/01 to 2012/08/31
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC STAT 240 (3) 2011/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 252 (4) 2009/01/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GEOG 226 (1.5) 2009/01/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOG 221 (3) 2012/09/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOG 2nd (3) 2009/01/01 to 2012/08/31

Course Offerings

Winter 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.