Level 3

Geography clarifications

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91433: Apply spatial analysis, with consultation, to solve a geographic problem

Updated September 2015. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.  


Consultation is needed to help students choose appropriate geospatial techniques that fit the nature and context of the problem. The teacher should provide guidance in the selection of a topic or theme.

Collecting spatial data and producing a layout relevant to the problem

Sufficient, quality spatial data is needed to enable effective, comprehensive analysis.

Manipulations should result in the student creating new data through the use of a range of data transformation techniques. It is expected that the spatial data is presented as a layout and not as separate graphics integrated in the report.

Geographic conventions and a range of geographic skills must be evident in the completed layout. A Merit level layout will be distinguished from an Achieved one through:

  • technical accuracy of the images (application of geographic conventions)
  • range and selection of images displayed, and
  • logical display that demonstrates a sound understanding of the components of the geographic problem and its spatial dimension.

Explanation and evaluation of the manipulations

Students need to demonstrate understanding of the spatial data in relation to the geographic problem. They will show understanding through explaining why selected manipulation techniques were used with specific spatial data, and how the manipulation will support problem solving.

The explanation should make clear links to the evidence of the manipulation on the layout. A comprehensive response needs to evaluate the manipulations made.

Solution to the geographic problem

Explanatory Note 2 states that the justification should demonstrate “why the chosen course of action is better than the alternatives.” However, whether the depth of the justification focuses on the solution proposed and its implications, or the alternative solutions, will be determined by the nature of the problem.

In all cases, students must demonstrate that their proposed solution to the geographic problem is based on the spatial analysis and manipulations undertaken. 

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