Course Title: GIS Principles

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: GIS Principles

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Dr Gang-Jun Liu

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99252425

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 12, Level 11, Room 8

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

 GEOM1159 GIS Fundamentals or an equivalent course covering:

  1.  the key components and functions of a geographical information system (GIS);
  2. understanding of spatial data models and databases and coordinate systems;
  3. ability to perform basic GIS operations including spatial and attribute data input, editing and querying; and
  4. ability to produce cartographically sound digital maps using a GIS.

Course Description

This course extends your prior knowledge of geographic information science, introduces you to principles of spatial data analysis using GIS and enhances your skills in performing GIS operations for spatial analysis with both vector and raster datasets. Topics covered in this course include: principles, procedures and operations for vector data analysis, raster data analysis, network analysis and suitability analysis.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC058 Master of Applied Science (Geospatial Information):

1.2 Demonstrate in-depth understanding of spatial models and mathematical methods used in contemporary practice.
1.3 Identify and elaborate specialist bodies of knowledge in surveying and geospatial science.
2.1 Apply standard and advanced techniques to solve a range of measurement and data management problems.
2.3 Be proficient in the recording, storage, management and reporting of spatial information.
3.2 Interpret and critically analyse results and make informed judgments on the appropriateness of solutions.
4.1 Communicate effectively by means of oral, written and graphical presentations to peers and a wider audience.
6.2 Work with others and contribute in a constructive manner to group and team activities.

On completion of this course you will be able to:


  1. Demonstrate extended knowledge of spatial data analysis using GIS and critical abilities within the context of geographical information science
  2. Select and apply suitable GIS operations for set tasks of vector data analysis;
  3. Select and apply suitable GIS operations for set tasks of raster data analysis;
  4. Design, implement and evaluate suitable GIS-based spatial data analysis procedures for set tasks of network analysis; and
  5. Design, implement and evaluate suitable GIS-based spatial data analysis procedures for set tasks of suitability analysis.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities you will be involved in are:


  • Frequent participation in lectures, where syllabus material will be presented and explained and key concepts and procedures elaborated and illustrated with examples;
  • Active engagement in laboratory sessions, where practical tutorials and projects will be demonstrated and discussed. Feedback on your progress will be provided, guiding you to develop competencies in critical application of GIS operations and capacity for creative problem solving;
  • Timely completion of written assignments consisting of problem solving tasks requiring integrated understanding of the subject matter.

Teacher Guided Hours: 24 per semester
Learner Directed Hours: 72 per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through electronic distribution (Canvas LMS) and will be provided with copies of additional materials in class. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided. You will also be able to use supported GIS software and computer laboratories for practical tutorials and projects and written assignments.

Support can also be found at RMIT Library Guides:

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course comprises written submissions to set tasks, a portfolio summarising practical projects completed during the semester and written class tests. During the semester you will also be required to give class presentations on as assigned essay / project topic and act as a peer assessor for other students. Feedback on written assignments and presentations will assist you to assess your progress during the semester.

Note that: This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment tasks:

Early assessment task 1: Class Test 1
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 and 3

Assessment Task 2: Class Test 2
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 4 and 5

Assessment Task 3: Portfolio Laboratory Reports 1-4
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4 and 5

Assessment Task 4: Project Submission
Weighting 30%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Assessment Task 5: Project Presentation
Weighting 10%
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5