Dr Colin Arrowsmith


Associate Professor

School /
Work Unit

Math & Geospatial Sciences

Contact Details

+61 3 9925 2042



Building: 12
Level: 11
Room: 17

City Campus


Science, Engineering & Health

Associate Professor Colin Arrowsmith

Key activities

  • Chair of the “GIS and Applications” Research Scholarship Group
  • Postgraduate Coursework Leader
  • Postgraduate and Undergraduate Selection Officer
  • Member of the Faculty of Applied Science Research Committee
  • Member of the Science, Engineering and Technology Portfolio Higher Degrees Committee
  • Editor for the Journal of Spatial Science.


  • BSurv, MSurvSc, MEnvS Melb, PhD RMIT, GradDipEd Hawthorn, MSSSI, FRGS

Professional interests

  • Member of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute of Australia
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society


Colin’s research has concentrated on the application of spatial information systems, including geographic information systems (GIS), to investigating the impact of tourism on nature-based tourist destinations as well as employing GIS into the visualisation and analysis of cultural data (in particular cinema studies). Colin’s research into the impact of tourism also addresses the issue of how to incorporate time into spatial information systems such as GIS.

Colin has also researched into the application and use of virtual environments for the teaching and learning of geospatial science with the Online Center for Global Geography Education (sponsored by the Association for American Geographers (see http://courses.a) and consulted to “Digital.earth.eu” an EU sponsored Comenius Network for the use of GeoInformation in schools.

  • Australian Mathematical Science Institute Internship supervisor in conjunction with Bass Coast Shire Council. “Developing a conceptual data model”. (2013-2014).
  • ARC Discovery Grant DP120101940: “Only at the Movies” (2011-2014).
  • ARC Linkage Grant LP120200319: “Doing diversity: intercultural understanding in primary and secondary schools” (2012-2015).
  • Australian Mathematical Science Institute Internship supervisor in conjunction with Bass Coast Shire Council. “Overland flow analysis: Bass Coast Shire Council”. (2012-2013).
  • The Fujairah Spatial Modelling Project: Terrestrial Laser Scanning Project in conjunction with the Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. (2011-2014).
  • Australian Mathematical Science Institute Internship supervisor in conjunction with Bass Coast Shire Council. “Inverloch LiDAR based hydrological feature extraction”. (2011-2012).
  • Consultant to the “Digital.earth.eu” Comenius Network for the use of GeoInformation in schools (2010-2013).
  • Docklands Vessel Traffic Research for GeoDimensions Pty. Ltd. and Parks Victoria (2010).
  • ARC Linkage Grant LP0883291: Geo-placed knowledge – Chief Investigator developing a methodology for provisioning stakeholders in natural environments management with integrated media tools together with industry partner Parks Victoria (2008-2010).
  • ARC Discovery Grant DP0879695: Mapping the movies: the changing nature of Australia’s cinema circuits and their audiences 1956-1984. (2008-2011). Chief Investigator.
  • Module Developer and Consultant to the Association of American Geographers for the Center of Global Geography Education. (2008; 2009).
  • China-Australia Research Grant: Intelligent gas disaster early-warning, robust emergency response and rescue systems for coal mining based on geospatial information technologies. (2008)
  • Williamstown Vessel Traffic Management Plan for GeoDimensions Pty. Ltd. And Parks Victoria (2008).
  • Learning and Teaching Investment Fund (RMIT): “A Virtual Atlas of Geomorphologic Significant Sites in Victoria” (2007).
  • Parks Victoria: “River Traffic Survey and Analysis” (2007).
  • Program and Courseware Enhancement Scheme to further develop Geography courses for on-line delivery (2006).
  • Action Research in Teaching and Learning grant to develop new a new integrated course for the teaching and learning of geospatial science (2006).
  • Parks Victoria in conjunction with Geodimensions Pty. Ltd. “Implementation of a River Traffic Study – Part 2” (2005).
  • Program and Courseware Enhancement Scheme Developing Geography courses for on-line delivery (2005).
  • Teaching and Learning grant to develop a Virtual Field Trip for the teaching and learning of geospatial science (2004).
  • Module evaluator grant to evaluate the online collaborative teaching of geography over the Internet for the Association of American Geographers (2004).
  • Consultant Cartographer to Weldon Owen Publishers in publishing “The Children’s Visual World Atlas” (2004).
  • Consultant to Weldon Owen Publishers for “The Illustrated World Atlas” (2004).
  • RMIT Special Project Fund Award in conjunction with Parks Victoria – “Patterns of Use: Port Campbell National Park” (2002).
  • Victorian Environmental Protection Authority research grant Turbidity Prediction Model for Major Victorian Streams” (2002).
  • RMIT grant to develop on-line course materials for Physical Geography and Changing Global Environments (Quaternary Environments ($10,000).
  • RMIT grant “On-line teaching development” for 2001-2002 to develop Physical Geography and Global Environmental Change subjects for on-line delivery (2001-2002)
  • RMIT Research Grant “Working with Simulations in teaching” (2000).
  • ARC Linkage Australian Post-graduate Award (Industry) together with industry partner Water Ecoscience Pty. Ltd. Titled: “Development of a water quality risk assessment model” (1998).
  • RMIT Faculty of Education, Languages and Community Services Research Grant (1998).
  • Faculty of Applied Science Research Grants (for 1996 and for 1997).


  • Physical Geography (GEOM1022) (Undergraduate)
  • Spatial Information Science 1 (GEOM1033) (Undergraduate)
  • Spatial Information Science 4 (GEOM2095) (Undergraduate)
  • Quaternary Geography (EASC1056) (Undergraduate)
  • GIS Fundamentals (GEOM1159) (Postgraduate)
  • GIS Applications (GEOM1167) (Postgraduate)
  • Major Project (Postgraduate)
  • Dissertation (Postgraduate)

Postgraduate completions (senior research supervisions)

  • Mr Jimmy Cheruseril (Determining an Urban Water Consumption Model Based on Socio-demographic Factors) Research Masters.
  • Professor Prem Chhetri (Developing a spatial model of environmental cognition using digital landscapes) PhD.
  • Mr Andrew Counihan (Online Virtual Environments for Natural Tourist Locations) Research Masters.
  • Naishadh Dave (Developing an Approach for Assessing Spatial Behaviour Risk) Research Masters.
  • Ms Sabereh Dejbakhsh (Determining the spatial needs of international tourists) Research Masters.
  • Dr Alwyn Davidson (A method for the visualisation of historical multivariate spatial data) PhD.
  • Ms Catherine Hill (Development of a Multivariate Spatial Risk Assessment Model for Catchment Water Quality Management using a Geographic Information System) Research Masters.
  • Dr Matthew Kwan (Visualisation and analysis of mobile phone location data) PhD.
  • Dr Seyed Hamed Mirkarimi (Landscape Ecological Planning For Protected Areas Using Spatial and Temporal Metrics) PhD.
  • Dr Marjan Mohammadzadeh (Developing a visitor decision support system for natural tourist destinations) PhD.
  • Dr Fatemeh Poodat (Assessment of ecological connectivity for urban environments: a multispecies approach) PhD.
  • Mr Ralph Roob (The Inventory of Marine Benthic Habitats in Victorian Waters) Research Masters.
  • Dr Dale Watson (The regional distribution and significance of stream turbidity in Victoria) PhD.
  • Dr Jianhong (Cecilia) Xia (Modelling the Spatial Temporal Movement of Tourists) PhD.

Current postgraduate students

  • Anjali Chhetri (PhD) – Understanding the Emerging Tourism Labour Market Regions in Australia: A Geographic Approach.
  • Mohamed Hassani (PhD) – Climate change and its impacst on tourism resources in Fujairah, UAE.
  • Robert Andronaco (PhD) – Emergency services risk mapping.
  • Sevedhossein Pourali (PhD) – The utility in spatial data modelling for decision support in water-catchment management: exemplification from Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
  • Sarah Taylor (PhD) – GIS for cultural urban research the case of the live music industry in Melbourne and Sydney.
  • Sultana Nasrin Baby (PhD) – Spatial decision support systems and their applications for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) capacity-building in Victoria, Australia.


Download or view Associate Professor Colin Arrowsmith's publications list (PDF 92KB 10p)

External examiner

  • University of Melbourne
  • Indian Institute of Technology (Roorkee)
  • Monash University
  • Curtin University of Technology
  • Mauluana Azsad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal


  • Victorian Spatial Excellence Award Winner in 2006 for “Education and Professional Development” presented by the Spatial Science Institute.
  • Awarded the 2000 President’s Medal on December 5, 2000 for the most outstanding paper published in Cartography for the past two years.
  • Nominated finalist for the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Award for Education and Professional Development for 2006.
  • Nominated for a Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award 2000, 2005 and 2006.


  • Journal of Cartography
  • Journal of Spatial Science.
  • Journal of Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
  • Transactions in GIS journal.
  • Austral Ecology.
  • International Journal of Remote Sensing.
  • Journal of Ecotourism.
  • Journal of Environmental Studies.
  • Journal of Environmental Management
  • Journal of Tourism Management.
  • The Philippine Agricultural Scientist.
  • Asia Pacific Management.
  • International Journal of Tourism Research.
  • Geography in Higher Education.
  • Journal of Urban Technology.
  • Journal of Natural Sciences Education.
  • Spatial Sciences Institute Conference, Melbourne 2005.
  • Spatial Sciences Institute Conference, Gold Coast, July 2008.
  • Research Event Conference, Hobart, 2005.
  • Mobile technology in the urban field conference, 2010.