Course Title: Cartography and Visualisation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Cartography and Visualisation

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

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Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT: 

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Amy Griffin

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2338

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.12.28

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces students to the basic principles of cartography and visualisation. It begins with the fundamentals of map design and data graphics and then introduces the principles of interaction design and geospatial information visualisation. The course will be of interest to students who wish to gain a solid grounding in the design of cartographic interfaces, whether traditional static maps or interactive or exploratory computer interfaces to geospatial data.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

1. Identify what makes cartography and visualisation of geospatial information different from graphic design and information visualisation;
2. Critically evaluate the designs of maps and user interfaces for spatial data; and
3. Use common and industry standard computer-based software for static map production, as well as systems for the development of interactive maps and visualisations.

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes for MC265 Master of Geospatial Science:

1.1 Describe the fundamental and applied scientific knowledge that underpins the geospatial sciences.
1.3 Identify and elaborate specialist bodies of knowledge in geospatial science.
2.3 Be proficient in the recording, storage, management and reporting of spatial information.
3.1 Design and implement creative solutions to complex problems.
3.2 Interpret and critically analyse results and make informed judgments on the appropriateness of solutions.
3.3 Apply critical and analytical skills in a scientific and professional manner.
4.1 Communicate effectively by means of oral, written and graphical presentations to peers and a wider audience
6.1 Be self-motivated and personally responsible for your actions and learning.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will be actively engaged in a series of weekly sessions, which include a mix of lectures, lab exercises and self-directed work, and class discussions and design critique sessions.

Total study hours

Teacher Guided Hours: 48 per semester
Learner Directed Hours: 48 per semester

Overview of Learning Resources

You will have access to extensive learning resources provided in the school and the RMIT Library, in addition to course-specific resources such as particular library books, journal articles, videos and web resources on the Learning Hub. The course is supported using the Canvas learning management system. Additional support can also be found at RMIT Library Guides:
A recommended reading list will be provided.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

  • This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks:

Assessment task 1: Two oral vivas, including early assessment task (10% each)
Weighting: 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 1 & 2

Assessment task 2: Static mapping assignment. 
Weighting: 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 1, 2 & 3

Assessment task 3: Dynamic mapping assignment. 
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 1, 2 & 3

Assessment task 4: Design critique.  
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 2