Course Title: Advanced Spatial Information Science

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Spatial Information Science

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Qian (Chayn) Sun

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5227

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.12.016

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge:

To successfully complete this course, you should have:

  • Knowledge of key components of a geographical information system (GIS), important GIS functionalities to manage geospatial data, and mainstream GIS applications;
  • the ability to use a GIS software with given digital geospatial datasets to produce cartographically sound digital maps
  • the ability to carry out GIS-based spatial data analysis procedures

Course Description

This course introduces you to open source and cloud based solutions for GIS. There is also a strong emphasis on spatial databases and the use of ‘open data’. The course focusses on the use of new and emerging technologies for the management, analysis, interpretation and presentation of spatial information. There is a strong practical component and you will implement a number of demonstrator projects using different software systems. You will also develop your own spatial analysis project using open data and open source or cloud-based GIS solutions. 

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.) 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH117 Bachelor of Science (Geospatial Science) Honours:

1.2 Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the spatial models and mathematical methods used in contemporary practice.

1.3 Understand specialist bodies of knowledge in 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, representation and reporting of spatial information.

6.1 Be self-motivated and personally responsible for your actions and learning

6.3 Professionally manage and use information.

At the successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  1. Use a range of open source and cloud-based GIS software
  2. Create a spatial database
  3. Explain the standards applicable to web GIS services
  4. Publish a web mapping service
  5. Write a reflective journal describing the development of your learning in the course
  6. Develop a cloud based solution to a GIS analysis problem using publically available data 

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities you will be involved in are: 

  • Frequent participation in lectorials, where syllabus material will be presented and discussed, and key issues will be explained and discussed; 
  • structured practical sessions, where tutorials and projects will be conducted and discussed, enabling you to develop competencies in applying GIS operations critically and solving practical problems creatively. 
  • completion of demonstrator projects and your own larger project that require investigation and problem solving, leading to an integrated understanding of the subject matter. 
  • a reflective journal, where you describe the learning challenges faced and the development of your own knowledge and understanding of the key concepts in the course 

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through Canvas 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 also have access to virtual computing environments, GIS software, computer laboratories for practical tutorials, projects and written assignments. 

A library subject guide is available at:

Overview of Assessment

Note that: 

This course has no hurdle requirements. 

Assessment tasks  

Assessment Task 1:  Online discovery task and Reflective journal 

Weighting 15% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1&5 


Assessment Task 2:  QGIS & CartoDB exercise 

Weighting 20% 

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2,3 & 4 


Assessment 3: Individual Project exercise  

Weighting 45%  

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2,3, 4 & 6 


Assessment 4: Course review, Project report and dissemination  

Weighting 20%  

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2,3, 4 & 5