Course Title: Advanced GIS

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced GIS

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Chris Bellman

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3269

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 012.12.024

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

GEOM1159 (GIS Fundamentals) and GEOM1163 (GIS Principles), or equivalent course(s), or provide evidence of equivalent capabilities.

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.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should 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

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

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

1.3 Identify and elaborate specialist bodies of knowledge in the geospatial sciences.

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.

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

6.2 Professionally manage and use spatial information.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively involved in a variety of learning activities, such as:

  • formal lectures, where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and key concepts and procedures will be illustrated with examples and demonstrations.
  • 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

Total study hours:

24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of structured practical sessions. In addition, another 12 hours of supervised project time is available in computer laboratories. Students are expected to devote considerable time to the development and completion of their own GIS project using the systems covered 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.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

 This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment tasks


Early Assessment Task:  Online discovery task and discussion

Weighting 5%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1

Assessment Task 2:  Reflective journal.

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 5

Assessment Task 3:  QGIS exercise

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2 & 3

Assessment 4: CartoDB exercise

Weighting 5% 

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4

Assessment 5: ARCGIS Online exercise

Weighting 5% 

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2,3 & 4

Assessment 6: Project exercise

Weighting 45% 

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

Assessment 7: Class test

Weighting 10% 

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

Assessment 8: Essay

Weighting 10% 

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