Course Title: Advanced GIS

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced GIS

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

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


171H School of Science


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

Course Coordinator: Dr Qian (Chayn) Sun

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5227

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 012.12.016

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 , presentation, and dissemination of spatial information. There is a strong practical component and you will implement a number of sequential tasks using different software systems which contribute to your own spatial analysis project using open data and open source or cloud-based GIS solutions. To achieve the goal, you will also develop soft skills of project management, GIS marketing, communication and entrepreneurship. 

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 publicly 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:

  • 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

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, practical demonstration, GIS software, computer laboratories for practical tutorials, projects and written assignments. 

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

 This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment tasks

Online discovery task and Reflective journal 

Weighting 15% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1&5 

QGIS & CartoDB exercise 

Weighting 20% 

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

Individual Project exercise  

Weighting 45%  

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

Course review, Project report and dissemination  

Weighting 20%  

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