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  3. Spatial Databases

Spatial Databases (GEOM90018)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeGEOM90018
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


Spatial databases are fundamental to any geographical information system. Efficient and effective representation and retrieval of spatial information is a non-trivial task. This subject will cover the concepts, methods, and approaches that allow for efficient representation, querying, and retrieval of spatial data.

This subject builds on a student’s knowledge of computer programming, databases, and spatial information. Students who successfully complete this subject may find professional employment in designing, implementing, customising and maintaining databases for the increasingly wide range of spatial software applications.


Fundamentals of spatial databases; spatial data modelling in relational databases, including vector, raster, and network data; spatial operations, including geometric, topological, set-oriented, and network operations; spatial indexes and access methods, including quadtrees and R-trees.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Describe the need for spatial databases, and the differences between spatial and non-spatial database systems
  2. Describe the design and principles of spatial databases, including techniques for efficiently storing and retrieving spatial data
  3. Design queries for spatial database systems
  4. Use and customize specific spatial database systems.

Generic skills

On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • Undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large
  • Manage information and documentation.

Last updated: 3 April 2019