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Foundations of Spatial Information (GEOM90008)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeGEOM90008
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


This is an introductory subject to Geograhpic Information Systems (GIS) and Geographic Information Science, both practically and theoretically, at postgraduate level. Spatial information is ubiquitous in decision making. Be it in urban planning, in traffic or disaster management, in way-finding, in issues of the environment, public health and sustainability, or in economic contexts: the question of 'where' is a fundamental one. Spatial information is also special in many respects, such as its dimensionality and autocorrelation, its volume, its links to the Internet of Things (things are always located somewhere), to social networks (which exist in space and time), to streaming data from sensors everywhere, or to intelligent (location-aware) systems. The subject provides the foundations for more specialized subjects on spatial data management, spatial data analysis and spatial data visualization, and is of particular relevance to people wishing to establish a career in the spatial information industry, the environmental or planning industry. It is also suited for every postgraduate student who is looking for solid GIS skills.


We will discuss representations and analysis of this information in spatial information technologies, from location-based services to geographic information systems. Topics addressed are observing the environment; spatial and spatiotemporal data representations, spatial analysis and spatial communication. The practical part will introduce to GIS in a hands-on manner, starting in individual software training and then applying new skills in a team-designed GIS project.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Describe and discuss the process from observing the environment to representing information about the environment
  2. Identify and assess fundamental data structures and analysis procedures associated with spatial information
  3. Discuss the use of geographic information in decision making
  4. Apply basic practical skills in the use of Geographic Information Systems software.

Generic skills

On successful completion, students will have:

  • The ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • The ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • The ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities, and a commitment to them
  • A capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.

Last updated: 14 May 2019