SPA415 Principles of Geographic Information Systems (8)

This subject introduces students to, and provides a foundation in the use of geographic information systems (GIS). Students develop the basic theoretical, technical and analytical skills necessary to apply GIS to simple spatial problems. The subject contains a significant element of practical work in which students are encouraged to directly apply their theoretical knowledge. Attention is focused on the operations of GIS and the application of GIS to simple spatial analysis. While the software is supplied, it is important students have access to up-to-date computer equipment. This subject has no residential school and on completion students are able to undertake basic spatial analysis within a GIS.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SPA415. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Environmental Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Students who have completed SPA115 cannot enrol in this subject

Subject Relationships

SPA115 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • have a broad conceptual understanding of a GIS and its operation
  • have a broad conceptual understanding of spatial data and objects and data structures
  • have specialised skills in using computer systems so that they are able to undertake basic spatial analysis within a GIS and use it as a decision support system appropriately
  • be able to identify problems associated with GIS analysis, such as data accuracy and data transfer


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • GIS definitions, history and cartographic principle
  • GIS data types and structures
  • Database management
  • Data acquisition and GPS
  • Spatial analysis
  • Cartography

Special Resources

Students are expected to be able to gain access for a significant amount of the session to an IBM PC or one of its many variants.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.