SPA215 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. The subject has no residential school and, on completion, students are able to undertake basic spatial analysis within a GIS.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SPA215. 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 SPA415 or SPA115 may not enrol in this subject

Incompatible Subjects

SPA115, SPA415

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 principles
  • GIS data types and structures
  • Database Management
  • Data acquisition and GPS
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Cartography

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SPA215 in Session 1 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Annotate vector and raster data models
Peerwise questions
Gis analysis report
Final exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.