SPA215 GIS 1: Geographic Information Science Foundations (8)

This subject introduces students to and provides a foundation in the use of geographic information science (GIS). Students develop the basic theoretical, technical and analytical skills necessary to apply GIS to simple spatial problems. This subject develops understanding of colonial impacts, traditional historical and contemporary Indigenous Australian knowledge systems, and respecfully working with diverse Indigenous communities and data. The subject contains a significant element of practical work in which students are encouraged to directly apply their theoretical knowledge. 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 Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Students may not enrol in this subject if they have completed SPA415 or SPA431.

Incompatible Subjects

SPA415, SPA431

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain the elements of vector and raster data models, structures and data capture;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of colonial impacts on spatial data, and how these impacts influence understandings of traditional, historical and contemporary Indigenous Australian knowledge systems;
  • be able to demonstrate a professional understanding of ethical considerations in geospatial science;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of respectful professional practice when working with diverse Indigenous communities and data;
  • be able to identify and apply cartographic principles and describe coordinate systems;
  • be able to demonstrate skills in describing spatial analysis methodology; and
  • be able to apply GIS operations to solve a geospatial problem.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introducing GIS;
  • GIS data models;
  • Indigenous navigation and mapping;
  • Ethical considerations in geospatial science;
  • Ethics and respectful professional practice when working with diverse Indigenous communities, data and knowledge;
  • Cartography, mapping and presenting GIS data;
  • GIS vector analysis;
  • GIS raster analysis;
  • Map projections and coordinate systems;
  • Spatial data sources; and
  • Spatial data input and accuracy.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SPA215 in Session 1 2021. 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
Practical test i
Gis analysis report
Practical test ii
Final exam

Special Resources

ArcGIS software is used in this subject. The software and licence are supplied to students.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: June 2022. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.