SPA431 GIS 1: Geographic Information Science Foundations (8)

This subject introduces students to, and provides a foundation in Geographic Information Science (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. On completion, students are able to undertake basic spatial analysis using GIS.


Session 1 (30)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SPA431. 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

Postgraduate study only

Incompatible Subjects

SPA215, SPA415

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 skills in describing spatial analysis methodology
  • be able to apply GIS operations to solve a spatial problem
  • be able to identify and apply cartographic principles and describe coordinate systems
  • be able to critically evaluate spatial data representation and results of geoprocessing


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introducing GIS
  • Georeferencing and datums
  • Map projections and coordinate systems
  • GIS data models
  • Cartography, mapping and presenting GIS data
  • GIS vector analysis
  • GIS raster analysis
  • Spatial data sources
  • Spatial data input and accuracy

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SPA431 in Session 1 2020. 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

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: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.