SPA451 Cartography (8)

This subject builds on students' existing GIS abilities by introducing them to techniques for the mapping presentation of spatial, numerical and table-based data in order to maximise their effectiveness and simplify their interpretation. Students will learn how to design visualisations of information, taking into account the problems of human perception, variations in audience type, and the media or presentation environment selected. They will learn how to classify spatial and non-spatial, multi-dimensional, discrete and continuous data to elicit the most information. Dynamic methods such as animation, interactive atlases and data exploration tools will also be addressed.


Session 2 (60)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SPA451. 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

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of Geographical Information Science equivalent to SPA431

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to apply and describe methods of thematic and statistical map classification
  • be able to apply and describe methods of symbolisation, map elements and typography
  • be able to compare map projection characteristics and apply these appropriately in cartographic outputs
  • be able to apply static and dynamic methods of representing two-, three- and multi-dimensional spatial data
  • be able to produce and critically evaluate univariate and bivariate analysis maps
  • be able to apply and describe web publishing methods for cartography


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Cartography and data visualisation
  • Map fundamentals
  • Graphing and data classification
  • Colour theory and applications
  • Map text and labelling
  • Map generalisation
  • Proportional symbol, dot and dasymetric mapping
  • Representing continuous phenomena
  • Univariate, bivariate and multivariate mapping
  • Map animation

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SPA451 in Session 2 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 %
Demographic map of the act
Critique of assignment 1 demographic map
Salinity map of the coleambally irrigation area
Republic referendum bivariate analysis
Online multiple choice test

Special Resources

Spatial information software (ArcGIS) is used in this subject. Software is supplied.

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.