• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Geography, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Jack Fenner
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course has been adjusted for remote participation in Semester 1 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. On-campus activities may also be available.

Maps are a great way to communicate information. While paper wayfinding maps have given way to online maps and computer-generated directions, thematic maps that show geographic aspects of phenomena are now more abundant than ever. Maps have likewise become important in the humanities and social sciences, both as a subject to investigate and as a concise means of presenting research results. This course investigates both of these aspects, providing insight into the social life of maps as well as the techniques and tools needed to make your own maps. Each week one lecture will focus on theoretical aspects, such as critical cartography or the recent rise of volunteered geographic information, while a second lecture will introduce key mapping practices such as the appropriate use of colour. During weekly lab periods, students will collect spatial data using GPS, and use spatial data and geographic information system (GIS) software to create maps. Students will also perform an independent project to collect data and create a thematic map with a span ranging anywhere from a single archaeological excavation pit to some aspect of modern life covering several city neighbourhoods.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Critique approaches for communicating via maps
  2. Produce appropriate spatial data and apply GIS techniques to creating maps
  3. Explain advanced spatial analysis concepts in the social sciences and humanities

Indicative Assessment

  1. Graded lab exercises: 4% each, 8 of 9 counted; (32) [LO 1,2]
  2. Exams (2): 10% for first exam, 20% for second exam; (30) [LO 1,3]
  3. Individual Project (38) [LO 1,2]

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2 hours of lecture/discussion and a 2.5 hour lab session each week, plus reading and independent project time. Estimated at 10 hours/week. The total workload for the course is 130 hours for the whole semester including in-class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Attendance at lab sessions and ability to use a computer.

Prescribed Texts

Course materials are available on Wattle or via the ANU library website.

Preliminary Reading

A selection of articles and chapters covering theoretical aspects of cartography and case studies from the social sciences and humanities. Also instructional material related to GIS use and cartographic practices. The specific publication list will be provided via Wattle.

Assumed Knowledge

Some basic familiarity with computer use. No GIS software experience assumed.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $3630
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3936 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

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