• Class Number 3936
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Jack Fenner
    • Dr Jack Fenner
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

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

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class and to individuals

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Class Introduction; Spatial Concepts Lab 1
2 Cartographic Origins; GPS/GNSS Lab 2
3 Scientific Cartography; GIS Concepts Lab 3
4 The GIS Wars and Critical Cartography 1; Map Design 1 Lab 4
5 The GIS Wars and Critical Cartography 2; Map Design 2 Lab 5
6 Class Discussion: Case Studies Exam 1; Lab 6
7 Going Open and Slippy; Finding Spatial Data Lab 6 continued
8 OpenStreetMap 1 Lab 7
9 OpenStreetMap 2; Spatial Analysis 1 Open Lab for Working on Individual Projects
10 Spatial Big Data; Spatial Analysis 2 Lab 8
11 Persuasive Maps; GIS in More Than 2D Lab 9
12 TBD Exam 2; Students will present their project during the lab period this week. The final version is due by 11:55PM on 9 June.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Lab exercises 32 % 01/03/2021 01/06/2021 1,2
Exam 1 10 % 30/03/2021 07/04/2021 1,3
Exam 2 20 % 25/05/2021 01/07/2021 1,3
Individual Project 38 % 09/06/2021 01/07/2021 1,2

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 32 %
Due Date: 01/03/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Lab exercises

4% per lab assignment, with no assignment weeks 9 and 12 and lab 6 spans two weeks, for a total of 9 lab assignments. The lowest score will be dropped. The form of each lab is expected to be a step-by-step exercise assignment intended to develop the student's understanding and skill in some aspect of maps and mapping. The format of the labs is currently intended to be in-person activities performed by students with instructor supervision in one of ANU's computer labs. If in-person attendance is not feasible for some students, the labs can be performed remotely (using Arcmap via the Virtual Information Commons and instructor correspondence via email or Zoom). Students will present their projects during the week 12 lab period. Each assignment is due no later than the following Monday at a time announced on Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 30/03/2021
Return of Assessment: 07/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Exam 1

Currently planned as an in-person, in-class handwritten exam. If in-person attendance is not feasible for some students, this assessment may be changed to another format or activity.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 25/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Exam 2

Currently planned as an in-person, in-class handwritten exam. If in-person attendance is not feasible for some students, the exam may be changed to a different format.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 38 %
Due Date: 09/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 01/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Individual Project

Students will present their project during the last lab period. The final version is due by 11:55PM on 9 June. Instructions for developing and delivering the project will be provided via the course Wattle site.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records. Laboratory assignments and exams will be submitted in hardcopy form.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Jack Fenner

Research Interests

Dr Jack Fenner

By Appointment
Dr Jack Fenner
02 6125 2121

Research Interests

Dr Jack Fenner

By Appointment

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