GIS for Mapping
Visualising spatial data
Bring your data to life using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. Gain the essential skills to create dynamic, data-driven maps that open unimagined possibilities.
Presented by GeoHealth Laboratory
We are awash with data. People, places, things – but how do we make sense of it all? If a picture tells a thousand words, a map is made up of a thousand pictures unlocking trends and issues, sparking curiosity, and providing insight.
This course aims to not only inspire you with those possibilities, but also to teach you the skills to do it yourself. Using geographic information systems or GIS, you will be able to learn how you can represent all sorts of data in multiple ways. Using maps as well as freely available data sets and software you can unleash the power of information to gain new insights.
This course requires no prior experience, just your curiosity (and a little bit of hard work and persistence)! It is for people who are interested in learning about GIS mapping and the exciting opportunities for understanding what it offers.
The course includes explanations of key concepts and the practical application of these concepts with a number of software training exercises. As health, wellbeing and environment are very relevant issues in people’s lives it uses a number of examples in those fields to help you understand the process of using GIS software in an effective and useful way.
There are no prerequisites for this course – it is open to anyone who has confidence listening, reading and writing in English with an interest in learning to use GIS software. While UC Online has accessibility at the heart of its course design, GIS for Mapping uses an external software, QGIS, which has limited support for low vision and blind users – you can review their software and documentation here.
You’ll need a laptop or a desktop computer (rather than a phone) to use the QGIS software installed as part of the course. For most courses you'll also need to download and populate assignments. These are usually available in Microsoft Word.
Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone. Upon enrolment, our team will be in touch to make sure you start your course with confidence. You’ll work through a range of written, visual and audio content and assessments on our dedicated learning management system, including:
Module 1: What is spatial data?
Get a handle on the basics of spatial data and how it can benefit your work, including examples of how experts in various fields use GIS in their work.
Module 2: Where is the spatial data?
Learn where to source data, best practices for compiling datasets and the use of coordinate reference systems.
Module 3: What do you do with spatial data?
Become confident using QGIS (an open-access software you can continue using after the course), learning to visualise your data and including the essential features your map should have.
Module 4: How do you classify and visualise spatial data?
Learn to combine, analyse, and summarise your data, before bringing your new skills together for a map-making assignment.
- 4 Module Quizzes = 20% (5% each)
- 3 Discussion Forums = 30% (10% each)
- 1 Map Assignment = 40%
- 1 Reflection = 10%
Dr Matthew Hobbs
Senior Lecturer (Above the Bar) | University of Canterbury
Dr Lukas Marek
Post Doctoral Fellow | University of Canterbury
Dr Malcom Campbell
Associate Professor | University of Canterbury
Dr Matthew Hobbs
As a Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Matt’s background is in the field of public health and GIS, with his PhD investigating how built and natural environments were related to our dietary behaviours, exercise and subsequent risk of obesity. He completed postdoctoral training with the New Zealand Ministry of Health, providing spatial expertise to their public health teams across a range of public health topics including immunisation, water fluoridation and the relationship between liquor stores and crime.
Dr Lukas Marek
Lukas is a spatial data scientist who applies his knowledge of spatial analyses, maps and geography across health and wellbeing challenges. He studied GIS and cartography throughout university and has collaborated on various projects ranging from archaeology and crowdsourcing, to landslide monitoring and forestry. He is passionate about creating graphs, maps and geovisualisations to communicate the results of research to the public.
Dr Malcom Campbell
Malcom is a Human Geographer focused on health geography and GIS. He often uses numbers and maps to help analyse patterns of health and wellbeing in combination with environmental or social data to understand how the places where we live, work and play impact our health and wellbeing. He’s particularly interested in spatial data from mobile phones and devices, which allow us to access a wealth of data about daily movement patterns through our everyday environments.