Connections: Towards on Open Cities & Open Data – Teaching GIS and spatial thinking

Presented by Professor Chris Pettit, UNSW Built Environment


Connections Seminar Series


UNSW Staff can access the recording via the Connections Moodle site (self-enrolment key: unswconnections). 

Scientia Education Experience: Being Digital

In an era of smart cities and digitisation, there is an increasing need for digital literacy which includes understanding the potential of Geographical Information System (GIS) technologies to better support city planning, design and decision-making. This presentation will focus on efforts underway in developing open source GIS educational material to support the teaching of a number of Faculty of Built Environment programs including (I) City Analytics (ii) City Planning, (iii) Landscape Architecture, and (iv) Urban Design and Development. SIEF was used to develop a number of lectures and tutorials on the opensource QGIS software platform which currently underpins the teaching of BENV7728 Geographical Information Systems and Urban Informatics. The material developed is currently hosted in Moodle. The teaching material has been designed in contained modules to ultimately support micro-credential Geographical Information System (GIS) courses. A number of topics, concepts and exercises have been structured around Sydney using open government data and also around a fictitious city - Pewter City. Participants interact with these digital cities to learn skills in spatial thinking and GIS software. Further work will see the course material made available through continuing professional development programs offered by UNSW.


This presentation aligns with the following UNSW Communities of Practice 'Online learning and innovation'. More information can be found here.

About Professor Christopher Pettit

Connections: Prof. Christopher Pettit

Professor Christopher Pettit is the Director of City Analytics, UNSW Sydney. His expertise is in the convergence of the fields of city planning and digital technologies including Geographical Information Sciences (GIS). He is currently the Chair of the Board for CUPUM (Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management).



UNSW Staff who cannot attend this seminar are able to view the recording via the Connections Moodle site (self-enrolment key: unswconnections)