GISCI 343 : GIScience Programming and Development


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Programming and scripting-based techniques for spatial big data analysis, spatial data handling, modelling, automation, and development for the GIScience domain.

Course Overview

This course introduces students to the starting points of Geospatial Programming. It is our sincere hope that following completion of the course we have opened your mind to the power and limitless capabilities a programming approach to solving GIScience problems can bring. Course topics will contain examples from across GIScience, including data structures and design, machine learning, agile development methodologies, and user-centered design. 

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 15 points from GISCI 241, 242, GEOG 317, 318

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Use geospatail programming to create custom solutions for specific problems (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Develop solutions to complex problems in class (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  3. Communicate complex algorithms in groups with classmates (Capability 1 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 80% Group & Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3

Students will complete assignments and occasional tests at critical stage gates to ensure they are following along with course materials


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection) and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved. This course is supported by our Programme Coordinator, Kaiāwhina/Māori student adviser, and Pacific student adviser. They are able to organize group study and facilitate direct assistance regarding material taught in this course. 

Key Topics

Python Programming, Algorithm design, Databases, Spatial data structures, User Interfaces

Special Requirements

Students must attend class in order to complete group-based learning activities

Workload Expectations

This is a standard 15-point course requiring 10 hours of work per week at a minimum. 

During each week there will be 2 hours of lecture and 2 hours of the lab with your tutor. 

This leaves 6 hours for assignments and lecture revisitation. Revisiting lecture materials is a core component of this class, and tests will be incorporated to assess this.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including labs and lectures to complete components of the course. Lectures will be available as recordings, however, there is a large amount of group work in the classroom that will not be available in recordings. Other learning activities including labs/studios will not be available as recordings.

The course will include live online events including group discussions and tutorials

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All course materials required are provided on lecture pages, or as links to online resources that are open access.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Students' feedback is used to improve the course. Some of the comments from previous runs of this course:

“The interactivity of the lectures was amazing”
“I liked the use of jupyter notebooks and the answers on piazza questions were helpful. I liked the classroom environment and the team, they're great at running courses together.”

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 02/11/2022 11:14 a.m.