Geographic Information Systems

The course learning shall be primarily divided in three broad stages:
1. Methods of Making Maps in GIS
2. Managing and Sorting Information in a Systematic Manner.
3. Retrieving Information in the form of Analytical Maps.

The primary software which shall be used across the course will be Quantum GIS 2.12 / 2.14 / 2.18. The software being open source, enables the students to download and gain access to the various Python plugins with specific functionalities. The current case study, which is 'Accessibility of Designated Open Spaces to Informal Settlements', shall be taken up as a GIS exercise throughout the course, which will enable the students to create analytical maps and thereby draw inferences or conclusions from them. These conclusions will become instrumental in formulating the accessibility index of various designated open spaces from the perspective of informal settlements.

The following steps will be followed towards the creation of an open space accessibility data for Mumbai:

  1. Assessing the existing GIS data and tabular data on the open space of Mumbai.
  2. Attaching location attributes to non geo-referenced tabular data.
  3. Identifying the sub-parameters which are relevant in understanding accessibility to informal settlements in the existing data of MMREIS. Assigning a numerical grade value to each such sub-parameter.
  4. Visiting site and collecting data for the identified sub-parameters using mobile data collection app.
  5. Assimilation of data, merging and connecting it with the spatial data.
  6. Arriving at an ‘Accessibility Index’ for each designated open space in 2 councillor wards and representing it spatially through maps.

Learning Outcomes 

After completion of this course, given below are the learning outcomes at the 2 stages:

STAGE 1: Converting the existing raw data in GIS.

  • Data Organisation
  • Method of creating a base layer
  • Design of Attribute Structure
  • Vector Data Creation 

STAGE 2: Identifying the sub-parameters relevant to accessibility by informal settlements.

  • Using GIS to query and filter the existing data. 
  • Using mobile mapping applications to gather site data.
  • Assigning grades towards arriving at accessibility index.
  • Creating analytical maps.

Student Workload

On average, a student is expected to spend a total of about 100 hours (~ 4 ECTS) for this course, summing up all class time, reading time and time for assignments.

Course Structure 

The details of the course can be found on the links below:-

GIS course for postgraduate students (compulsory elective for Urban Design)

GIS elective course for undergraduate students (5th Year students)


The course has the following prerequisites:-

  • Students need to have an awareness about urban issues.
  • They need to have some experience of dealing with the urban scale in their past or current studios or other subjects such as Landscape & Ecology (in their 3rd year) or Urban Design (in their 4th year)
  • They need to have prior knowledge of CAD, Google Earth Pro, Microsoft Excel and geotagging.

Assignments have been included in the link provided under 'Course Structure'.

Grading details have been included in the links provided under 'Course Structure'. Given below is the broad distribution of percentages:-



participation 20%

contribution collective exercise

Final submission





Last modified: Tuesday, 13 February 2018, 7:06 AM