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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Information Technology
OfferedBerwick Second semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Mr Matthew Butler


With the increasing amount of data available, it is important to be able to represent large collections from a wide range of domains in forms that more readily convey embedded information. The human sense of vision is a powerful tool for pattern recognition - this sense can be harnessed via multimedia interactive presentations. This unit will examine the fundamental principles of information visualisation and the range of tools and methods which are available to represent large data sets. These techniques can be applied across a wide range of fields including geographical, medical, statistical and scientific visualisation. The unit will examine in detail the visualisation of geospatial data in GIS (Geographic Information Systems).


At the completion of this unit students will have -
A theoretical and conceptual understanding of:

  • the basic concepts of human visual perception and its impact on cognition;
  • the functions of visualisation with respect to amplifying cognition;
  • the properties of data and the rules for mapping data to images;
  • the role of factors such as pattern, space, color, interactivity and animation in visualisation;
  • the range of applications to which visualisation approaches can be applied, particularly with respect to geospatial data.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • critically select from the range of available visualisation techniques and apply the one that is best for the domain at hand.
Developed the skills to:
  • evaluate a given data set and infer valid conclusions based on a supplied visualisation;
  • design and construct an appropriate type of visualisation for a given data set;
  • manipulate visual variables such as color and size to optimise a visualisation;
  • identify the principle components of a map and describe map projections commonly used;
  • import, display and manipulate data within a Geographic Information System (GIS).
Demonstrated the teamwork skills necessary to:
  • work as a member of a project team.


Examination (2 hours): 40%; In-semester assessment: 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Matthew Butler

Contact hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk


Completion of 12 points at level 2 from FIT

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: