GIS for Area Studies

Teacher: Ambrish Dhaka
Instruction method: 2hrs Theory and 3hrs Practicals
Winter semester, No Credits, Open to all!


Geos-spatial information has been one of the important forces formulating the discourse of power and identity of state. Geographical Information System (GIS) is increasingly recognized as methodological and cognitive approach for calibrating the state power in time-space coordinates. The scale and direction of many anthropogenic events can be mapped and varying degrees of causality among factors can be established through spatial analysis.
The GIS is precursor to Geo-systems approach on systems theory. Nowadays, GIS plays a very significant role in deciphering the critical discourse on geo-power. Students would benefit from the demonstration of GIS software- ILWIS, ESRI, and OpenGIS products. Lab exposure and basic spatial techniques through practical exercises.

Course content

  1. Space time relevance in area studies, Maps as Critical discourse of geo-power – boundaries, territoriality and spatial constructivism.
  2. GIS- definition and its meaning. Understanding the Information Technology (IT) interface of GIS – spatial resolution, coordinates, Datum line, Grid, Projection systems – only introductory level.
  3. Remote Sensing as Source of Information - Imagery and Data Classification & Database- concepts and meaning.
  4. Application for Area Studies – Mapping the study area, settlements, regions. Cartograms - plotting the variables and spatial analysis.
  5. GIS and Geo-power – Information and its projection as source of power, role of real time GIS in spatial intelligence, anthropomorphic geo-informatics – human terrain analysis.
  6. GIS and Geoeconomics – Resource appraisal in GIS, strategic significance assessment, network analysis, isometric analysis.

Suggested Readings

  1. Barber, P.and T. Harper. Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art, The British Library: London, 2010.
  2. Chrisman, NR. Exploring Geographic Information Systems, Wiley: New York, 1994.
  3. De Mers, MN. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems, John Wiley: New York, 2000.
  4. Haenn, N and R Wilk. The Enviroment in Anthropology, NYUP: New York, 2006.
  5. Hagget, P (ed.) Models in Geography, Methuen: London, 1967.
  6. Hagget, P and Nigel Thrift. New Models in Geography, 2 vols., Unwin: London, 2003.
  7. Hubbard, P (et. al). Key Thinkers on Space and Place, Sage: London, 2005.
  8. Iliffe, JC. Datums and Map Projections, Whittles: New York, 2003.
  9. Jenson, JR. Remote Sensing of the Environment- An Earth Resource Perspective, Pearson: New Delhi, 2011.
  10. Lefebvre, H. State, Space, World, UMP: Minneapolis, 2009.
  11. Legrenzi, M and B Momani. Shifting Geo-economic power of the Gulf, Ashgate: Surrey, 2011.
  12. Netler, M and H. Mitasova. Open Source GIS, Kluwer: New York, 2005.
  13. Pang Lo, C, AKW Yeung, Concepts and techniques of Geographic Information Systems, Prentice Hall: London, 2002.
  14. Peterson, GN. GIS Cartography, T&F:Ebook, 2009.
  15. Pettit, C (et. al). Landscape Analysis and Visualisation, Springer: Heidelberg, 2008.
  16. Reddy, MA. Textbook of RS and GIS, BSP: Hyderabad, 2008.
  17. Thrower, NJW. Maps & Civilisation, UCP: Chicago, 2008.
  18. Tuan, Yi-Fu. Space & Place- The Perspective of Experience, UMP: Minneapolis, 2001.
  19. Tuathail, GO and Simon Dalby. Rethinking Geopolitics, Routledge: London, 1998.
  20. Wood, D. The Power of Maps, Guilford Press: New York, 1992.
  21. Zhou, Q. (et. al). Advances in Digital Terrain Analysis, Springer: Heidelberg, 2008.

12 August 2012