GIS for Area Studies

Teacher: Ambrish Dhaka
The Students interested in GIS Fundamentals
are required to join the Afghanistan coursework
for data support!


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.
Nowadays, GIS plays a very significant role in deciphering the critical discourse on geo-power. Students would benefit from elementary exposure to GIS software, the QGIS products and basic spatial representation techniques through practical demonstration.

Course content

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

Suggested Readings

  1. Barber, P.and T. Harper. Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art, The British Library: London, 2010.
  2. Bodenhamer, David J., John Corrigan, and Trevor M. Harris, eds. 2010. The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  3. Bolstad, Paul. 2016. GIS Fundamentals: A First Text on Geographic Information Systems. 5th edition. Acton, MA White Bear Lake, Minnesota: XanEdu.
  4. Brewer, Cynthia A. 2016. Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users. Second edition. Redlands, California: Esri Press.
  5. Clunan, Anne L., and Harold A. Trinkunas, eds. 2010. Ungoverned Spaces: Alternatives to State Authority in an Era of Softened Sovereignty. Stanford, Calif: Stanford Security Studies.
  6. Cosgrove, Denis E. 2008. Geography and Vision: Seeing, Imagining and Representing the World. London ; New York : New York: I.B. Tauris ; In the United States of America and Canada distributed by Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. Fazal, Shahab. 2008. GIS Basics. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd., Publishers.
  8. Gregory, Ian, and Paul S Ell. 2007. Historical GIS: Technologies, Methodologies, and Scholarship. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
  9. Iliffe, Jonathan, and Roger Lott. 2012. Datums and Map Projections for Remote Sensing, GIS, and Surveying. 2nd ed., repr. with corr. Dunbeath: Whittles Publ.
  10. Jarvis, Brian. 1998. Postmodern Cartographies: The Geographical Imagination in Contemporary American Culture. London: Pluto.
  11. Kidner, David B, Gary Higgs, and Sean White. 2003. Socio-Economic Applications of Geographic Information Science. London; New York: Taylor & Francis.
  12. Thrower, Norman Joseph William. 2007. Maps & Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  13. Wang, Fahui. 2015. Quantitative Methods and Socio-Economic Applications in GIS.

22 July 2022