In recent years, geographic information systems (GIS) and mapping techniques have become very important for understanding issues related to research and practice in conservation, development, education, policy and related areas. Yet, since the technical training and software tends to be expensive and relatively inaccessible to researchers in developing countries, the use has been relatively limited and confined to specific institutions and areas. This course aims to provide Undergraduate and Masters students with basic mapping and GIS skills, via exposure to a free, open-source GIS platform (Quantum GIS). In the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies in Sustainability curriculum, and in the MA Development programme, students are exposed to key issues in the domains of development and sustainability from multiple perspectives – using theoretical concepts, data and field experiences. The course extends student capacity to analyze and understand the spatial dimension of these issues.