Geographical Information Systems: Theory and Practice
- ECTS credits
- Teaching semesters
- Course code
- Number of semesters
Objectives and Content
The aim of this course is to introduce the student to Geographical Information Systems through a theoretical and practical approach.
This is an introductory course in GIS as a tool for the analysis of spatial data. Lectures introduce the theoretical aspects; computer labs provide the hands-on experience with professional GIS software.
This study covers topics like the different definitions and understandings of GIS as a tool versus a science, GIS in a historical and future perspective, the different data structures used to represent geographical data and how to secure the quality of such data. Further it focuses on the organisation of geographical data in databases and how to query these, and it presents various types of spatial analyses, modelling and sources of errors in GIS. The principles and applications of remote sensing are presented and an introduction to image processing is given.
On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- has theoretical knowledge about management and analyses of geographical data in a GIS
- has a broad knowledge about the characteristics, representation and different models of geographical data
- has adequate knowledge about spatial databases
- can explain the principles of remote sensing as a method to collect data, present various applications and has adequate understanding of basic image-processing and analyses
- can give account of various sources of errors in a GIS project
- can give account of the historical development and future perspectives of GIS
- can reflect upon and discuss the different definitions and understandings of GIS as a tool vs. a science.
- can collect, manage and analyse geographical data in a GIS
- can complete all main types of GIS-analyses and combine them in own models (geoprocessing)
- can assess and reflect upon various sources of errors in all steps of a GIS-analysis
- has adequate competence to plan and complete GIS-based analyses.
- works independently with professional GIS software and is able to do theoretically based choices to secure quality of the completed work.
Level of Study
Semester of Instruction
Place of Instruction
Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
This course has a limited number of places to be shared between the Departments of Earth Science and Geography. When registering for the course you apply to be admitted. Priority is given to bachelor students, then master students, then students from exchange programs and other departments at UiB.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures/seminars and computer labs
- 6-8 lectures/seminars á 2 hours
- 1 datalab á 3 hours per week (7-8 datalabs)
Total: 12-16 hours of lectures: 24 hours in computer lab
10-12 weeks in total
In the course you'll work in ESRI GIS software (ArcGIS). The software is available for download from the IT department's website (tjinfo.uib.no/program) and works for Windows. ArcGIS Pro is also available through the University's tredjepartsportalen (apps.uib.no) which allows you to run licenced software from your private computer, although this service is still in testing and may be subjective to instabilities.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
2 approved lab reports and 1 written group assignment.
Approved lab reports and the group assignment will be valid for the following four semesters.
Forms of Assessment
The assessment comprises of two elements:
- An individual written assignment (75%)
- A multiple choice test (25 %)
All parts of the assessment must be passed in the same semester.Grades for each part of assessment and the final grade will be published in Studentweb.