ABE 017

ABE017 | Introduction to GIS

Geographic information system (GIS), data, tools.

Course description

The course will be offered to graduate students of Portugal, the Netherlands, Scotland and Italy (the Geonatura University partners). The goal of this course is to provide students with an overview of GIS. A practical introduction to principles, methods, and techniques of geographical information systems (GIS) will be provided. Students are expected to learn how to acquire the data, model, analyze and develop a GIS application. Content:

  1. Introduction to GIS: a. General introduction to Geomatics and GIS and their main applications in society and environmental issues, b. Sectors using GIS in modern society and potential employers (governments, companies, civil associations,...), c. Future of GIS and new applications (cloud-based solutions, data mining, Internet of Things, etc.), d. Presentation of case studies in each country within the scope of Geonatura topics

  2. Spatial data input, manipulation and management: a. Spatial data acquisition, b. Spatial data editing, c. Coordinate systems, d. Spatial data models, e. Spatial data management

  3. Spatial analysis: a. Overlay analysis, b. Network analysis, c. Spatial interpolation

  4. Remote sensing: a. Remote sensing data, b. Image classification

  5. Terrain analysis: a. Digital elevation models, b. Deriving information from DEM, c. Visibility analysis

  6. Spatial visualization: a. Map design, b. 3D mapping

  7. Spatial decision analysis and modelling: Multi-criteria decision analysis

  8. WebGIS: a. ArcGIS online, b. Telling stories with Story maps

  9. GIS project development

Learning objectives

This course is meant for PhD students interested in learning GIS (Geographic Information System) theory and tools. Because of the combination of knowledge domains as taught by the four European universities, this course offers a broad overview of what is possible in GIS and Geomatics. After attending this course, students should be able to use GIS data and tools in their own research projects.


From the 20 students attending this course (Introduction to GIS), a maximum number of 10 students will be selected to follow the contact week of the second course (GIS applied in various domains), together with 30 students from our partner universities: Lisbon NOVA, Glasgow, and Florence. The contact week of second course consists of lectures and workshops (in Lisbon), followed by two months of e-learning (MOOC’s).

The Geonatura project is an “Open Educational Resources platform for Geomatics applications to social and environmental issues”. The purpose is to provide e-learning and training to Higher Education students on GIS and Geomatics from the four countries involved in the partnership by their universities (universities of Glasgow, Delft, Florence, Lisbon NOVA). Participants on the 3rd Call will have the following benefits:

  • Priority access to 6-day travel to Portugal and contact week of second course in Lisbon, meeting students of the other 3 countries, and having workshops at the University of Lisbon NOVA. 

  • Followed by 2-month training through e-learning, monitored by the staff of their own university

  • A Certificate and a Referral Letter after successful completion of the course

How students of previous editions perceived the course

On the question "I think a positive aspect of the course is":

  • "Participant can learn new things and apply in his/her own field of research quite fast and efficient." 
  • "It is really an eye-opener for all GIS-related opportunities that can be integrated in PhD research."
  • "Gives a good overview on tools."
  • "The teachers are enthusiastic, knowledgable, and very helpful."

On the question "Other remarks you want to share about the course":

  • "The course was very enjoyable!"


Day 1 Monday 09 September 201908.45-12.30 hours
13.45-17.30 hours 
Room E
Day 2 Tuesday 10 September 201908.45-12.30 hours 
13.45-17.30 hours 
Room E
Day 3 Wednesday 11 September 201908.45-12.30 hours 
13.45-17.30 hours 
Room E
Day 4 Thursday 12 September 201908.45-12.30 hours 
13.45-17.30 hours 
Room E
Day 5 Friday 13 September 201908.45-12.30 hours 
13.45-14.45 hours 
Room E
Day 6 Monday 16 September 2019GIS project
Day 7 Tuesday 17 September 2019GIS project
Day 8 Wednesday 18 September 2019GIS project
Day 9 Thursday 19 September 2019GIS project
Day 10 Friday 20 September 2019GIS project
13.45-17.45 hours

Room E

How to enroll

Please send an email with your name, mail address, start date, research group and title of your research to abe@tudelft.nl before 2 September 2019 20:00.

Course Info

Course code
ABE 017

Course type
Lectures, labs, project and exam

Number of participants
A maximum of 20 students for the first module (“Introduction to GIS”) which is one week of lectures and one week of doing a GIS project (at TU Delft).

Course load
One week of lectures and lab assignments, one week carrying out a GIS project and writing a small report. There is also a theoretical exam. Total: 2 weeks of 30 hours (=60 hours)

Graduate school credits
5 GS

Courses, dates and times
Two weeks in Delft, in September 2019
See schedule

Name of lecturer(s)/coach(es)
Marian de Vries, Peter van Oosterom, Tjeu Lemmens, Edward Verbree, Martijn Meijers

About the lecturer(s)/coach(es)
The lecturers are part of the GIS Technology group at Architecture, OTB.

Teaching method
Blended learning: lectures, lab assignments, GIS project, tests, exam, workshops and e-learning (MOOC’s)

Cost price of course

For lab assignments students should bring their own laptop.