Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Course content

The student will learn the basic concepts being used when acquiring, storing, handling, and presenting geographical information – including digital maps. The course will introduce the basic analytical capabilities of vector/feature-as well as raster-based GIS. Further, focus will be put on basic cartography and map-reading. In this way the student will obtain the needed theoretic as well as practical skills and competences required to work with maps – both in paper and digital form. The student will learn to use the achieved theoretic knowledge when evaluating the quality of available data and produced results. During the course, the students will through the practical exercises acquire the skills to plan, carry out and they shall submit a GIS project. Moreover, the student will practice communication with other professionals within the geodata and GIS community. 




BSc Programme in Natural Resources

Learning outcome


  • Cartography (both in relation to paper and digital maps respectively)
  • Map Comprehension and Appreciation
  • Map Types (topographic, thematic, legal, historic, etc.)
  • Geodata Resources (at the servers of the Institute and on the Internet)
  • Digital Data Types: the vector data model (2D: points, lines and polygons; 3D: point cloud) and the raster data model (images and thematic rasters)
  • Data Capture (GPS, digitizing and image georectification, LiDAR)
  • Geodatabase build-up and editing
  • Assessment of Accuracy and Quality
  • Data Transformation (incl. overlay and proximity analyses)
  • Recent developments within the field of GIS
  • Internet-based GIS
  • Map Layout and Digital Cartography
  • GIS in Landscape and Urban Planning, Geodesign



• Understand and appreciate the theoretic and methodological background of maps.
• Discriminate between map types, and to justify the use of various thematic and topographic datasets for given purposes.
• Search, identify and retrieve digital geographic data from various sources, incl. knowledge of key owners/distributors of national and local geodata.
• Select data required for a given task, and to argue for the choices made.
• Decide which type of geographical data (point, line, polygon, raster) to apply in a given context, to a given phenomenon.
• Produce digital geodata ‘from scratch’ using analogue maps and aerial photos (incl. georectification, georeferencing and digitizing), or a GPS device.
• Find and select methods of data analysis required for a given task, and to argue for the choices made.
• Produce composite maps from multiple sets of digital map sources.
• Using Internet-based GIS resources of geodata and tools.


• To possess a comprehensive insight into maps in general and GIS in specific – from map reading to creating/collecting, storing, transforming, and presenting digital spatial data.
• To apply maps and spatial analytical results to articles, theses, project reports, posters etc, produced after attending the course.

The course is constituted of lectures, exercises and a project work. It is recommended – but not a prerequisite – that the projects are conjoined with activities related to other courses and project works.

See Absalon for course litterature.

There are no specific formal requirements. All Bachelor level students may sign up for the course, however, comprehensive knowledge of IT, including good practical skills are recommended.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
The two hour examination consists of short, factual questions referring to the text of all exercises and the obligatory course texts, and one longer question referring more to the practical skills of handling a GIS project.
The course has been selected for ITX exam at Peter Bangs Vej.
All aids allowed

All aids allowed, including PC/printer, in accordance with the SCIENCE Faculty exam rules

Please observe: if the exam is held at the SCIENCE ITX-facility, computers will be available and the students are not permitted to bring their own computers, tablelts or cell phones. Textbooks and personal notes on paper or on a USB memory stick are allowed.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Practical exercises
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 46
  • Excursions
  • 2
  • Project work
  • 72
  • Exam
  • 2
  • English
  • 206