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 and carry out 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/Canvas for course literature.

Comprehensive knowledge of IT, including good practical skills in catalogue organization in Windows or similar, is recommended.


Written + Individual: Relates to the compulsory outputs from the practical exercises (e.g. map layouts), handed in by the student.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
The course has been selected for ITX exam on Peter Bangs Vej.

The three hour examination consists of two parts:
1. Shorter, factual questions referring to the text of all exercises, lecture presentations and other obligatory course texts.
2. A practical computer exercise (using a GIS software) relating to the skills acquired during the course exercises.
Only certain aids allowed

All text material (including the text book, the hand-outs and notes relating to the lectures), in paper or digital format, may be used.
Pocket calculators may be used.
The University will make computers and power available to students taking written exams with invigilation in the University’s building on Peter Bangs Vej 36 (ITX). Students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets or mobile phones. If textbooks and/or notes are permitted, according to the course description, these must be in paper format or on a USB flash drive.


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

Please see learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Excursions
  • 2
  • Preparation
  • 81
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Practical exercises
  • 92
  • English
  • 206