NIGK14002U  Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Volume 2014/2015
Bacheloruddannelsen i naturressourcer
MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Nature Management

The course comprises:



  • 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 (points, lines and polygons) and the raster data model (images and thematic rasters)
  • Data Capture (GPS, digitizing and image georectification)
  • 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



Learning Outcome

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-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. She/he will learn to use the achieved theoretic knowledge when evaluating the quality of available data and produced results. The student will practice communication with other professionals of the geodata and GIS community.


• Understanding of the basics of cartography (incl. datum, coordinate system, projection and scale).
• Comprehension of various map types (e.g. topographic, thematic) and vector data types (point, line and polygon).
• Appreciation of how to use colour, size and symbols in a map layout, and the essential ingredients of a map (e.g. scale bar, north arrow, legend).
• Knowledge in methods to generate digital geodata from analogue sources, incl. GPS and georeferencing.
• Comprehension of the geographical database, the relational database model, and the rationale behind attribute handling.
• Knowledge of various geodata transformation methods (e.g. clip, proximity and overlay analyses).
• Understanding of geodata accuracy and quality, along with the concept of metadata.
• Knowledge of the applications of GIS in various scientific fields and occupations (e.g. urban and landscape planning).


• 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) to apply in a given context, to a given phenomenon.
• Produce digital geodata ‘from scratch’ using analogue maps or aerial photos (incl. georectification, georeferencing and digitizing).
• 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 etc, produced after attending the course.

Compulsory reading:
1. Heywood, Cornelius and Carver. 2011. An introduction to Geographical information systems (Fourth edition). Pearson/Prentice Hall. ISBN: 978-0-273-72259-5. Can be purchased from the LIFE book store.
2. All exercise notes.

Supplementary reading/resources:
3. Balstrøm, Jacobi og Bodum. 2006. Bogen om GIS og Geodata. Forlaget GIS & Geodata ( ISBN: 87-991446-0-3.
4. ESRI. What is ArcGIS? On-line documentation.
5. Danish metadata on-line: http:/​/​​

No specific formal requirements: Students at Bachelors-, Master-, and PhD programmes, at Exchange-, Guest-, and Credit studies or at Continuing education may apply to the course.
Comprehensive knowledge of IT including good practical skills.
The course is constituted of lectures, exercises and a project work. It is recommended – but not prerequested – that the projects are conjoined with activities related to other courses and project works.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 2 hours under invigilation
Final Examination

Written Exam in Lecture hall

Description of Examination: A two-hour examination consisting of written responses to short, factual questions referring to the text of all exercises and the
obligatory course texts.

Weight: 100% on the written exam
Exam registration requirements
Assignments have to be handed in and accepted.
The DIGIT test forms connected to the exercises (provided by the Absalon) has to be filled out and handed in.
Further, the project work has to be displayed as a public poster and accepted.
Only certain aids allowed

All aids allowed, except electronic communication equipment (e.g. computers, mobile telephones, PDAs).

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Flere interne bedømmere
Criteria for exam assesment

Written exam:
 * Accepted - 50%
 * Grade 12 - 90%

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Practical exercises
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 48
  • Excursions
  • 2
  • Project work
  • 72
  • Total
  • 206