SMUA4600 Geographical Information Systems Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Geographical Information Systems
Master’s Programme in Civil Engineering
Master's Degree Programme in Smart Mobility and Urban Analytics
10 stp.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a system of hardware, software, and procedures designed to support the capture, management, manipulation, analysis, modeling and display of spatially referenced data for solving complex planning and management problems. GIS applications use both spatial information (maps) and databases to perform analytical studies.

This course, including both lectures and practices, will cover the fundamental theories and methods of GIS. A series of seminars will enable the students to make practical use of GIS with hands-on experience.

In this course, the students will learn to edit, organize and manipulate spatial data in meaningful ways to solve spatial problems, using ESRI ArcGIS software and different open-source alternatives (QGIS and R).

GIS technology has broad applications in natural and social sciences, humanities, environmental studies, engineering, and management. Examples include: Urban and Regional Planning, Community and Economic Planning and Development, Housing Studies, Transit and Transportation Issues, Land Use, Historic and Archeological Studies, Agriculture and Forestry, Wildlife Habitat Study, Crime Analysis and Policing, Emergency Management and Public Works Utilities, Census and Demographic Studies, Public Health, Contagious Disease Monitoring, and Business uses including Marketing and Advertising. This course will introduce a few selected cases of GIS application in different disciplines.

Anbefalte forkunnskaper



Upon completing the course, the student should have the following outcomes, defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence.


Upon successfully completion of the course, the student has gained sufficient knowledge to:

  • describe the components of a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • explain GIS data structures and models, including vector and raster data
  • quantify and analyze the spatial distribution of phenomena and provide meaningful analysis of spatial attributes.


Upon successfully completion of the course, the student can:

  • conduct GIS analysis by combining different spatial data operations such as distance calculation, overlay and buffer analysis, to address geospatial problems and/or research questions
  • demonstrate proficiency in the use of GIS tools to create maps that are fit-for-purpose and effectively convey the information they are intended to.
  • implement advanced GIS functions or analyses by programming with Python (ArcGIS) or R (QGIS).

General competence:

Upon successfully completion of the course, the student is able to:

  • critically evaluate available sources for data in a GIS
  • reflect on the spatial impact of decision-making and on the potential for using large spatial datasets for in-depth multi-faceted analytics
  • demonstrate confidence in undertaking new (unfamiliar) analysis using GIS, troubleshoot problems in GIS, and seek help from software/website help menus and the GIS community to solve problems
  • communicate results in a powerful and effective way.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The course is delivered through seminars and hands-on computer workshops.

Teaching will be organized in topic-blocks with practical and theoretical parts in each block.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

One written group project assignment must be approved.

Lab assignments must be handed in on Canvas

Seminar assignments must be handed in on Canvas

Students who fail to meet the coursework requirements can be given up to one re-submission opportunity.

Vurdering og eksamen

Portfolio assessment:

-Perform an individual GIS- analysis from a chosen urban area

-Individual in-depth report, approx. 10-15 pages

-Visual presentation with a poster

Each student's work will be assessed together as a portfolio with one individual grade at the end of the semester, but all three parts that make up the portfolio must be assessed as 'pass' in order for the student to pass the course. The overall assessment can be appealed.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

All aids allowed.


Graded scale A-F.


Two internal examiners. External examiners are used regularly.


John Östh; Email: john.osth@oslomet.no