1. Basic information

This syllabus is ratified by the Education Committee of the Faculty of Science 2012-05-24. The syllabus is valid from 2012-09-03. The course is at the advanced level (A1N).

2. General information

The course is part of the internet based programme ‘GIS and Earth Observation for Environmental modeling and Natural resource management’ (iGEON). The course is an elective for the double degree: Master of Science in Geographical Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Faculty ITC, the Netherlands and Master of Science in Geographical Information Science of Lund University, Sweden. The course is also given as a single subject course. The language of instruction is English. The course is fully based on distance learning, with all material distributed over the Internet. It is flexible in the sense that students can study full time (100%), half time (50%), or with a 25% study tempo.

The course is part of the main field of study in Physical Geography and Ecosystems Science at the Faculty of Science. The course is an elective course on advanced level for a Master’s degree in Geographical Information Science, Faculty of Science, Lund University, Sweden.

3. Learning outcomes

In the basic courses the students have been introduced to basic theory of GIS and to use GIS as a tool in geographical analysis. The aim of this course is to teach the students the theory of computation, both from a mathematical and a computer scientific view, used in a GIS. This knowledge is necessary to evaluate a result from an analysis and to perform more advanced analyses that are not available in GIS-programs.

After having successfully completed the course, the student should have acquired the following knowledge, understanding and skills:

Knowledge and understanding

After the course the student is expected to be able to:

  • Explain the theories behind the basic algorithms (raster-vector) that are used in GIS.
  • Analyse spatial concepts and explain the definitions of them.
  • Propose a suitable approach to solve a geometrical problem in a GIS.
  • Describe and derive empirical transforms in the plane. 
  • Explain how curves are used to represent geographic information.
  • Explain basic graph algorithms like shortest path etc.
  • Describe spatial data structures.

Proficiency and skills

After the course the student is expected to be able to:

  • Program basic algorithms that are used in Geographical Information Systems.
  • Structure and solve geometrical problems.

Attitude and ability to appraise

After the course the student is expected to be able to:

  • Reflect on the possibilities and problems in a GIS program.

4. Course contents

The lectures deal with the basic theory of spatial data structures and the most important algorithms in a GIS. The exercises are mostly focused on programming algorithms.

5. Teaching and assessment

Teaching consists of lectures, practical and theoretical exercises and seminars. Exercises and seminars are compulsory.

Examination is in the form of a written exam, and through approved individual exercises.

6. Grades

Students are graded for the course according to the following levels: High Pass (distinction), Passed, and Failed.

In order to pass the course the student is required to have passed the exam, all compulsory exercises, and to have participated in all compulsory course elements.

The final grade for the course is determined by the result of the written exam.

7. Entrance qualifications

The following are required for admission to the course: Basic admission requirements of Lund University, and at least 1.5 years full time studies at university level, including  iGEON compulsory courses of semester 1 and 2 (35 ECTS).

8. Literature

According to a list established by the department, available at least five weeks before the start of the course.