1. Basic information

This syllabus is ratified by the Education Committee of the Faculty of Science 2012. The syllabus is valid from 2012-09-01. 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

The aim of the course is that students, after having successfully completed the course, should have acquired the following knowledge, understanding and skills:

Knowledge and understanding

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

  • describe the chain structure of a database, ie. how to move from a specification through a conceptual model of a database schema,
  • explain the advantages and disadvantages of storing spatial data in the database compared to storing them in the file system,
  • describe how geographic data can be stored in a database and how an extended SQL language can be used to search for spatial data,
  • explain the object-oriented concepts as object classes, methods, attributes, inheritance, association, etc.
  • describe methods for spatial indexing, and
  • exemplify / introducing some geographic databases that are freely available and evaluate their quality.

Proficiency and skills

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

  • independently create a conceptual model (class diagram) using the Unified modeling language UML (Unified Modeling Language) based on a set of requirements,
  • Independently create a database schema in a GIS program based on a conceptual model,
  • manage the query language SQL to create tables, insert data, and search for data in a relational database, and even do spatial searches in a spatial database.

Attitude and ability to appraise

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

Assimilate and critically evaluate and discuss scientific publications within the area of Python programming, as well as summarize the material.

4. Course contents

The course consists of six parts.

  1. Conceptual modeling in UML
  2. Databases and SQL
  3. Spatial Databases
  4. Examples of database environment in a GIS program
  5. Standards and freely available spatial databases
  6. Projects

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 all compulsory exercises, and to have participated in all compulsory course elements including the project.

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 half a year (30 higher education credits) basic GIS, corresponding to iGEON introductory courses in GIS, remote sensing and natural resource management.

8. Literature

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