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:

  • Motivate in what situations Python is a suitable language to use,
  • Describe Python’s built-in data types,
  • Generally describe and understand control flow in Python, including general syntax,
  • Generally describe and understand object oriented programming in Python
  • Explain modules and packages in Python,
  • Describe and understand concepts like iterators, generators and decorators in Python,
  • Describe and understand general communication with the user and system, string manipulation, regular expressions and gluing simulations and applications,
  • Debug, profile, test and document a Python application,
  • Have acquired basic knowledge about Python’s different packages for scientific calculations and visualisation, and
  • Understand and describe how Python can be linked to geographical information systems, specifically ArcGIS, regarding vector- as well as raster operations.

Proficiency and skills

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

  • Communicate, in written text and orally, using the scientific terminology within the subject, in a balanced and understandable way,
  • Apply Python programming in a sense that the student can write own Python programs as well as understand and extend both simpler and complex Python software written by others,
  • Apply Python programming in ArcGIS in relation with standard operations and basic scripts, regarding vector- as well as raster GIS.

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 the following parts:

  • Introduction to Python.
  • Basic Python – built- in data types and control flow.
  • Object oriented programming in Python at basic as well as advanced level.
  • Modules and packages.
  • Concepts – iterators, generators, decorators, and meta-classes.
  • String manipulation, Regular Expressions , input and output, file management, gluing simulations and applications.
  • Testing, debugging, profiles and documentation.
  • Programming with Python in a GIS environment.

5. Teaching and assessment

Teaching consists of lectures, practical and theoretical exercises and seminars. Exercises and seminars are compulsory. We highly encourage students to attend lectures.

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 half a year (30 higher education credits) basic GIS, corresponding to iGEON compulsory courses of semester 1 and 2.

8. Literature

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