73191 - Digital Mapping and GIS

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Antonio Zanutta (Modulo 1) Valentina Alena Girelli (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Environmental Engineering (cod. 9198)

Learning outcomes

Provide the basic elements of Geomatics disciplines with particular reference to the topography, the classical instrumentation and GPS. Provide basic elements concerning Cartography map projection theory and some applications.

Course contents


Cartographic Mapping. Generality on the problem of representation. Deformation of a map. Sustainable deformations for a map at scale 1:n. Analytical approach to cartographic mapping.

The italian cartography. Regional technical and big scale cartography. Regional topographic database.

Digital data representation: raster and vector form and some exchange standard format.

Digitalization and scanning of existing cartography.

Georeferencing process. Principal transformation models useful to georeferencing and parameters estimate method.

Photogrammetry for the production of digital cartography.

Elements of photogrammetry and laser scanning. Coordinate systems in photogrammetry. The central projection and projective transformation. The "normal case" in stereopair processing; evaluations of errors.

Photographic equipment and techniques (analogic and digital systems), color theory. Geometrical and radiometrical characteristics for digital acquisition, digital images, image processing and analysis. Metric and semi-metric film-based cameras.

Interior orientation. The calibration of non metric digital cameras.

Exterior orientation: of a single image, of a stereopair in two stages, of a stereopair in a single stage. The survey of the Ground Control Points. The Photogrammetric Triangulation by independent models and by bundle block adjustment.

The photogrammetric restitution by means of stereoscopic and monoscopic digital photogrammetric workstations; rectification of digital images.

The digital images and the image matching procedures.

Numerical cartography

General characteristics of numerical cartography.

Nominal scale concept. Metrical contents. Informative contents. Inventory of conventional signs.

Phases of digital map production

Codification, production, maintenance and updating of numerical technical cartography.

Geographic Information Systems

GIS Introduction and general information. Models. Functionalities. Geometrical component and alphanumeric data.

Geographical data management through a GIS system.

QGIS software presentation and practice.

Practice lessons

Interpretation of coordinates on cartography maps on different scale.

Computer practices: production of digital cartography using semiautomatic and automatic digital photogrammetry.

Computer practices: usage of a largely used free and open source GIS software (QGIS).


Scientific publications, lectures notes and slides in digital form.

Bibliographic references for home study and further reading materials:

Kraus, K., 1998. Fotogrammetria vol.1 Teoria e applicazioni. Editore: Levrotto e Bella. ISBN: 888218028X.

Folloni, G., 1982. Principi di Topografia.

Migliaccio, F., Carrion, D., 2016. Sistemi Informativi Territoriali. Principi e applicazioni. UTET Università Editore. EAN: 9788860084750.

Teaching methods

Lectures and exercises in Laboratory or on personal computer using Open-Source software.

Analysis and discussion using examples of real cases.

Assessment methods

The final exam is unique and verifies the acquisition of the expected knowledge and skills by carrying out a written and oral test, without the help of notes or books.

At the time of the test, students must have an identification document (Identity Card or Driving License or Passport) and a badge and show it to the examiners.

The written test consists of 10 multiple-choice questions about the topics of the course of Digital Mapping and GIS. Only one of the 5 answers is correct. Each correct answer is worth 3/30, wrong answers are worth 0. The test must be performed within the indicated time range. The test must be carried out within the indicated time range. From the moment of the beginning, it lasts 30 minutes. The oral discussion takes place immediately after the written test and aims at evaluating the critical and methodological skills acquired by the student during the entire course.

Following the national emergency state of 31 January 2020 and the issuing of D.L. February 23 2020 n. 6, containing urgent actions regarding the containment and management of the epidemiological emergency from COVID 19, and in order to give continuity to the verification processes, the exam can be taken, if necessary, at the students' homes in online mode, using the EOL platform to supply the written test and the ZOOM application for the supervision.

In the case of exam in online mode, it is necessary to have all the tools listed below:

  • a stable internet network
  • a desktop or notebook (hereafter PC) connected to the electricity network and to Internet
  • a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) connected to the electricity network and to Internet, equipped with a video camera, which will be used as means of supervision by the examiners inside the Virtual Classroom
  • the ZOOM app that allows video meeting and access to the virtual classroom must be installed on the mobile device
  • the possibility of using a quiet environment in one's own home, free from other people and correctly lit, in which to set up a space with the elements listed above.

Teaching tools

A significant part of the course is organized by practical activities on the field and in the laboratory or on personal computer, by means of open-source software.

Office hours

See the website of Valentina Alena Girelli

See the website of Antonio Zanutta


Sustainable cities Climate Action Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.