35432 - Applied Geomatics

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The course provides insights into the modern technologies offered by Geomatics for the survey and metrical representation of the landscape or of specific infrastructures. Students gain aware-ness on potentials and limitations of the discussed techniques, especially in terms of accuracy and productivity, and learn how to choose and integrate them to support different environmental and civil engineering applications.

Course contents

The following topics are discussed in the course.

Fundamentals of positioning and georeferencing techniques, in particular using space geodesy and satellite positioning.
Reference frames and their transformations, from local surveys to international systems.
Introduction to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and related methods (static and kinematic) in land surveying. Field procedures and data analysis.
Airborne (ALS) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). The workflow of laser data processing.

Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for the management of spatial data. Vector and raster dataset models. Main operators for spatial analysis.
Georeferencing of digital maps by GIS software: algorithms and strategies.
Use of digital terrain models (DTM) in GIS applications.
Practical examples of GIS applications.

Generation of 3D surfaces from surveyed point clouds.
Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM) generation and management. Theoretical aspects of surface interpolation from sparse points: global and local methods (e.g. Kriging). Grid and TIN models. Production of DTM derivatives (Slope Maps, Aspect maps, Viewsheds, Watersheds).
Application examples for Civil and Environmental Engineering.


- Slides and notes from the lectures, scientific literature provided in digital format

- C. D. Ghilani, P. R. Wolf: "Elementary Surveying: An Introduction to Geomatics", Pearson, 2015

- Dong P., Chen Q.: "LiDAR Remote Sensing and Applications", CRC Press, 2018

- Shan J, Toth C.K.: "Topographic Laser Ranging and Scanning: Principles and Processing", CRC Press, 2018

- Li Z., Zhu Q. & Gold C.: "Digital Terrain Modeling: Principles and Methodology", CRC Press, 2005

- Burrough P.A., McDonnell R.A., LLoyd C.D.: "Principles of Geographical Information Systems", Oxford University Press, 2015

- Konecny G.: "Geoinformation: Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry and Geographic Information Systems", 2nd ed., CRC Press, 2014

Teaching methods

The lectures will be supplemented with practical exercises on the field and in class using open-source software packages. These activities are structured so that during each session students will be able to produce practical solutions to the theoretical problems outlined during lectures.

Assessment methods

The final examination consists of a practical GIS exercise and a written test (with possible brief oral integration). It aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives related to:

- GNSS surveying, Reference Frames, Georeferencing

- GIS analysis for civil and environmental applications

- 3D data acquisition from laser scanning systems

- Digital terrain modelling

Teaching tools

Slides or multimedia tools are used for the lectures in classroom.

Many practical exercises are carried out on students’ personal computers, using preferably open-source software.

The Virtuale didactic platform is used.

Office hours

See the website of Emanuele Mandanici


Sustainable cities Climate Action

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