57929 - Laboratory Of Geomatics

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Federico Magnani (Modulo Mod 2) Daniele Torreggiani (Modulo Mod 1)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo Mod 2) Traditional lectures (Modulo Mod 1)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Planning and management of agro-territorial, forest and landscape (cod. 8532)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student: - has acquired the theoretical and practical bases of cartographic survey and representation; - has been introduced to the use of geographic information systems (GIS) on raster and vector layers, for data spatialization and spatial planning; - has acquired a basic knowledge of remote sensing and satellite image analysis.

Course contents

Background knowledge. The student must have an adequate background knowledge in mathematics and physics, as required for the access to the Degree. No preliminary knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) is required.

Unit 1 (Prof. Daniele Torreggiani) (20 hrs)

1.1 fundamentals of cartography: Earth representation, planimetric/altimetric datum, projection systems and geographic reference systems
1.2 Introduction to digital maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
1.3 Introduction to ArcGIS software (ArcMap, ArcToolbox, ArcCatalog): main commands and functions, geodata: sources and online services
1.4 GIS practicals with ArcGIS software:

  • loading, management and queries on vector and raster maps, reclassification. Reference system definition and transformation
  • creating and editing of maps and attribute tables, feature selection based on attributes and location, join and spatial join
  • main geoprocessing functions: proximity analysis, buffer analysis, overlay mapping, clipping, merging
  • analysis and interpretation of land-use maps and land-use changes (evaluation, maps, transition matrix)
  • print and exporting: legend, dataframe management

    1.5 GPS: basics and applications, data import into ArcGIS

    Unit 2 (Prof. Federico Magnani) (20 hrs)

    2.1 Introduction to QGIS software: main commands and functions, optional plugins in QGIS

    2.2 GIS practicals with QGIS software:

  • creating and editing of maps and attribute tables, object selection based on fields and position, join and spatial join; digitizing points, lines and polygons on regional WMS
  • main geoprocessing functions: proximity analysis, buffer analysis, overlay mapping, extraction
  • analusis of raster layers on Landsat 8 imagery, creating a virtual raster, pseudocolor and false color visualization; reprojection and resampling; operations and indexes
  • georeferencing vector and raster images, on existing layer or from scratch

    2.3 Introduction to GRASS software: data structure, main commands and functions, import and export from GRASS, using GUI and script language

    2.4 GIS practicals with GRASS software:

  • management and analysis of vector layers, spatial diversity analysis on vegetation maps
  • context operators and derived properties: slope, aspect, illumination, watershed analysis

2.5 GIS practicals for final test: analysis of 4 case studies

The background knowledge and practical skills acquired in the course will be further applied in the following courses:






Considering the wide range of topics addressed, the course can be studied on slides and material provided by the lecturer on the IOL (Insegnamenti Online) repository. For further reading:

1. Casagrande L., Cavallini P., Frigeri A., Furieri A., Marchesini I., Neteler M. (2012). GIS Open Source. GRASS GIS, Quantum GIS e SpatiaLite. Elementi di software libero applicato al territorio. Dario Flaccovio Editore.

2. Longley P.A., Goodchild M.F., Maguire D.J., Rhind D.W. (2011) Geographic information Systems and Science. John Wiley and Sons

3. Migliaccio F. (2007) Sistemi Informativi Territoriali e Cartografia. Maggioli Editore

4. Migliaccio F., Carrion D. (2020) Sistemi Informativi Territoriali, UTET Università

5. GIS e ambiente, Guida all'uso di ArcGIS per l'analisi del territorio e la valutazione ambientale. G. Graci, P. Pileri, M. Sedazzari, Dario Flaccovio Editore, 2008.

Teaching methods

The course consists of 2 integrated modules, each focused on a specific topic of geomatics and carried out by lecturers of specific competence. Following a theoretical introduction, each topic is covered through (i) a general introduction and (ii) hands-on laboratory practicals carried out by students under the supervision of the lecturer in a computer room equipped with individual PCs loaded with required GIS packages. The ArcGIS software is available to students in a computer room also outside lectures, according to current lab rules. Moreover, extensive use of freeware software (QGIS, GRASS) makes it possible for students to experience further even at a distance. Following the course, each student will be asked to analyze a case study by GIS techniques.

GPS practicals will be carried out in the field under the supervision of the lecturer, using instrumentation provided by the University.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas] on Health and Safety online

Assessment methods

The final assessment is based on frequency of lectures and practicals and on a final test at the end of the coourse. This will consist of (i) questions related to the content of lectures from both Units, (ii) a discussion of results of practicals and (iii) the presentation of a case study, independently analyzed by the student.

The assessment will focus on a student’s knowledge and understanding, the quality of practicals results and the quality of his presentation.

Teaching tools

Practicals in computer room, with PCs available for each student and required GIS software (ArcGIS, QGIS, GRASS). GPS instrumentation.

Slides for all lectures are made available beforehand to the students through the Virtuale portal (virtuale.unibo.it).

Office hours

See the website of Federico Magnani

See the website of Daniele Torreggiani


Quality education

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