35432 - Applied Geomatics

Course Unit Page


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

Sustainable cities Climate Action

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

hrough this course the student acquires knowledge to integrate modern surveying technologies offered by Geomatics for the metrical study of objects, sites, and territory in a consistent way. The student learns the use of space-geodetic techniques suitable for multi-scale measurements (global to local), and thus he is able to integrate in situ observations, airborne surveying and satellite imagery. 3D data acquisition and modeling is in particular discussed, either for environmental applications and for civil and architectural surveys..

Course contents

The course is organized in two parts.


First Part (Emanuele Mandanici, 2 CFU).

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.

Georeferencing of digital maps by GIS software: algorithms and strategies.


Second Part (Gabriele Bitelli, 4 CFU).

The second part is mainly related to Geomatics methods for 3D data acquisition and processing.

Airborne and terrestrial laser scanning. The workflow of LiDAR data processing. Automation of procedures for feature extraction from cloud of points. Applications for Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Basics of Photogrammetry for 3D acquisition and modelling from digital images.

Basic elements of Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM) generation and management. Main applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Surveying and Photogrammetry, Earth Science, Planning and Resource Management.

Theoretical aspects of surface representation from Point Data. Interpolation: Global and Local Methods (e.g. Kriging). Gridding and Grid Resampling, Search Algorithms in Gridding and Interpolation.

TIN and Grids: comparison of data structures. Filtering and smoothing of gridded data. TIN data, Voronoi Diagrams and Delaunay Triangulation, methods for TIN construction.

DTM manipulation and DTM Derivatives (Slope Maps, Aspect maps, Viewsheds, Watersheds). Volume computation, contours, drainage networks.

Basics of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Analysis operators on vector and raster datasets. Environmental modeling in GIS environments, use of DTM and satellite imagery in GIS.

Practical examples of GIS applications (resource allocation, risk analysis, environmental monitoring and modeling by GIS, change analysis).


Bibliographic references for home study and further reading materials:

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

- Barry F. Kavanagh: "Surveying: Principles and Applications", Prentice Hall, 2012

- 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 (1st part, geodetic surveys) and in the computer lab (2nd part, use of commercial and 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.

A specific activity will be realized regarding crowdmapping, in the framework of an international event (topics: risk management and sustainability).

Assessment methods

The examination at the end of the course is in written form with eventual oral integration, and aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives related to:

- GNSS surveying, Reference Frames, Georeferencing

- 3D data acquistion by LiDAR, basics of Photogrammetry

- Digital Terrain Modeling and related issues

- GIS modeling for environmental applications

Teaching tools

Lectures are conducted in the classroom, the teachers use projected slides or multimedia tools.

A part of the course is pursued through practical exercises, carried out also on personal computer equipment of the students by using preferably open source software provided by the teachers.

Office hours

See the website of Gabriele Bitelli

See the website of Emanuele Mandanici