75555 - Remote Sensing and Geographycal Information Systems for Land Analysis

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Students learn about the main satellite platforms and sensors for Earth Observation, are introduced to ArcGIS and apply a number of commands through a set of lab exercises dealing with Earth Surface dynamics

Course contents

1. Geographic Information Systems as tools for integrating georeferenced data collected across spatial and temporal scales;

2. Raster data and main topographic variables for the quantitative analysis of the Earth's Surface;

3. Vector-based data for building geo-referenced inventories and performing digital mapping;

4. Aerial photographs, staellite imagery and mapping applications;

5. Multi-temporal mapping for documenting environmental change (e.g., land use, landslide activity, active channel width, and glacier extent);

6. LiDAR technology for acquisition of high-resolution digital topography;

7. Digital drainage basins and networks;

8. Topographic curvature and roughness;

9. Practical examples of remote sensing for compiling geomorphic databases;

10. Integrating remotely sensed, field based and geophysical data;


Readings and lectures posted online

Teaching methods

Lectures and six GIS lab sessions. Students are distributed in alphabetical order in two groups. 

Lab 1 - Introduction to ArcCatalogues, ArcMap and ArcToolbox.

Lab 2 - Introduction to basic operations on raster and vector-based files.

Lab 3 - Multi-temporal mapping of Ventina glacier and climate change assessment.

Lab 4 - Digital delineation of drainage basins and automated extraction of fluvial channel networks.

Lab 5 - Working with geomorphometric parameters: topographic curvature and surface roughness.

Lab 6 (students work in teams of two) - Multi-temporal mapping of active channel width for the assessment of historical trends of fluvial change. Students select an Italian river system and map changes of WMS-based imagery.

Assessment methods

Midterm test (optional) consisting on an ArcGIS exercise (25%);

Report 1: a guided report summarizing the main outcomes obtained in labs 3, 4 and 5 (25%);

Short oral presentation of the work conducted by groups in lab 6 (10%) and written report (Report 2: 30%);

Final oral exam (10%);

If no Midterm assessment is available: supplementary final ArcGIS exercise (25%)

Teaching tools

Computer-based video projections

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Brardinoni