72794 - Applied Geomatics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

Through 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 following topics are discussed in the course.



Fundamentals of positioning and georeferencing techniques, in particular using Space Geodesy.
Reference frames and their transformations, from local surveys to international systems.
Introduction to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and practical surveying methods; field procedures and data analysis.
Airborne (LiDAR) and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). The workflow of LiDAR data processing.


3D Modelling

Automation of procedures for feature extraction from clouds of laser points. Applications for Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Elements of Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM) generation and management. Main applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Surveying, Earth Science, Planning and Resource Management.
Theoretical aspects of surface representation from Point Data. Interpolation: Global and Local Methods (e.g. Kriging). Grid and TIN models.
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.
Georeferencing of digital maps by GIS software: algorithms and strategies.
Practical examples of GIS applications (resource allocation, risk analysis, environmental monitoring and modelling by GIS, change analysis).
Use of DTMs on GIS applications.


- 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 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.

Assessment methods

The final examination consists of a written test with possible oral integration. It aims to assess the achievement of learning objectives related to:

- GNSS surveying, Reference Frames, Georeferencing

- GIS modeling for environmental applications

- 3D data acquistion by LiDAR and TLS

- Digital Terrain Modeling and related issues

Teaching tools

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

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

The IOL didactic platform is used.

Office hours

See the website of Emanuele Mandanici