Course Unit Page


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

Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

Students will acquire a deep and focused knowledge of GIS (Geographical Information System) data and techniques applied to economic issues. They will learn to use QGIS, a free software able to manage GIS data (construction and analysis), in order to solve data-intensive problems related, for example, to the calculation of spatial statistics of geographical units, definition of networks of firms or transportation facilities, etc. 

Course contents

The course first presents recent economic research using geographic data, highlighting the advantages of having (i) disaggregated and (ii) geolocalized data in addressing meaningful research questions. Second, the course introduces the technicalities related to the construction and use of geographic data using QGIS software.


A bibliography with full references will be distributed in class, while for the use of QGIS the reference handbook and additional slides will provided by the instructor. Additional material (data/codes/etc.) will be distribute.

Teaching methods

Classes with discussions throughout and laboratory-like sessions in class. Participants are asked to have their own PC (or at least one every two people) to follow and replicate the work done by the instructor.

Assessment methods

Class involvement and a final project which will have to be individually developed will be used for the fail/pass decision. 

Teaching tools

Slides and GIS software use.

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Prarolo