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Modelling and Analysing Geographical Information

Code: 102829 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501915 Environmental Sciences OT 4 2


Joan Cristian Padró Garcia

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.

External teachers

Joan-Cristian Padró Garcia


A minimum English level is needed, reading and listening. Most of bibliography and the Theory part are in English.

It is highly recommended to have done some previous subject with Geographic Information Systems (GIS). However, in the first days of class there will be a general reminder of the operation and concepts of GIS.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The purpose of teaching Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is to achieve solid knowledge based on the methodological foundations. This subject is an introduction to the domain of GIS and the general level of geographic information. It is not intended to train in a specific software. The aim is the understanding of fundamental aspects related to how to handle and analyze the data located on the territory. At the end of this course, it is necessary to know how to apply the skills achieved, through the consolidation of both theoretical and practical aspects developed, to the application needs raised from other subjects. This implies not only how to use GIS, but also understand what is done when using them and why they are used.

With this aim, a dual purpose is considered associated with the theoretical-practical content of the subject. On the one hand, the conceptual context that revolves around the GIS, and, on the other, the set of skills that require the use of GIS. On a global approach, it is intended that you know and understand what the GIS is, how they work and when they are to be used.

At the conceptual level the following objectives are formulated:

  • Understanding the nature of geographic information systems (definition and characteristics)
  • Knoweldge and understanding the two data structures used to model reality (vector and raster data structures)
  • Knowelde and understanding about how to introduce, structure and store geographical information
  • Knoweldge and understanding the main functionalities of GIS handling and analysis carried out to solve different questions
  • Knoweldge about the main sources of data from GIS
  • Knoweldge and skills on the main GIS applications

In the second case, the acquisition of skills for being able to use a GIS, is not intended to show technique for the technique, but to raise awareness of what can be done, how to do it and what to apply it. The objectives we can specify them in the following way:

  • Understanding and knowledge about how to take advantage of information systems as an instrument to obtain answers to certain types of questions
  • Knowledge about what types of operations are appropriate in each case to solve certain needs
  • Acquisition of practical expertise in the resolution of characteristic problems of this discipline

From the objectives defined above, it is intended that there is a continuous interaction between theory and practice. 


  • Adequately convey information verbally, written and graphic, including the use of new communication and information technologies.
  • Analyze and use information critically.
  • Demonstrate adequate knowledge and use the tools and concepts of the most relevant social science environment.
  • Demonstrate concern for quality and praxis.
  • Demonstrate initiative and adapt to new situations and problems.
  • Quickly apply the knowledge and skills in the various fields involved in environmental issues, providing innovative proposals.
  • Teaming developing personal values regarding social skills and teamwork.
  • Work autonomously

Learning Outcomes

  1. Adequately convey information verbally, written and graphic, including the use of new communication and information technologies.
  2. Analyze and interpret environmental problems for territorial planning.
  3. Analyze and interpret environmental problems using geographic information systems.
  4. Analyze and use information critically.
  5. Demonstrate concern for quality and praxis.
  6. Demonstrate initiative and adapt to new situations and problems.
  7. Identify geographic processes in the environmental surroundings and to value properly and originally.
  8. Know and apply the most relevant methodologies in the planning.
  9. Know the main territorial and landscape dynamics in Catalonia and Spain.
  10. Teaming developing personal values regarding social skills and teamwork.
  11. The main features of the so called global change.
  12. Work autonomously


Block 1: The geographical information

  • Unit 1: Information about the territory and located phenomena in the territory
  • Unit 2: Geographic and non-geographic entities
  • Unit 3: The value of geographic information

Review of GIS concepts and new programs (ArcMAP, QGIS, ...) + 2D and 3D visualization. 3D printing of reliefs


Block 2: Georeferencing
  • Unit 1: Localization as a factor of relationship
  • Unit 2: The basic methods on georeferencing
  • Unit 3: Main reference systems

Georeferencing and the temporal component


Block 3: GIS data models
  • Unit 1: The map as a model of the real world
  • Unit 2: The raster model
  • Unit 3: The vector model

Modeling (interpolation, hydrology, ...) and automatic processing

Block 4: The use of GIS. Spatial analysis
  • Unit 1: Geoprocessing
  • Unit 2: Spatial analysis
  • Unit 3: Introduction to Remote Sensing

GIS Analysis and Remote Sensing (Google Earth Engine)


The contents of the subject will be developed through selected activities among the following:
  • Oral expositions by the teachers.
  • Reading of selected parts of the bibliography.
  • Synthesis of readings performed.
  • Practices of class guided by the teachers.
  • Sequence of individual class practices and / or in small groups.


The practical activity in this subject is built around the realization of exercises those develop specific aspects of the course topics.

The practices are carried out using the specific GIS software: MiraMon, ArcGis and other complementary programs such as Access, Excel / Open Office Calc, etc.

The exercises and practices are interleaved in the development of the subject, and they will be performed in many cases within the ownclass schedule. Another part of the exercises, either partially or entirety, will be completed by the students.

The proposed teaching methodology may imply some modification depending on the restrictions on attendance that the health authorities impose.


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Practical exercices 30 1.2 3, 2, 4, 12
Theoretical classes 22 0.88 8, 11, 9, 7
Type: Autonomous      
Practices carried out autonomously 88 3.52 4, 6, 5, 1, 12, 10
Reading theoretical material 6 0.24 8, 11, 9, 7


The assessment of knowledge and skills in the subject is based on the qualifications obtained in the delivery of internships (individual), as well as the completion of two exams (with a theoretical part and a practical part).
  • Theoretical exams (in preson) : 30% of the qualification.
  • Practical exams ( (in preson): 30% of the qualification.
  • Individual exercises delivered: 40% of the qualification. Delivery in the virtual campus (report and cartographic bases, layers), with a fixed deadline.
It is mandatory to deliver at least two of the indvidual deliberd exercises in order to calculate an average qualification (attention to those that are not delivered, they contribute with a 0 to the average).
To ask for a reevaluation, the student must have been received a mark in activities that represent at least 2/3 of the global mark during the course. In the present matter, it means that  the student must have been previously evaluated in one of the two exams (30%) and in the total of the individual exercises deliverables (40%). Only exams are recoverable, practical exercises are not recoverable.
The approved is obtained with a global 5 and a minimum grade of 4 for each exam is mandatory.
The presented evaluation may imply some modification depending on the restrictions on attendance that the health authorities impose.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Deliverables exercices 40 % 0 0 3, 4, 8, 6, 5, 7, 1, 12, 10
Practical exam 30%: first exam (15%) and second exam (15%) 1 0.04 3, 4, 8, 5, 1, 12
Theoretical exam 30%: first exam (15%) and second exam (15%) 3 0.12 3, 2, 4, 8, 11, 9, 5, 1, 12, 10


Bonham-Carter, G.F. (1994) Geographic information systems for geoscientists modelling with GIS, Pergamon. Kidlington. 398 p.

Burrought, P.A.; McDonnel, R.A. (1998) Principles of Geographical Information Systems (2nd Edition). Oxford University Press. Oxford. 333 p.

Chuvieco, E. (2002), Teledetección ambiental. Ariel. Barcelona. 586 p.

Cressie N.A.C. (1993) Statistics for Spatial Data. Wiley Series in Probability and Mathematical Statistics. Johm Wiley & Sons New York. 900 p.

Diaz-Delgado, R., Lucas, R., Hurford, C. (2017) The Roles of Remote Sensing in Nature Conservation.  Springer. 318 p.

Fenna D. (2006) Cartographic Science: A Compendium of Map Projections, with Derivations. CRC Press . 504 p.

Gutiérrez Puebla, J.; M. Gould (1994) SIG: sistemas de información geográfica. Editorial Síntesis, Madrid. 256 p.

Laurini, R., D. Tompson (1992) Fundamentals of Spatial Information Systems. Academic Press. Londres. 680 p.

Longley, P.A.; M.F. Goodchild, D.J. Maguire, D.W. Rhind (2001), Geographical Information Systems and Science. Wiley. 454 p.

Maguire, D.J.; M.F. Goodchild, D.W. Rhind (eds.) (1991) Geographical Information Systems. Principles and Applications. 2 Vol. Longman Scienti Technical. Essex. 1096 p.

Moldes Teo, F.J. (1995). Tecnología de los sistemas de información geográfica. Ra-Ma, Madrid. 190 p.

Nunes, J. (2012) Diccionari terminològic de sistemes d'informació geogràfica. Enciclopèdia Catalana i Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, Barcelona. 551 p.

O’Sullivan, D.;  Unwin D., (2002) Geographic Information Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken  NewJersey, 436 p..

Pons, X. (1996). “Els sistemes d'Informació Geogràfica: la nova carta”, Butlletí de laInstitució Catalana d’Història Natural, 64, 37-52.

Pons, X.; A. Arcalís (2012) Diccionari terminològic de Teledetecció. Enciclopèdia Catalana i Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, Barcelona. 597 p.

Rabella, J.M.; J.M. Panareda, G. Ramazzini (2011) Diccionari terminològic de cartografia. Enciclopèdia Catalana i Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, Barcelona. 417 p.

Ruiz, E. (2008). “L'impacte de les tecnologies de la informació geogràfica en la cartografia i la geografia: reflexions sobre 20 anys de SIG”. Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia, 65, 672-679. http://scg.iec.cat/Scg8/Scg81/S81065.htm

Santos Preciado, J.M. (2004) Sistemas de información geográfica. Unidad didáctica. (60105UD01A01) UNED. Madrid. 460 p.



MiraMon reference manual: https://www.miramon.cat/help/spa/mm32/manualrf.htm

QGIS training manual: https://docs.qgis.org/2.14/es/docs/training_manual/

QGIS user guide: https://docs.qgis.org/2.14/es/docs/user_manual/index.html

ArcMap training manual: https://desktop.arcgis.com/es/arcmap/latest/get-started/introduction/arcgis-tutorials.htm

Oyala, Víctor (2011). Sistemas de Información Geográfica (https://github.com/volaya/libro-sig/releases/).

Joan-Cristian Padró youtube channel (Tutorials SIG català): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-jTd-6Ai5J_fu8u4m_1EZDhNJXZ0lxqi



Text editing software, spreadsheets, and presentations:

Office package (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) or LibreOffice

Notepad or Notepad ++


GIS specific software:

MiraMon, ArcGIS and/or QGIS

Google Earth Engine

The evaluable exercises and works will be presented in such a way that any of the three indicated GIS software can be used.