GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The main aim of the course is to present the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems and their applications to the management and conservation of the environment and natural resources.
Basic knowledge of mathematics and statistics.
Course contents summary
The course follows a full hands-on, skill-building approach: students are guided through the most important spatial analysis techniques by analyzing and solving problems of increasing complexity. In addition, two of the following case studies will be addressed:
- environmental suitability models for threatened species
- assessment of biomass production potential
- strategic environmental assessment
- local and regional spatial planning
- environmental sustainability and climate change: the European Copernicus Programme data for assessing climate change
Introduction to GIS
- Modeling the real world
- Structure of geospatial data
The QGIS Graphic User Interface (GUI)
- Zoom levels (in, out, full extent, layer extent)
- Selecting features
- Layer properties
- Project properties
- Layer’s attribute table
- Symbology of vector layers
- Working with tables
- Joins and relationships
Two of the following case studies will be addressed:
1. Wildlife management and conservation
1.1. Habitat Suitability Indices (HIS) to evaluate the species – area relationship
1.2. The application of an HSI to a chamois population in Northern Italy
2. Renewable energy sources: assessment of biomass production potential at regional scale
2.1. Evaluation of residues availability
2.2. Spatial analyses aimed at the identification of areas suitable to short rotation forestry practices
2.3. Quantitative assessment of the potential energy and the avoided CO2 emissions
6. Environmental sustainability and climate change
6.1 The European Copernicus Programme data for assessing climate change
Boffi, M. (2004). Scienza dell’informazione geografica, introduzione ai GIS. Zanichelli.
DeMers M. N. (2008). Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems, 4th Edition. John Wiley & Sons.
Scally R. (2006). GIS for Environmental Management. ESRI Press.