Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Topography and Cartography
Single Annual Cycle
Year of study: 
Language of instruction: 


Learning outcomes of the course unit

The aim of the course is to analyse GIS, showing their usefulness in concrete urban, architectural and landscape applications, as well as to develop the student's ability to use these systems critically to solve problems even different from those shown in the classroom.

Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course the students will have increased their knowledge of GIS and their applications in support of sustainable planning for city, territory and landscape. They will have a more complete overview of the application field, the technologies used/usable in GIS and will have learned a methodological approach to be applied in different areas and contexts.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course the student will have developed the ability to use autonomously GIS tools both in planning and in analysis.

Communication skills:
The multidisciplinary approach of the laboratory and the group activities are aimed at enabling the student to develop a good capacity for interaction and dialogue with colleagues and the various components involved in the design and analysis process. The student will also have to demonstrate the ability to illustrate rationally and critically the choices made in the design process.

Learning skills:
The course should bring the student to develop a good understanding of the most recent features and issues involved in GIS. The student should be capable of autonomously investigate and improve his/her knowledge and skills autonomously in such fields.


Students are expected to have a basic knowledge of CAD software; students are expected to have basic IT skills.

Course contents summary

The course addresses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool to support sustainable planning for city, territory and landscape. GIS are complex IT tools that allow importing, processing, archiving and representing spatial data (called entities) of various nature and types, as well as their query and integrated analysis to support decision-making processes.
Each entity is associated with specific information, known as attributes, and the geographical position expressed in a given reference system. In this way GIS integrate in a single environment data analysis typical of database use, such as attribute queries and statistical analysis, with spatial and geographical analysis, which is fundamental in territorial applications.
In particular, the following topics will be explored in depth:
- territorial data characteristics and peculiarities, with particular reference to vector cartography, Digital Terrain Models and orthophotos;
- data and metadata concepts;
- vector and raster data structures;
- geodetic and cartographic reference systems (RS);
- import, export and conversion of data in raster and vector format between RS and different cartographic projections;
- georeferencing techniques;
- management of information and associated attributes;
- spatial and textual queries and selections;
- data editing and export.

Recommended readings

- F. Migliaccio, D. Carrion. Sistemi informativi territoriali. UTET, 2016
Available in the Polytechnic Library of Engineering and Architecture. It covers most of the topics of the course, for which it is a useful in-depth study.

- User manual of QGIS software that will be used in the tutorials: (ita) (eng)

- Lecture Slides (Available on the Elly web portal)

Teaching methods

The course will alternate lectures and laboratory activities in which students will be asked to carry out practical exercises on the contents of the course.
In case of remote teaching, the organization of the course will be mostly the same. Classroom-taught will be replaced by live streaming or asynchronous remote lessons, depending on the most effective way to communicate the contents. Students will be asked to carry out practical exercises as well, through home activities. These exercises will be periodically reviewed with the professor to solve any issues.

Assessment methods and criteria

Please refer to the details provided for the laboratory.