Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2018/2019 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Giulio Fabrizio Pappafico

Assigned to the Degree Course

Geological Sciences (L-34)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course program focuses on the GIS fundamentals and aims to give some skills on geographic data management and on thematic maps production. Earth Sciences include disciplines using GIS more than other, as Geomorphology, Digital Geological Survey, Hydrogeology, Landslides and Seismic Risks Assessment.


  • What are Geographic Information systems. The technologies that have changed the geographic information management by  going from traditional cartography to the digital world.
  • What is a geographic information system (GIS) and who does use the  geographic information systems.
  • The nature of geographic data and how does manage them. Representing geographic data relative to discrete objects and continuous  fields: vectors and rasters.
  • Georeferencing data to place the digital objects relative to the Earth surface.
  • The software managing the geographic information. Data storage, data processing, display functions, data management.
  • Modeling the real world with a geographic database. Geographic data models in a digital system.
  • Sources of geographic information and methods to enter it into a GIS. Methods of geographic data capture and data transfer.
  • The Geometries of geographic data and the Attribute data: collection and  organization. The role of databases in geographic information systems.
  • The management of large and complex database with specialist database  management systems (DBMS) software to organize, storage and access data.
  • Data types, filtering and joining attribute data.
  • Italian national, regional, topographic and geological cartography.
  • Digital modeling of terrain and maps of geomorphology.
  • Vector and raster geoprocessing. QGIS geoporocessing.
  • Cartography and geographic information systems: criteria of composing  a thematic map. The production of digital and hardcopy thematic maps with GIS.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

The learning outcomes that the course aims to reach the student are:

Knowledge and understanding

Acquiring the basic concepts of the Geographic Information Systems, what they are and why they became indispensable for the activities of the Geologist. Understanding the meaning of geographic and non-geographic information, knowing how the geographic information becomes digital, what types of digital data modeling are and what they choose according to the purposes for which they will be used.  Knowledge of earth surface representation models needed to correctly locate geographic information as well as understanding issues related to the use of different reference systems and different scales. Knowledge of the different types of mappings and cartographies available at national and regional level. Knowledge of the basic techniques of managing and processing geographic data through specific software.

Applying knowledge and understanding

Ability to set up a GIS project, to search the data necessary for the purpose of the project through the Web geoportals and to use the Web Mapping services most suitable for finding the correct data sources. Understanding the data model type to use and select data according to the purpose and scale of the project. Ability to evaluate data quality and data geprocessing. Knowledge of software tools to process geographic data.

Making judgements

Research and acquisition of geological data from the sources on the Web according to the purpose of a particular project. Choice of the most suitable geoprocessing tools.

Communication skills

Organization of a GIS project and drafting of the relative thematic cartography of immediate readability.

Learning skills

Acquiring the ability to search for more in-depth GIS technologies than those learned in the course and to understand them thanks to the acquired bases.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

There are no further activities to support teaching.

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Frontal lessons and computer classroom exercises with the help of free desktop and open source computer software.


Course attendance is strongly recommended, because the course covers subjects strictly related to the use of software and involves the use of tutorials.

The skills to be acquired listed in the "Learning outcomes" are difficult to reach without the attendance of lessons and exercises.

Course books

On the BLENDED LEARNING platform electronic material for studying the topics discussed during the course will be made available.


Expected learning outcomes will be evaluated on the basis of an oral test with questions to verify the level of mastery of the skills and the ability to apply them to practical examples illustrated during the test. More weight will be assigned to the first of the two criteria, while the second is crucial for achieving a higher grade.

The grade is on a scale of 30.

Disability and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

Students who have registered their disability certification or SLD certification with the Inclusion and Right to Study Office can request to use conceptual maps (for keywords) during exams.

To this end, it is necessary to send the maps, two weeks before the exam date, to the course instructor, who will verify their compliance with the university guidelines and may request modifications.

« back Last update: 06/07/2018

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