INF/01 - 6 CFU - 1° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The course of Computer Applications to Earth Sciences has the aim to introduce the students to the use of the fundamental principles of geosciences through the aid of IT methodologies. In particular, the course aims to provide students with useful and versatile tools, transversal to all geosciences, aimed at acquiring, integrating, analyzing, processing, storing, distributing, and making georeferenceable spatial interoperable data both in raster and vector format. The course also intends to provide an overview of the operational tools of the GIS (Geographic Information System) environment, with particular reference to the operations of Georeferencing; Digitization; Interpolation, and thematic extraction.

Course Structure

The course is divided into 3 CFU of lectures for a total of 21 hours during which are given the theoretical concepts to the operations of a) Georeferencing, b) Digitization, c) Database management, d) Interpolation. This year the theoretical lecture credits will be given in dual mode to allow compliance with the Anti-COVID rules. More specifically, students will have the opportunity to book their seat in the classroom up to the maximum capacity allowed (approximately 50% of the actual capacity). The lesson will in any case be sent in live streaming.

Further 3 CFU of laboratory lessons for a total of 36 hours will be given, in parallel to the theoretical ones, in the computer classroom (equipped with 25 networked PCs that can be managed remotely from a PC server), where each student will be able to work directly in the windows environment and with ArcGIS software for carrying out various practical exercises. To guarantee everyone the opportunity to attend the laboratory lessons in their presence, shifts will be split, where necessary.

Detailed Course Content


GIS Front Lectures: 3 CFUs (21 Hours)

GIS Computer Classroom Laboratory: 3 CFUs (36 hours)


1st part: Introduction and IT basics for GIS applications

Frontal content

Meaning of the concept of geomatics and its actualization and potential evolution. Geological mapping: the former geological maps and evolution of the concept of geological mapping up to the CARG project (Italian Geological Mapping Project). Overcoming of the static monothematic cartography and the advent of the dynamic pluritematic cartography. Digitizing cartographic data: raster data, vector data, shape and kml files. Basic concept of geodesy and use of the major georeferencing systems and relative georeferncing methods. The advent of GIS: open source and proprietary GIS. Data storage techniques: the relational databases; geoscientific data with potential geographic primitive. Interoperable databases and the use of markup languages: GeoSciML and the INSPIRE protocol.


Practical exercises in the classroom

Discretization and Data-Storage of Geological Information: Directory and Sub-Directory of the Earth Sciences Database. A practical tutorial on georeferencing systems and methods. Building and managing relational databases in the Access environment and GIS environment. Visualization and consultation of the main geoscientific portals: PCN, One Geology, Auscope, SITR, geological map of Piemonte region.


2nd part: Design and implementation of a GIS in the field of geoscience

Frontal content

The ArcGis Platform: The environment and the menus ArcMAP; ArcCatalog and the ArcGIS extensions; ArcGIS Toolboxes. Geological data: basic map data, official geological maps, local detailed mapping maps, and specialized geosciences cartographies. Sampling Techniques: the informatic conceptualization of outcrop and field measuring station. In situ analysis: penetrometer tests, hydrogeological and geophysical data etc ... Laboratory analysis (sample and sub-sample concepts, Lab techniques at different observation scales) and the concept of redundant information, different typologies and examples of analysis, and related typologies of data storage.

Practical exercises in the classroom

Managing the Table of Contents (ArcGIS). View map data and operations on the associated alphanumeric databases. Sequential operations for the extrapolation of derivative maps (e.g. Slope, Exposures etc...) using the ArcGIS model builder. Vectorization and creation of shapefiles. Overlapping of diversified geothematic maps and extrapolation of derived data.

Textbook Information

Titolo ECDL GIS. La rappresentazione cartografica e i fondamenti del GIS

Autore Caiaffa Emanuela

Editore McGraw-Hill Education (collana College)

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano