Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GEO260)

The course aims to prepare students to read, understand, interpret, and create maps and other products from maps for (geo)scientific purposes. At the end of the semester, students should have an understanding of what it means to create a map. This course is intended to be beneficial for other courses and thesis projects.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




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Semester tution start


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NB! This elective course will next time be offered autumn 2026, but may be cancelled if fewer than 10 students are enrolled by August 20th for the autumn semester/January 20th for the spring semester.

The course includes:

  • Reading, understanding, and interpreting maps
  • Mapping techniques with the use of geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Field mapping with use of GPS
  • Basic programming for spatial analysis
  • Reading and understanding scientific literature
  • Writing scientific summary of work
  • Present work in scientific manner

Learning outcome


  • Construction of maps and understanding their significance
  • Interdependence of science and spatial studies


  • Be able to apply spatial knowledge and get relevant results by using specialized software or equipment
  • Be able to perform basic spatial analysis functions using specialized software and basic programming
  • Be able to create and interpret maps

General Competence:

  • Background in geographic information science that can be used as a basis for other areas of study
  • Have an understanding of geographic information science, including basic database theory and general cartographic theory
  • Be able to communicate and explain geographic information in applications to geology or other fields of study

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended prerequisites

GEO100 Earth, Energy and Climate, GEO110 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, GEO210 Structural Geology


Home exam, project and report

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Home exam 25/100 3 Hours Letter grades All
Project 45/100 1 Semesters Letter grades All
Report 30/100 1 Semesters Letter grades All

The course has a continuous assessment. The semester assignment is a group project. Mid-term exam resit possibilities are offered in the spring semester; report and semester assignment resits are only available during the normal running of the course. All parts must be passed in order to pass the course.Course communications will be via email and Canvas. It's up to the student to make sure e-mail is set up correctly with the University.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Lisa Jean Watson

Study Program Director:

Lisa Jean Watson

Study Adviser:

Karina Sanni

Head of Department:

Alejandro Escalona Varela

Method of work

Presence in all teaching activities is strongly recommended as it requires training of computer skills and/or advanced concepts in the laboratory.

The course is taught in English; software is in English; optional text books in English. If Bokmål is required for course documents, please alert instructor so a suitable replacement can be found.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Geology seminar I (BPG110_1) 5

Open for

Civil Engineering - Bachelor in Engineering
Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology
City and Regional Planning - Master of Science Energy, Reservoir and Earth Sciences - Master of Science Degree Programme Industrial Economics - Master of Science Degree Programme Petroleum Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme Petroleum Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme, Five Years Societal Safety - Master's Degree Programme
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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