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E-GEO260 Introduction to geographic information systems

This course aims to prepare students to read, understand, interpret, and create maps and other products from maps for geoscientific purposes. This is the only QGIS certified course in Norway.

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Teaching metods


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Course fee

NOK 12 500,- + semester fee Includes an official QGIS certificate

I find mapping to be a powerful tool for decision-making, and this course is a first step in preparing you for using maps and spatial analysis. This course is self-paced so that it can be flexible with your schedule.

Lecturer Lisa Watson


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 basic cartographic applications.

Specific objectives

  • reading, understanding, and interpreting maps
  • reading and understanding scientific literature
  • writing scientific summary of work
  • basic understanding and use of geographic information systems
  • ability to use and understand basics of GPS
  • solve basic spatial problems using Python
  • present work in a scientific manner.

Course dates

The course will be held in the period: Tba.

There will be an online meeting: Tba.

The exam report can be delivered in Norwegian.

Teaching language: English

Course Materials

Required materials:

  • Course reading and labs loaded on Canvas as pdf
  • E-lectures via Canvas Studio
  • QGIS open source and free software

QGIS Certification

After successful completion (completing all lessons and passing the assignments) of the course you will receive the official QGIS certificate.

Course Policies

  • The course load is equivalent to approximately 10 hours per week.
  • Readings and e-lectures provide appropriate background for exercises.
  • A weekly virtual meeting via Zoom will be held in order to provide support and answer questions.
  • Course communications will be via email and Canvas. It’s up to you to make sure your email is set up correctly with the University.
  • There is no exam for this course.
  • The course follows a self-paced format. All assignments can be handed in early; feedback will be given as appropriate throughout the semester.


  • Test – 20%
  • Cartography report – 35%
  • Mapping project - 45%


GIS and mapping for geoscience (i.e. What is this course about?)

  • E-lecture
  • Course information
  • Assign cartography report
  • Group project assignment explained
  • Groups assigned

History of mapping

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Basic concepts, parts 1, 2, and 3”

Geodesy and Projections, Coordinate reference systems, datums, and map scales

  • E-lecture o Reading: “Basic concepts, parts 4, 5, 6, and 7”
  • Lab: Projections, CRS, and scales

Data organization and structure

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Organization, parts 1, 2, and 3”
  • Lab: Organizing data and understanding data structures

Remote sensing

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Organization, part 4”
  • Lab: Import lidar data to GIS


  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Organization, part 5”
  • Lab: Geocaching and importing GPS data to GIS
  • Downloading data
  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Organization, parts 6”
  • Lab: Find and evaluate online data


  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Organization, part 7”
  • Lab: Georeferencing

Shapefiles and geodatabases, contours and hillshades

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Organization, parts 8 and 9”
  • Lab: Creating data

Visualisation: Basics to reading a map

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Visualisation, parts 1, 2, 3, and 4”
  • Lab: Visualisation and map reading

Visualisation: Symbology

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Visualisation, part 5”
  • Lab: Understanding symbology and map reading

Plan and create a map

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Visualisation, part 6”
  • Lab: Map creation

Using Python to solve basic spatial problems

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Python in GIS”
  • Lab: Solving basic spatial problems programmatically

Spatial query o E-lecture

  • Reading: “Spatial Query”
  • Lab: Spatial query

Combining data

  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Combination”
  • Lab: Combination


  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Analysis”
  • Lab: Analyzing data


  • E-lecture
  • Reading: “Prediction”
  • Lab: Using GIS for prediction


Det teknisk- naturvitenskapelige fakultet

Institutt for energiressurser

Contact persons

Divisjon for utdanning

UiS etter- og videreutdanning
Senior rådgiver
Divisjon for utdanning

UiS etter- og videreutdanning