Home ITCEducationStudyfinderRemote Sensing and GIS for the Water Sector

Remote Sensing and GIS for the Water Sector

Become a high-skilled geospatial professional

Participants are initiated in satellite and GIS of the “hydro-informatics” science needed to be in the front line of the modern understanding of the complex spatio-temporal synergy between landscape and water

Short course Remote Sensing and GIS for the Water Sector

Registration for this course is now closed. If you wish to be informed of the upcoming registration dates, please provide your contact information.

Dear ,

Thank you for your interest in the course Remote Sensing and GIS for the Water Sector. We received your information and will let you know as soon as the new registration period is open.

Should you have any further questions about the course content, tuition fees, available scholarships and more, please visit the course page and feel free to contact us through the email education-itc@utwente.nl if you need any further assistance.

Kind regards,

University of Twente | Faculty ITC

Please note that this message should not be considered as confirmation of registration to any course.


*Although advisable, a proof of a proficiency English test it is not required for this courseIn case the applicant does not have an English test when filling the Application Form (in Osiris), in Point 9 (about language tests), PLEASE SELECT THE OPTION: “No. I still have to complete the additional English language test”.

The “World of Water” is a 3D, temporally integrated spatial complexity interacting deeply with societal issues. Despite the spatial domain of water being understood centuries ago, the realization was only possible after developing GIS and remote sensing techniques. Today, petabytes of water-related spatial data are placed online every single day. You may not know, but what you need might be already available and alive even in areas of data scarcity right now.

This course is an eye-opener, giving you access to that information. You learn it in an integrated manner by exposure to both tools using educational techniques developed after 75 years of international education in the subject.

The course has two parts, and water is the common factor. In the first part, the GIS week, participants operate spatial data to produce custom-made outputs serving both as inputs to hydro-models and as tools in decision-making. The second part, the EO week, deals with the access, acquisition and evaluation of the water-related data and products from satellite imagery needed in temporal evolution studies. In this way, participants are exposed to the whole picture of temporal and spatial analysis required in the Water Sector.

For whom is the course relevant

The course is designed for professionals (engineers and researchers) active in the water/environmental sector, especially those involved in the planning and management of water systems and numerical modelling. The course aims at adding a robust spatial dimension to your research and/or project skills.

Career perspectives

This course is essential for any professional in the Water Sector interested in promoting her/himself to the hydro informatics science by combining spatial data management and water-related remote sensing products. The imparted knowledge is foundational to integrate professionals in any interinstitutional endeavor in the water sector and society.

course content and structure

The course focuses on analysing digital spatial data, preparing for numerical modelling, presentation of modelling results and support to the decision-making process in the water sector. The main topics covered in the course include (not limited to) the following:

  • Related to GIS
    • Introduction to GIS,
    • Data Structures,
    • Processing of digital geographic information,
    • Creation of digital elevation models,
    • Visualization,
    • Mapping of water and environmental features,
    • Basin delineation,
    • Digitisation,
    • Soil and land use mapping,
    • Map algebra,
    • Terrain analysis for hydrological and hydraulic modelling,
    • Presentation of modelling results,
    • Analysis to generate new information and knowledge,
    • Dissemination of new information and knowledge,
    • GIS as a decision support tool.
  • Related to Earth Observation (Remote Sensing)
    • Introduction to Electromagnetic Radiation for passive remote sensing,
    • Concepts of Radiance,
    • Concepts of Reflectance, transmissivity, absorptivity and emissivity,
    • Visible and thermal images in hydrology,
    • The Remote Sensing System: Description and access to data,
    • Image download, image calibration and image calculation and indexes,
    • Image georeferencing and Geocoding,
    • Visual Image Interpretation
    • Digital Image Classification
    • Application of Remote Sensing in Water Studies: Overview
  • Explained topics integrating of GIS and Earth Observation
    • Map projections and coordinate systems,
    • Mobile GIS for data collection and analysis (Includes Fieldwork)
  • Programme structure

    The course lasts 10 days (2 weeks) with a class time of 8 hours a day. The course starts on day 1 (Monday) with a registration period, and it ends with a closing ceremony of 1.5 hours on the last day (Friday), 2 weeks later. A common day starts at 8:45 and ends at 17:30 with two break intervals of 15 minutes at 10:30 and 15:30 and a 1.5 hours lunchtime starting at 12:30.

    The course is entirely Face to Face, and the teaching style is imposed by the topic itself. A generic, although adaptable day, starts with lectures in the morning with in-class examples and exercises, followed by practical activities (in class or outside) in the afternoon.

NOTE: All the examples in the different topics refer to water-related study cases

What will be achieved

You will be given the skills to promote yourself to a new level of professional able to acquire (retrieve), organize, analyze, operate and produce spatial and temporal information for your area of expertise, supporting research, development projects and societal solutions for urban and rural areas.

You will operate tools for converting spatial and temporal data into information (products) of value for decision-making in the Water Sector.

Why this course

Hot issues of today and in the long term are reflected in 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) defined by the United Nations. They advocate solutions for poverty, hunger, health, education, equality, sanitation, clean energy, economic growth, innovation, community sustainability, responsible consumption, climate care, justice and nature protection. WATER is central in all of them. Consequently, the water sector is listed among the sciences having the most relevant impact on society.

This course opens the door for those professionals in the water sector who are deeply interested in getting involved in these solutions. It is done by giving the tools and training to access both temporal and spatial information free of charge that is constantly being upgraded by the most relevant Earth Sciences and Cartographic organizations in the world and spatial agencies such as ESA and NASA.

The course is generic for the Water Sector and introduces the enormous potential of data acquisition and management of worldwide and local natural resources related to water.

The course has been assembled and upgraded since 2010 by the two most prestigious international education institutes in the Netherlands for water, GIS and Earth Observation: IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and ITC Faculty Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation. Senior staff of both institutes will be lecturing in the course.

The renovated version of the course will be carried out at the new ITC building on the Campus of the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands. The inaugural will be in April 2023. Apart from the knowledge, you will have the opportunity to interact with professionals in a multicultural environment in the only unique Dutch University Campus in the Netherlands.

Hardware and software requirements

  • Hardware and software requirements


    For your Laptops:

    • QGIS latest Long Term Release version (LTR). It will be announced on time. No other version is allowed under any circumstance. Latest release will be informed to the participants before the course starts.
    • ILWIS: Free public version. Latest release will be made available before the course.

    For Group Fieldwork we will use your mobile phone:

    • Software for Android phones only. iPhones are not supported. Participants using iPhone will join the experience by sharing the Android phone in the group.
    • Free latest versions of SWMAPS and/or QFIELD.


    • Software will be installed at ITC during the first day. Instructions will be written for that. It is expected that the participants will work with either
    • ArcMap 10.8.2 or...
    • ArcGIS Pro. (actual version 3.0, expected version for the time of the course is 3.2).




    • Minimum: 2 cores, simultaneous multithreading
    • Simultaneous multithreading, or hyperthreading, of CPUs typically features two threads per core. A multithreaded 2-core CPU will have four threads available for processing, while a multithreaded 6-core CPU will have 12 threads available for processing.
    • Recommended: 4 cores
    • Optimal: 10 cores


    • x64


    • Minimum: 32 GB of free space
    • Recommended: 32 GB or more of free space on a solid-state drive (SSD)


    • Minimum: 8 GB
    • Recommended: 32 GB
    • Optimal: 64 GB or more


    • Recommended: 4 GB or more
    • If you're using a notebook computer with an integrated GPU, consider increasing the system RAM to compensate for the use of shared memory.


    • The temporary visualization cache for ArcGIS Pro can consume up to 32 GB of space, if available, in the user-selected location. By default, the visualization cache is written to the user profile’s \Local subfolder, so it does not roam with the user profile if roaming profiles are enabled by your system administrator.
    • DirectX*
      Minimum: DirectX 11, feature level 11.0, Shader Model 5.0
    • OpenGL*
      Minimum: OpenGL 4.3 with the ARB_clip_control and EXT_texture_compression_s3tc extensions
    • Recommended: OpenGL 4.5 with the ARB_shader_draw_parameters, EXT_swap_control, EXT_texture_compression_s3tc, and EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic extensions


    • Minimum: 1024x768
    • Recommended: 1080p or higher

    * ArcGIS Pro will automatically use OpenGL if DirectX requirements are not met. You can manually change to OpenGL if you suspect an issue with your driver.


Admission requirements

Academic level, background and English skills

Applicants should have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a discipline related to water and/or natural resources. For this course, it is enough a good and fluent listening and understanding command of the English language. This is under the entire responsibility of the applicant and, although advisable, it is not required a proof of a proficiency English test normally required to access international courses.


In case the applicant does not have the test when filling the Application Form (in Osiris), in Point 9 (about language tests), PLEASE SELECT THE OPTION: “No. I still have to complete the additional English language test”

That will allow the application to proceed. It should preferably be combined with working experience in a relevant field. Basic knowledge of GIS and RS is desirable but not compulsory. Participants must know how to operate Microsoft-related software and file management on a PC.

Visa issues

The procedure of getting the short visit VISA in time is strictly personal. Be aware that this procedure can take several weeks, so it is essential you do this on time. We can only support you with documentation for your VISA request after you have paid. We strongly suggest that you organize the timing in order to get the VISA at least 2 months before the beginning of the course. 


Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a Certificate which will include the name of the course. 

Along with your Certificate, you will receive a Course Record providing the name and, if applicable, all the subjects studied as part of the course. It states: the course code, subject, beginning and end dates and location.

The certificate will be given to the student during the closing ceremony on the last day of the course. To receive the certificate, the student must be present at least 90% of the time. The Course record the Certificate are the only official documents provided by the UT. No other requests will be attended.

Key information

CROHO code
2 weeks
100% English-taught
Enschede, Netherlands
Tuition fees
Full period 2023 / 2024
full-time, non-EU/EEA
€ 2,500
full-time, EU/EEA
€ 2,500
Additional costs
Insurance, full programme
€ 33
Cost of living, full programme
€ 594
Please note
Additional costs are subject to change, depending on the duration of your stay.