Geo-information science (GIS) and Earth observation are scientific disciplines that develop methods to extract information about the earth surface and use this information for solving real-world problems. Many tools and services that are now main-stream like GPS, route planners in cars and Google Earth were developed by GIScientists. Spatial data and methods to combine and analyse spatial information can help to solve complex issues concerning health care, water and food security, climate change, urban planning, natural hazards and land scarcity.
Are you a mid-career professional with an academic background working with geo-spatial data or have just finished your BSc and are you eager to continue your scientific studies? Are you interested in studying GIScience or do you have a serious interest in using GIScience in your field of application? Do you want to acquire and learn to apply the basic principles of geographical information science? Then this online course will give you a proper basis.
This online course will deal with geo-information science covering a range of techniques for data modelling, data collection, data storage, analysis and visualization of spatial-temporal data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
The course consists of a theoretical, a practical and an application-oriented part.
- the theoretical part focuses on the main principles of GI science
- during the practical part the knowledge gained can be applied and skills can be developed on operation of open source software and tools
- in the application-oriented part you will learn how to individually design and carry out sequential data processing steps typical for the creation and use of basic GIS methods.
The focus of the course will be mainly on theoretical concepts. The level of knowledge addressed in this course is mainly on understanding and applying GI Science; on some topics, the levels of analysis and evaluation will be reached.
After completion of the course, you will be able to generate information from GIS data to support the study and visualization of processes in system earth and the related role of human beings. In addition to providing a strong theoretical basis, you will also develop practical skills in the capture and analysis of spatial data and the visualization of the resulting information.
This course is one of three separate but connected 5 EC courses of the online course Principles and applications of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation.
This 5 EC online course takes ten weeks. This means that on average you will need to dedicate 14 hours a week to study, two of which are compulsory hours spent in virtual classroom sessions. You will achieve the same learning outcomes as in face-to-face. As to the educational quality − again, as in face-to-face − you will be studying under the guidance of highly qualified and thoroughly committed staff, at an accredited and internationally acclaimed faculty.
Make no mistake: even though you’ll be studying part-time for about 14 hours a week, this online course constitutes quite a challenge. That being said, it should leave you with enough time for working a job, parenting or other activities. While there is no physical interaction, the digital learning environment encourages you to interact with your fellow students anywhere, anytime. The course is designed to keep you on track, and you stand to gain important additional skills such as studying independently in a virtual environment.
This course is entirely based on Open Source Software, more specifically QGIS. You will be learning with a tool that will always be there for you, even after you graduate. Please note that the techniques and concepts you will learn are valid for any other software package, but with the open source approach, you will always be free to apply your knowledge in any professional or academic context.
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 all the subjects studied as part of the course. It states: the course code, subject, ECTS credits, exam date, location and the mark awarded.
If you decide to follow a full Postgraduate or Master's course at ITC, and after approval of the Examination Board, you will be exempted from the course(s) you followed successfully as an online course.
Academic level and background
Applicants for an online course should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognised university in a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.
The faculty accepts transcripts, degrees and diplomas in the following languages: Dutch, English, German, French and Spanish. It is at the discretion of the faculty to require additional English translations of all documents in other languages as well.
As all courses are given in English, proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite.
If you are a national of one of the countries in this list (PDF), you are exempted from an English language test.
Please note: the requirements when applying for fellowships may vary according to the regulations of the fellowship provider.
English language tests: minimum requirements
Only internationally recognized test results are accepted.
TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT)
TOEFL Internet-based Test
British Council / IELTS
C2 Proficiency / C1 Advanced
Applicants for the online education programme must have elementary computer experience, regular access to internet and e-mail. For some courses additional computer skills are required (see description of specific course).
GIS and remote sensing
Most online courses, except for the introductory course, require knowledge of, and skills in, working with GIS and/or digital image processing of remotely sensed data.
Candidates are asked to provide proof of identity during the registration process.