Over the past decade, the fields of earth observation and geo-information science have gradually moved away from the traditional mapping or “inventory” type of science to focus increasingly on understanding the processes that shape our environment, predicting their future effects, and providing improved information to support planning and policy making. A process-oriented approach to solving problems requires not only a sound basis of factual spatial data that can be used by scientists and/or decision makers but also a strong background in the field of application. Combined with expert knowledge, earth observation and geo-information science are essential tools to support decision making and the management of System Earth.
The course is especially relevant for professionals (scientists and practitioners) with an academic background who deal with geospatial data but who have only a limited knowledge of the principles of GIS and earth observation in their application field.
Participants will be able to generate information from earth observation and GIS data to support the study and visualization of processes in System Earth and the related role of human beings. In addition to a providing a strong theoretical basis, the course will also develop practical skills in the capture and analysis of spatial data and the visualization of the resulting information.
In the course, an overview will be presented of System Earth with its various cycles, as well as the basics and application of GIS and earth observation methods to describe and analyse this system. The specific role of the user will also be presented. Furthermore, attention will be paid to acquiring operational skills in the use of GIS and earth observation software for the acquisition, analysis and visualization of geospatial data.
Studying in a international multicultural environment, participants become acquainted with ready-to-use GIS and earth observation tools and methods that can be used to study and model different processes in System Earth. Through applying this knowledge and the acquired skills, participants can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the organizations in which they work.
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, EC credits, exam date, location and the mark awarded.
This certificate course is part of the accredited Master’s Geo-information Science and earth Observation at ITC. If you decide to take the full Master’s Geo-information Science and Earth Observation at ITC, the Examination Board will give you in principle exemption from the course you followed successfully as a certificate course.
Academic level and background
Applicants for the Certificate programme should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognized university in a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.
Some courses in the Certificate programme or separate modules require knowledge of, and skills in, working with GIS and/or digital image processing of remotely sensed data.
Skills in taught or related subjects are a prerequisite for some courses in the Certificate programme or separate modules. Even if the applicant satisfies the overall admission requirements, acceptance is not automatic.
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 recognised test results are accepted.
TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT)
TOEFL Internet-based Test
British Council / IELTS
C2 Proficiency / C1 Advanced
Applicants lacking computer experience are strongly advised to follow basic courses in their home countries.