Geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial data are incorporated in almost all aspects of our daily lives. At its core, GIS allows us to connect various types of data to a specific location on the earth’s surface. The intersection of geospatial and non-geospatial information provides goods and services to society as well as allows us to tackle complex issues due to changes in our climate and landscape. For example, the public sector uses GIS to plan train commutes, track forest fires and follow algae blooms while the private sector use GIS to create background scenes in video games, virtual walkthroughs of apartments and to track parcels. Scientists can, for example, leverage GIS to quantify impacts of sea level rise on coastal cities, estimate carbon storage at global scales and to evaluate ecosystem health.

This is a distance course that will teach the fundamentals of GIS. Through this course, the student will learn the basics of data management and analysis of geospatial data with the program ArcGIS. The course is structured around literature, exercises and independent project work. GIS theories are provided through the textbook and is used to support the exercise methods and analyses while the project work will allow the student to apply the gathered knowledge to solve an emerging real-world problem.

Please note

The software ArcGIS is used for the course and only runs on Windows. Mac users will need to have access to Windows. Extra software (e.g. Parallels, VMware) is not paid for by the institution, however, free options are available (e.g. Boot camp, VirtualBox).

Course literature

An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems. Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius and Steve Carver. Fourth Edition, 2011. Prentice Hall.


Lena Åkerblom

Course Responsible

Marika Wennbom

Language of instruction

Swedish and English.

Spring term 2020, IT-distance, Study tempo 25%.
Autumn term 2020, IT-distance, Study tempo 25%.
Spring term 2021, IT-distance, Study tempo 25%.


Competence equivalent to at least 30 ECTS credits in Earth sciences, or geography, or 60 ECTS credits in other subject exclusive introductory courses.


Application period for spring term: 15 September until 15 October.
Application period for autumn term: 15 March until 15 April.

• Applications are made via

Tuition fees only concern citizens outside the EU, EES and Switzerland.