Geomatics and GIS

Institution: IUSS

Major: HYRIS

Term: 1st Semester

Instructor: Andrea Taramelli (

CFU: 4


Duration and Schedule: available here

Office hours: Thursday/Friday 10-13 AM



Natural events such as earthquakes and hurricanes can be hazardous to man. The disasters that natural hazards can cause are largely the result of actions by man that increase vulnerability, or lack of action to anticipate and mitigate the potential damage of these events. Planners are familiar with the bewildering array of disparate pieces of information that have to be analyzed and evaluated in the planning process. The process is complicated, however, by entirely new data sets on assessment of various natural hazards, separately and in combination, and by the need to analyze these hazards with respect to existing and planned development, choose among means of mitigating the damage the hazards can cause, carry out an economic analysis of the alternatives of mitigation versus no mitigation, and determine the impact of these alternatives on the economic and financial feasibility of the project.

Along with these added complications come techniques for managing the information so that it does not overwhelm the planner. Among these are geographic information systems (GIS), a systematic means of geographically referencing a number of “layers” of information to facilitate the overlaying, quantification, and synthesis of data in order to orient decisions.



Modern GIS technology and datastreams provide the synoptic, time-sequential views of the Earth that these research activities require. We propose here to offer a comprehensive course of instruction through which both science students as well as students in related disciplines may benefit from the intellectual activity and technological resources currently available. The basis of this program would be a course in GIS theory and application. We envision a highly interactive environment in which students will be taught the technical basis for Geographic Information Systems GIS and then be introduced to a wide range of applications building conceptual modelling methodologies. Although GIS is most closely allied with the Natural Hazard studies, it is essential to any discipline that relies on an understanding of natural phenomena on different spatial scales. For this reason, the approach would be to provide a firm background in the scientific principles of GIS but also to consider the more far-reaching applications related to social and economic issues which may benefit from a more global perspective. An important aspect of this course would be a strong interconnection among classroom instruction, informal discussion and “conceptual” experience with GIS.

The current availability of a multitude of synoptic and time-sequential datasets from sources like COPERNICUS makes this type of learning opportunity a reality that was unthinkable a few years ago.



The course starts from very basic concepts, but are required some formal introduction to the field of computing, both to provide a firm background in the fundamental principles as well as to provide motivation for the applications that are to follow. Students should also have some background in physics to understand the phenomena involved (GIS is using spatial data as the Remote sensing one) and some background in mathematics (like Boolean algebra) to understand the operations in data processing and their meaning. Further, the student should have a strong desire to learn and understand how risk assessment methods can be built on top of new and emerging technologies, such as the Geographic Information Systems (GIS).



Fischer, Manfred M., and Arthur Getis, eds. Handbook of applied spatial analysis: software tools, methods and applications. Springer Science & Business Media, 2009.

De Smith, Michael John, Michael F. Goodchild, and Paul Longley. Geospatial analysis: a comprehensive guide to principles, techniques and software tools. Troubador Publishing Ltd, 2007.

Graeme F. Bonham – Carter “ Geographic Information Systems for Geoscientists. Modelling with GIS”; Pergamon, 1998.

Sistemi informativi territoriali. Principi e applicazioni, 2020 di Federica Migliaccio (Autore), Daniela Carrion (Autore) –



Assignments will be handed over and graded during the course. The final examination will consist of a presentation of a study case for each student. Students will be admitted to the final exam based on a satisfactory performance in the assignment.