2023-2024 / GEOG2053-1

Introduction to Urban GIS


12h Th, 20h Pr

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Architectural Engineering3 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Civil Engineering3 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering3 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering (joint-degree programme with the "Université polytechnique de Madrid")3 crédits 
 Master in urban planning and territorial development (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Roland Billen

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems and more specifically to the processing of data for urban applications.

The course covers the following topics:

  • An introduction to the open source software QGIS
  • The different modes of representation of geographic information
  • Standardisation, quality and accessibility of urban geographic data
  • An introduction to spatial analysis processing
  • The rules of cartographic writing
  • An introduction to the commercial software ArcGIS
  • An introduction to GIS architectures and WebGIS
  • An introduction to 3D GIS


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, the student will be able to

- identify the different elements of an urban spatial analysis problem (including data sources)
- propose processing chains
- carry out these treatments on the QGIS software
- discuss the quality of the results in relation to the initial quality of the data
- present the results in map form

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.1, II.1, II.2, II.3, III.1, III.2, III.4, IV.1, V.1, VI.1, VI.2, VII.1, VII.2, VII.3, VII.4, VII.5 of the MSc in civil engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The prerequisites of the master programme in which this course is given. Previous knowledge of Geographic Information Systems and other aspects of geomatics (surveying, remote sensing, etc.) is a plus but not required.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is based on theoretical presentations combined with computer exercises. These follow a problem-based approach.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Students will need to install the QGIS software on their computers.
Therefore, if necessary, some sessions could be organised remotely.

Recommended or required readings

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

Some in-class work will be assessed and the grades obtained will be integrated into the overall grade according to the modalities that will be fixed at the beginning of the course.

The examination will consist of a computer problem solving

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Students will be asked to install the QGIS program on their computer


Prof. Roland Billen rbillen@uliege.be

Thomas Dethinne tdethinne@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs