Mapping and geographic information systems

Academic year
Subject Area
Geographical Engineering
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Knowledge of CAD.

Teaching Methods

The fundamental concepts are taught on the theorico-practical classes, along with the resolution of some exercises to clarify the subjects. The laboratorial-practical classes include the resolution of exercises using maps as well as geographical data within CAD and GIS software. The evaluation includes a practical component and an exam.
The practical component consist on the execution of a project by the students, initiated in the laboratorial-practical classes and concluded by the students outside the classes.

Learning Outcomes

In this discipline the students are intended to acquire knowledge that enables the correct and informed use of Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). They must be able to interpret a map and extract information about coordinates, bearings and distances, position points knowing these quantities, interpret the relief represented using contours, as well as extract terrain profiles. Students are also intended to know how to model spatial and non-spatial data in a GIS environment in the context of an application, process the data and produce maps that transmit in an appropriate way the geographical information to the map users.

Work Placement(s)



1. Fundamental concepts related to Geographical Information and Cartography
1.1 Positioning geographical data
1.2 Cartographic projections
1.3 Reference systems
1.4 Sources of geographic and cartographic information
1.5 Use of topographic maps

2. The cartographic process
2.1 Visual variables
2.2 Fundaments of color theory
2.3 Principles of map design
2.4 Cartographic generalization

3. Geographic Information Systems
3.1 Spatial data structures
3.2 Relational Databases
3.3 Modeling spatial data
3.4 Spatial Analysis
3.5 Thematic cartography in a GIS environment

Assessment Methods

the report describing all the work developed within the project: 25.0%
Exam: 75.0%


Robinson, A. (1995) Elements of Cartography. John WIley & Sons. New York.

Longley, P., Goodchild, M., Maguire, D., Rhind, D., 2005, Geographic Information Systems and Science. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., Chichester, England.

Instituto Geográfico do Exército (2004) Manual de leitura de cartas.

Joaquim A. Gaspar (2000), Cartas e Projecções Cartográficas. Editora Lidel

Burrough, P., MacDonnell, R., 1998, Principles of Geographical Information Systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Monmonier, M., 1991, How to Lie with Maps. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago.