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Anno accademico 2020/2021

Codice attività didattica
Giacomo Pettenati (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Corso di studio
Master's Degree Course in Area and global studies for international cooperation
1° anno, 2° anno, 3° anno
Secondo semestre
Altre attività
SSD attività didattica
NN/00 - nessun settore scientifico
Tipologia esame
Scritto ed orale
Base IC knowledge might be useful, notably about spreadsheets management softwares (e.g. Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc).
Due to the COVID-19 safety measures, most of the classes (maybe all of them) will be provided through on-line teaching.
Therefore, students have to be able access to a computer and to be able to download and install the QGIS 3.10 (Quantum GIS) software.
The link for the download is:

Sommario del corso



Accesso ai materiali didattici e delle comunicazioni relative agli insegnamenti 2020-2021 Cancellazione iscritti ai corsi sulla piattaforma del Dipartimento

Obiettivi formativi

The course is intended to provide theoretical and operational tools for territorial analysis, based on Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Specifically, the learning objectives are: 

a) to provide students with technical knowledge about the use of GIS software (open source software Quantum Gis - Qgis)

b) to provide students with theoretical tools about maps and their role in representing and influencing territorial relations; 

c) to provide students with critical tools, useful to understand and evaluate the role of GIS in territorial analysis applied to international cooperation projects. 


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

At the end of the course, students are expected to have acquired complex knowledge and skills, concerning the production and use of maps, as a tool for territorial analysis and planning. These knowledge and skills are articulated in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

Students will be expected to: 

- know the main methods of territorial analysis, especially in the context of international cooperation and development projects;
- know the principles and theories of cartography, with special attention to the power of maps and the role of critical cartography;
- know and evaluate the main participatory mapping methodologies;
- critically evaluate the complex role that the territorial analysis and representation through the use of GIS can play in the design of territorial development (critical GIS).


Applying knowledge and understanding

Students will be expected to be able to apply the knowledge acquired during the course, in particular regarding:
- the ability to structure and implement territorial analysis methodologies applied to development projects
- the use of the basic functions of the QGis software
- the representation of spatial information through the production of maps
- the ability to imagine and project participatory mapping processes and activities.


Making judgements

The course will provide students with the tools necessary to evaluate critically the use of digital mapping tools (GIS) in the context of international cooperation and development projects.



Students will be expected to be able to produce meaningful cartographic representations and critically analyze their role in cooperation projects.



The course program is divided into a theoretical and a practical/applicative part.

The theoretical part aims at providing students with the conceptual tools necessary to achieve the learning objectives of the course and is divided into the following contents:
1. Methods and techniques of territorial analysis
2. Elements of cartography
3. The power of maps: cartographic representations, society, power.
4. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as tools for spatial and territorial analysis
5. Use of GIS in the context of international development cooperation and emergency management.
6. The Critical GIS as an aware approach to the use of GIS
7. GIS and Participatory Mapping.

 The practical / applicative part of the course has the main objective of providing students with knowledge and tools they need to use the open source software Qgis, notably in connection with its application in territorial analysis activities supporting cooperation and development projects.
Specifically, students will be provided with knowledge and skills related to:
- Data and data sources in GIS
- Geographic and cartographic reference systems
- The cartographic representation of the data: shapefile and raster
- Georeferencing 
- Spatial analysis tools and geoprocessing.
- The QGis plugins.

Due to the Covid-19 related preventive measures currently in force, lectures will be provided using on-line teaching tools (the Webex link will be communicated on the Moodle platform).




Modalità di insegnamento

The 36 hours of the course will be divided into lectures and laboratory activities (both with online-teaching tools, until new instructions from Unito and Italian Government).

The lectures (15 hours) will address different issues related to the role of cartography in territorial analysis and in cooperation and development projects, also with the intervention of invited external experts.

The laboratory activities include:

- Guided use of QGIS (introduction to the main tools, creation of simple maps)

- Individual activities of design and creation of a mapping project. 

Given the workshop nature of the course, attendance is mandatory (at least 85% of the total hours, except for exceptional and motivated cases).






Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Students will be evaluated on the basis of the individual exercise (territorial analysis using QGis) that will be carried out during the course and presented to the oral exam.
The exercises will be presented by each student during the last week of the course.
The evaluations will take into account:
a. the quality and the relevance of the data collection and organization methodology
b. the effectiveness and relevance of the mapping maps supplied
c. the ability to motivate choices.



Attività di supporto




Testi consigliati e bibliografia

The syllabus of the course incudes journal articles and other materials that will be provided at the beginning of the class. 

The application part will be based on the user manual of the QGis software (version 2.18), which can be downloaded at the website:



-      Dunn, C. E., Atkins, P. J., & Townsend, J. G. (1997). GIS for development: a contradiction in terms?. Area29(2), 151-159.

-      Dunn, C. E., Atkins, P. J., Blakemore, M. J., & Townsend, J. G. (1999). Teaching Geographical Information Handling Skills for Lower‐income Countries. Transactions in GIS3(4), 319-332.

-      Dunn, C. E. (2007). Participatory GIS-a people's GIS?.Progress in human geography31(5), 616-637.

-      Elwood, S. (2010). Thinking outside the box: engaging critical geographic information systems theory, practice and politics in human geography. Geography Compass4(1), 45-60

-      Heeks, R. (2002). Information systems and developing countries: Failure, success, and local improvisations. The information society18(2), 101-112.

-      Goodchild, M. F. (2007). Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography. GeoJournal,69(4), 211-221.

-      Keller, A. (2009). GIS e Cooperazione. GEOmedia13(5).

-      Mohamed, M., & Plante, R. (2002). Remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) for developing countries. In Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 2002. IGARSS'02. 2002 IEEE International(Vol. 4, pp. 2285-2287).

-      O'Sullivan, D. (2006). Geographical information science: critical GIS. Progress in Human Geography30(6), 783-791.

-      Ramasubramanian, L. (1999). GIS implementation in developing countries: learning from organisational theory and reflective practice. Transactions in GIS3(4), 359-380.

-      Thatcher, J., Bergmann, L., Ricker, B., Rose-Redwood, R., O'Sullivan, D., Barnes, T. J., ... & Dalton, C. M. (2016). Revisiting critical GIS. Environment and Planning A48(5), 815-824.







The laboratory is open to a maximum of 40 students.

Every student must register the attendance to the course on the Moodle page, where materials will be uploaded:

In order to attend the course, students have to be able access to a computer and to be able to download and install the QGIS 3.10 (Quantum GIS) software.
The link for the download is:


Ultimo aggiornamento: 18/08/2020 11:52
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