Logo Doctoral Certificate Program in Agricultural Economics Deutsch
Course of Study

Module 4100
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Analysis


Dr. Zhanli "Jerry" Sun (sun@iamo.de)

PD Dr. Daniel Müller

Friedrich Koch, Brett Hankerson, Florian Schierhorn

Department for Structural Development of Farms and Rural Areas
Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO)
Theodor-Lieser-Str.2, 06120 Halle (Saale)
Tel.: +49 345 2928 331

Course Description

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a powerful computer-based tool for storing, visualizing, and analyzing spatial information together with non-spatial data. The main objective of this course is to introduce participants to basic concepts and methods of GIS and spatial data analysis. We will exemplify applications that touch upon various disciplines such environmental monitoring, natural resource management, rural development, and agricultural economics. The course will further introduce students to map-making, spatial statistics, and spatial modeling. To accomplish these goals, we will provide a mix of lectures addressing the basic theoretical knowledge of GIS and spatial data analysis, presentations from external speakers with applications of spatial data analysis, and practical hands-on exercises using ESRI ArcGIS and other spatial software. Students are encouraged to use their own data sets for the exercises and homework.

This course is *NOT* a training class of software, i.e., ArcGIS, but the focus of the course is rather on the theoretical aspects, key concepts, spatial methodologies and potential applications of spatial data analysis. Students will however use ArcGIS for many of the exercises.

Course Outline - Topics

Day 1: Introduction to GIS

Exercise 1: ArcGIS tutorial of basic functions

Day 2: Introduction to GIS Data (Vector, Raster)

Exercise 2: Creating, editing and managing spatial data using ArcGIS

Day 3: Thematic mapping and spatial analysis

Exercise 3: Spatial analysis and preparation of a thematic map

Day 4: Geostatistics and spatial econometrics

Exercise 4: Spatial statistical analysis

Day 5: Application examples and wrap-up

Exercise 5: Introduction of take-home project

Teaching methods

Lectures (~40%), practical exercises (~40%), external presentations (~20%)


20% active participation,30% exercises, 50% homework.
Participants shall write a short report containing thematic maps based on the results of the spatial data analysis. Participants are encouraged to use their own data and do spatial analysis using GIS as a tool to support their research.

Credit points: 3

Necessary course materials

No designated textbook. Handouts will be made available during the class.

Software: ArcGIS 10, MS Office, GeoDa

Organization and time

The course is organized as a one-week (5 full days, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) block modules mixed with seminars from external speakers. The course starts Monday at 09:30 a.m.

Language: English

Location: At the facilities of IAMO, Halle (Saale), Conference Room 2