Introduction to Geographic Information
Systems and Spatial Analysis
Dr. Zhanli “Jerry” Sun (firstname.lastname@example.org) *
PD Dr. Daniel Müller (email@example.com)
Dr. Florian Schierhorn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brett Hankerson (email@example.com)
Kristin Leimer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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)
* Address for email correspondence
Geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial data analysis are increasingly common in agricultural economics and related fields. This course introduces the basic concepts, methods, and software tools for the acquisition, manipulation, visualization, exploration, and analysis of spatial data. The ultimate aim of the course of to make students interested in spatial data analysis and to raise awareness of the potentials and pitfalls in spatial data analysis. We will provide a mix of lectures addressing basic theoretical knowledge of GIS and spatial data analysis, presentations with applications of spatial data analysis, and practical hands-on exercises using mainly QGIS (open source software) and GeoDa. During the course, we will also exemplify applications that touch upon various disciplines, such as environmental monitoring, natural resource management, rural development, and agricultural economics. Students are encouraged to use their own data sets for the exercises and homework.
Note that this course is *NOT* a software training class. Rather, the focus of the course is on the theoretical aspects, key concepts, spatial methodologies and potential applications of spatial data analysis.
An interest in quantitative data analysis; basic knowledge of statistics is an asset. Please carefully read the syllabus below when considering the registration of this course.
Tentative Course Syllabus
Topic 1: GIS concepts
- What is GIS?
- Why GIS: applications, examples Introduction to map projections.
Topic 2: GIS software
- Software platforms comparison
- Introduction to QGIS
- Exercise: QGIS tutorial
Topic 3: Introduction to GIS data
- GIS data models: Vector, raster
- GIS data manipulations: Import/export, data conversion
- Joining, attributes query
- Spatial query, buffer, overlay etc.
- Exercise: Spatial data manipulation
Topic 4: Thematic mapping and spatial analysis
- Basic concepts of cartography and mapping
- Thematic mapping: Elements of a map
- How to creating a good map (with QGIS)
- Exercise: Mapping exercise
Topic 5: Raster data analysis
- Map algebra and raster calculator
- Digital elevation data: slope, shade
- Cost-distance calculation
- Suitability analysis
- Exercise: Raster analysis exercise
Topic 6: Spatial statistics and spatial econometrics
- Spatial interpolation
- Exploratory spatial data analysis
- Spatial regression analysis
- Spatial panel data model
- Exercise: Spatial statistical analysis
Teaching methods: Lectures (~50%), practical exercises (~50%)
Credit points: 3
Grading (to earn the 3 credit points):
- 20% active participation
- 30% exercises
- 50% homework exercise. 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.
Necessary course materials:
No designated textbook. Handouts will be made available during the class.
Software: QGIS, GeoDa
Capacity of the course: 15 participants
Organization and time:
The course is organized as a one-week block module with 5 full days from 9 am to 5 pm. The course starts at 09:30 a.m. on Monday; ends at 2 pm on Friday.
Location: IAMO, Halle (Saale), Conference Room 2