Geographic Information Systems

By Prof. Arun K. Saraf   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 2156
The proposed course provides detailed understanding about Geographic Information Systems and their applications in Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences. All aspects starting from data input to modelling would be discussed in this course. Further, in the proposed course various datasets including DEMs, their source, generation techniques, derivatives, errors and limitations would be discussed extensively. Surface Hydrologic Modelling using DEMs, modelling derivatives and their applications would also be discussed.

Under and post-graduate engineering, post graduate and doctoral students
PREREQUISITES : Current students of engineering, post graduate science students and PhD students should have basic knowledge of computers
INDUSTRIES  SUPPORT     : Geoinformatics companies, e.g NIIT, ESRI India, Leica Geoinformatics, MapmyIndia, ISRO, etc.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environment
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Enrollment Ends : 06 Feb 2023
Exam Registration Ends : 17 Mar 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: What is Geographic Information Systems?
      Essential components of GIS
      Different types of vector data
      Concept of topology
      Demonstration through GIS software
Week 2: Raster data model and comparisons with vector
      TIN data model and comparisons with raster
      Non-spatial data (attributes) and their types
      Vector Data Compression Techniques
       Demonstration through GIS software
Week 3: Raster Data Compression Techniques-01
      Raster Data Compression Techniques-02
      Pre- processing of spatial datasets-01
      Demonstration through GIS software
Week 4: Pre-processing of spatial datasets-02
      Pre-processing of spatial datasets-03
      Spatial Interpolation Techniques-01
      Spatial Interpolation Techniques-02
       GIS Analysis- 01
Week 5: GIS Analysis-02
       GIS Analysis-03
       GIS Analysis- 04
       GIS Analysis-05
        Demonstration through GIS software
Week 6: GIS Analysis-06
       GIS Analysis-07
       Attributes Classification Methods
       Spatial Database systems and their types-01
       Demonstration through GIS software
Week 7: Spatial Database systems and their types-02
      Concept of NoData in Raster
      Different map projections
      Concept of digital elevation model (DEM) and how it is represented
      Demonstration through GIS software
Week 8: Various techniques to generate digital elevation models-1
       Various techniques to generate digital elevation models-2
       Various techniques to generate digital elevation models-3
       Digital Elevation Models and different types of resolutions
        Demonstration through GIS software
Week 9: How to assess quality of a DEM
      Integration of DEMs with satellite data
      Common derivatives of DEMs - Slope and aspect-01
      Common derivatives of DEMs - Slope and aspect-02
       Demonstration through GIS software
Week 10: Common derivatives of DEMs - Slope and aspect-03
         DEMs derivatives-1
         DEMs derivatives-2
         DEMs derivatives-3
         DEMs derivatives-4
Week 11: Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) and its derivatives
        Shaded relief models and their applications
        DEM based Surface Hydrologic Modelling-1
        DEM based Surface Hydrologic Modelling-2
        DEMs and Dam Simulation and its application in groundwater hydrology
Week 12:DEMs Sources,limitations and future of Digital Elevation Models
       Applications of DEMs in Viewshed and Flood Hazard Mapping
       Applications of DEMs in solar and wind energy potential estimations
       Errors in GIS and key elements of maps
        Limitations and Rules of GIS

Books and references

1. For latest development in GIS – the best resource is Internet. There are many authentic sites e.g. various Universities / institutes, NASA, ESA, ISRO etc.
2. Learning Geospatial Analysis with Python: Understand GIS Fundamentals and Perform Remote Sensing Data Analysis Using Python 3.7, by Joel Lawhead 3rd Edition, 2019.
3. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems by Chang Kang-tsung (Karl), 2016.
4. An Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (4th Edition) by Ian Heywood, Sarah Cornelius and Steve Carver, 2012.

Instructor bio

Prof. Arun K. Saraf

IIT Roorkee
Dr. Arun K. Saraf is Ph. D. (Remote Sensing) from University of Dundee, United Kingdom. Presently he is working as Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and teaches courses on Remote Sensing, Digital Image Processing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Advanced GIS, Geomorphology, Geohydrology etc. to under- and post-graduate students of Geological Technology and Applied Geology. He was also Head of Department of Earth Sciences between Jan. 2012 Feb. 2015. He was first in the country to introduce GIS course to post-graduate students in the year 1990. In 1986, he was awarded National Fellowship to Study Abroad by Govt. of India for his doctoral degree. Further, in 1993 he was awarded Indo-US S&T Fellowship and worked in Goddard Space Flight Centre, NASA, USA for Post-Doctoral Research. He has been also awarded National Remote Sensing Award- 2001 by Indian Society of Remote Sensing and GIS Professional of the Year Award-2001 by Map India 2002 for his outstanding research contributions in the fields of Remote Sensing and GIS. Earlier, he has also been given several Khosla Research Awards and Prizes by then University of Roorkee. So far Prof. Saraf has published more than 100 research papers in journals of repute (ISI) and supervised 11 Ph.Ds. He was also Associate Editor of International Journal of Remote Sensing during 2003-2015. Through funding from DST, Min. of Earth Sciences, CSIR, Prof. Saraf has been able to establish and operating NOAA-HRPT Satellite Earth Station at IITR since Oct. 2002, first in any educational institute in the country. This Earth Station is still operational and acquiring data from NOAA-18 & 19 day-and-night. In recent past, Prof. Saraf has also recorded four courses viz. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Introduction to Remote Sensing, Digital Image Processing of Satellite Data, Digital Elevation Models and Applications and Global Navigation Satellite Systems under the NPTEL scheme.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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