Earlier versions of this training module has been developed within the context of UNIGIS Girona MSc, as well as other on site courses organized by the SIGTE - University of Girona.

Author: SIGTE - University of Girona, CC-BY-NC-ND.


"A geographic information system (GIS) is a system used to describe and characterize the earth and other geographies for the purpose of visualizing and analyzing spatially referenced information. This work is primarily performed using maps. The purpose of GIS is to create, share, and apply useful map-based information products that support the work of organizations as well as to create and manage the supporting geographic information (ESRI Inc., 2015)."

This training module will cover the very basics of Geographic Information System, and will provide to newcomers the fundamental knowledge about the nature and use of a GIS for a better management of our cities and landscapes.

The main objective of the training module is to provide a gentle and clear definition about what is a GIS, which are the key components of a GIS, which are the inputs of the system, and how important it is the role that geodata plays in the whole system.

The training module is also intended to introduce learners to the potential applications of a GIS through several real case examples.

Last but not least, the training module wants to introduce learners to the existence and use of free and open source software for Geospatial: Free GIS.


The training module consists of 5 main modules or topics:

Part 1: What's a GIS?

Part 2: Main GIS functionalities

Part 3: Basic concepts in GIS

Part 4: Real case applications of a GIS

Part 5: Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial

Learning outcomes

When completing this module, the learner is expected to know and understand the fundamental basics of a GIS and will be able to distinguish between a complete GIS system and other kinds of systems and/or standalone software to deal with geographic data.

The learner will also be able to identify real and potential applications of a GIS.

Finally, the learner will be able to distinguish between privative and free software for GIS or geospatial.

Intended Audience

Managers, Planners and Newcomers to GIS, Geospatial Technologies and Geospatial Data.

No previous knowledge is required.
Spanish, English.
PDF documents, presentations, webinars. This training module is a self-learning module.
Expected workload
6 hours