Introduction to GIS

Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is increasingly in demand across a wide range of industries. This course will primarily be based around QGIS (also known as Quantum GIS), which provides a user-friendly, open source, free alternative to commercial GIS software packages, and it is becoming increasingly used in both academic and commercial settings.

As a result, it is aimed at both those with no GIS experience, but wish to learn GIS with QGIS, as well as to those who are familiar with using commercial GIS software, such as ArcGIS, but who wish to learn how to use QGIS as an alternative. However, this course is taught using software-independent approach, and is also useful for those who wish to learn how to use ArcGIS to apply to biological settings.

The practical exercises on this course will be based on those in the recently published GIS For Biologists: A Practical Introduction For Undergraduates by Dr MacLeod. A free copy of the book will be provided to all participants.


To introduce GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for students in a wide variety of biological research situations, including marine mammal research.

Anticipated Outcome

Students will learn the basics of GIS both from a theoretic and practical point of view and will learn how to apply it in their own research.


Rebecca Boys

Christian Passarello

Location and Time

NH Hotel via XX Settembre 2, 19124 La Spezia


Workshop will start 9AM and end 5 PM