Semester Offering: August

Natural resources monitoring, planning and management requires the use of location specific geographic data. Geospatial tools and techniques, Remote Sensing (RS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and spatial modeling are widely used to observe, quantify and analyze the issues related to natural resources resulting from various human-environment processes at multiple geographic scales. The objective of the course is to provide the students the concepts of geographic data/information, concepts and principle of remotes sensing, GIS, and GPS.


The students on completion of this course will be able to:
  1. Differentiate geographic data representation and map projection
  2. Compare various type of geospatial data and data generation techniques
  3. Distinguish the principles, advantages and disadvantages of remote sensing, GIS, and GPS
  4. Identify quality data for use in natural resources management
  5. Determine and use geospatial techniques in solving the issues related to natural resources management




I.          Introduction to Geospatial data
1.     Data and Information
2.     Concept of measurements, spatial sampling, and errors
3.     Classification of spatial data

II.         Geographic data representation and Map projection
1.     Spatial primitives and measurement levels
2.     Map projection types
3.     Data and methods of natural resources assessment 

III.       Remote Sensing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for Natural Resources monitoring
1.     Principle
2.     Types
3.     Scale and Resolution
4.     Image interpretation and classification
5.     Principle of GPS

IV.       Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Natural Resources planning and management
1.     Introduction – Map vs GIS
2.     GIS Data structure, data input and field survey
3.     Database management

V.       Geographic data Quality
1.     Data Quality and Accuracy
2.     Data integration
3.     Data standardization and sharing

VI.      Spatial Analysis and modeling
1.     Geometric operation
2.     Spatial statistics and spatial analysis
3.     Spatial modeling

VII.     Case studies
1.     Land evaluation (forestry, agriculture)
2.     Habitat mapping and modeling
3.     Land use/cover options and climate adaptation
4.     Land degradation mapping


1.     Introduction to computer facilities, hardware, software, natural resources data
2.     Basic functions of ArcMap GIS
3.     Working with tables
4.     Query and logical operators
5.     Geoprocessing /overlay
6.     GPS data collection, interpolation
7.     Remote sensing - Image display/enhancement of remote sensing data (ENVI software)
8.     Visual techniques of image interpretation
9.     Digital technique of feature extraction and classification
10.   Accuracy assessment
11.   Student project on natural resources assessment and planning
12.   Map output
13.   Student project (contd.)
14.   Student project (contd.)
15.   Presentation of output


No designated textbook, but class notes will be provided.


1.     Horning, N., J.A. Robinson, E.J. Sterling, W. Turner and S. Spector, 2010. Remote Sensing for Ecology and Conservation, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
2.     Wilkie, D.S. and J.T. Finn, 1996. Remote Sensing Imagery for Natural Resources Monitoring : A Guide for First-time Users, Columbia University Press, New York.
3.     Lo, C.P. and A.K.W., Yeung, 2007. Concepts and Techniques of Geographic Information Systems, Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
4.     DeMers, M.N., 2009. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems, Fourth edition, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.


1.     ISPRS International Journal of Geoinformation [MDPI open access publishing]
2.     Remote Sensing [MDPI open access publishing]
3.     Geocarto International [Taylor & Francis]
4.     International Journal of Geographical Science [Taylor & Francis]
5.     Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing [America Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing]

Others:  Relevant and selected articles will be distributed.


Lecture: 30 hrs
Laboratory: 45 hrs
Presentation: 4 hrs
Other self-studies and field observation: 50 hrs


Lectures; Interactive classroom discussions; Weekly laboratory hands-on sessions to practice the techniques; daylong field visit; Group assignment to conduct real case study on application of geospatial techniques and presentation of the case study.


Both midsem and final exam are closed book exams carrying 30% weight each. The group assignment, presentation and participation carry 20%, 10%, and 10% respectively.

Grade “A” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate thorough knowledge and mastery of concepts and techniques and understanding of subject matter with high degree of skill to relate with them real world examples. Grade “B” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate good knowledge and mastery of concepts and understanding of subject matter with good skill of relating them with real work cases. Grade “C” will be awarded if a student can demonstrate some knowledge of the concepts and understanding but lacks skill of relating them with real world cases. Grade “D” will be awarded if a student has poor understanding of concepts and techniques with no or little skill to relate with real world cases. Grade “F” will be awarded if student demonstrates very poor and limited knowledge and understanding of concepts and lacks the skill to relate with real world cases.