Version 1.1 GIS Syllabus

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1 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS CERTIFICATION Version 1.1 GIS Syllabus Endorsed 1

2 Version 1 January 2007 GIS Certification Programme 1. Target The GIS certification is aimed at: Those who wish to demonstrate a robust knowledge of basic principles governing GI techniques and their basic use through a specific software. Those who wish to have evidence that GIS users have certified basic skills. In the Italian situation certification is aimed at: those who wish to have officially recognised national and international certification of their skills in GIS in general and basic skills in the use of a specific software system; schools and study programmes that want to provide an additional professional and technical skill and a recognised professional qualification which can help job-seekers. public bodies and agencies that require an objective certification of the basic knowledge and practical skills of their employees working, at different levels (with different qualifications) and on different tasks, with GIS and spatial data. Private companies working in a range of sectors from GIS to IT networks, etc., that intend to employ people based on an objective evaluation of their knowledge. 2

3 2. Syllabus Module 1: Cartography The following is the syllabus for Module 1 of the GIS certification and provides the basis for the theory test in this module domain. Module goals Module 1 tests the candidate s knowledge of cartography starting with the basics of geodesy which are required in order to use data in a GIS. The candidate must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the most common reference systems, coordinate systems and cartographic projection systems. The candidate shall have a basic knowledge of map characteristics, map operations and on how real world objects can be represented. The candidate shall also be able to demonstrate knowledge of both digital and non-digital map typologies, in order to use them appropriately both outside and inside a GIS. The items with (*) suggest that they can be localized for each country. CATEGORY KNOWLEDGE AREA REF. KNOWLEDGE ITEM 1.1 General concepts 1.2 Classification of cartographic representations The shape of the Earth, physical and reference surfaces Reference systems and datums Coordinates on a curved and planar surface Classification by type of geometric distorsion Classification by scale Know the shapes by which the Earth is approximated and the relative key dimensions Know what is meant by topographic surface, geoid surface, ellipsoid surface and local spheroid Know what geodetic and vertical datums are Know the fundamental aspects of a geodetic reference system (rotational ellipsoid, survey reference point, deviation from the vertical) Know the fundamental aspects of a vertical reference system, understand orthometric height and ellipsoidal height Understand the meaning of latitude, longitude and height above sea level Understand the fundamental aspects and differences between the different coordinates on a curved surface (spherical, ellipsoidal, geoidal, astronomical and geocentric coordinates) Understand what equivalent (equal area), conformal and equidistant maps are Know what very large, large, medium, small and very small scale is. 3

4 CATEGORY KNOWLEDGE AREA REF. KNOWLEDGE ITEM 1.3 International, European and National cartography Classification by projection type Classification by source Classification by content (*) Know, with reference to the scale what technical, topographic, chorographic (intermediate-scale) geographical and cadastral maps are Understand the differences between perspective and conic, cylindrical and azimuthal projections Know the main kinds of projection systems Know what surveyed and derived maps are Understand the concept of cartographic generalisation Understand the difference between base and thematic maps Know how to distinguish the information content between a base and a thematic map Classification by use Understand the difference between a map, a plan and a chart, and distinguish the respective uses of each International cartography European cartography National cartography (*) Understand the key aspects of the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system Understand the key aspects of the WGS84 system Understand the key aspects of ETRF89 (Terrestrial Reference Frame 1989) Understand the key aspects of the UTM ED50 reference system (ellipsoid and orientation) Know the national cartographic bodies Understand the key aspects of cadastral cartography (ellipsoid, orientation, Cassini- Soldner and Gauss-Boaga reference systems, ground control points) and map tiling Know the key aspects of the Roma40 Gauss- Boaga reference system (ellipsoid, orientation, Conformal Gauss cartographic parameters, ground control points) and map tiling Know the key aspects of the UTM ED50 Italian cartography (reference system: ellipsoid, orientation, cartographic coordinates and map tiling) Understand what is meant by the IGM95 network. 4

5 CATEGORY KNOWLEDGE AREA REF. KNOWLEDGE ITEM Cartographic coordinate transformation and conversion Measurement and positional elements, elevation points, contour lines Know what is meant by Regional Technical Map (Carta Tecnica Regionale - CTR) Know the term Coordinate Conversion Know the term Coordinate Transformation Know how to measure lengths and areas at different scales Know how to represent height (elevation points and contours). 1.4 Data quality Basic aspects Understand the terms completeness, logical consistency, positional accuracy, temporal accuracy, thematic accuracy and lineage. 1.5 Digital Elevation Models 1.6 Global Positioning System (GPS) Metadata for cartographic data Digital Elevation Models Global Positioning System (GPS) Know what metadata is and what the main contents should be Know the main metadata standard for GI Know what a Digital Elevation Model is and how it can be generated Know the basic operating principles of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and its use in GIS. 5

6 Module 2: GIS The following is the syllabus for Module 2 of the GIS certification and provides the basis for the theory and/or practical test in this module domain. Module goals Module 2 aims to test the candidate s knowledge of GIS components, data models for the appropriate representation of real world objects in a GIS, the concept of topology, and spatial analysis applied to both raster and vector data which describe both continuous fields and discrete real world entities. CATEGORY KNOWLEDGE AREA REF. KNOWLEDGE ITEM 2.1 Introduction to GIS Basic concepts Understand the term and concept of GIS Devices and file types specific of GIS GIS data and data sources Understand the difference between GIS and Information Systems in general Know the principal GIS application areas Understand and distinguish between the components of a GIS Understand the principal functions of a GIS Know the specific input devices used with GIS and the relevant technical characteristics that differentiate them (where applicable depending on the device: resolution, precision, colour range connector, management and use) Recognise the most common GIS file types and whether they are vector or raster format Distinguish the different types of data used in a GIS Identify the main data sources that can be used in GIS, such as: remotely sensed data, cadastral, paper and digital maps, socioeconomic data Understand the concept of spatial data Identify the different types of attributes (such as nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio) Know the main geographical data formats (such as coverage, geodatabase, shapefile, grid, dxf, dwg, geotiff, GML) Scale in GIS Understand the concept of scale in GIS Georeferencing Understand the concept of georeferencing Know how raster data can be georeferenced Know the function of a raster georeferencing file (World File). 6

7 CATEGORY KNOWLEDGE AREA REF. KNOWLEDGE ITEM 2.2 Data Models Modelling of the Real World Continuous and discrete modelling of the real world Know what a data model is Understand the process of creating a data model Understand the idea of conceptual, logical and physical models Understand the representation of the real world via a vector model Understand the representation of the real world via a raster model Topology Understand the concept of topology Understand the concepts of adjacency, connectivity and area (containment) Know how to differentiate between spaghetti (or CAD) vector data and topological vector data Understand the topological relationships of raster data ( essentially based on the concept of adjacency/nearness). 2.3 DBMS DBMS and GIS Know what a DBMS is Understand the logical structure of a DBMS within GIS Understand the principal operations to be carried out on data in a DBMS (selection, insertion, updating, deletion). 2.4 Data analysis Spatial Analysis Understand the main kinds of raster spatial analysis Attributes based analysis Understand the main kinds of single layer vector spatial analysis Understand the main kinds of multi-layer vector spatial analysis Know and differentiate the procedures for distance and area calculations in a vector and raster data modelling Understand how to choose objects based on their attributes Understand the use of relationships and links between tables Understand the key elements of statistics, such as, average, standard deviation, least squares, mean square deviation. 7

8 CATEGORY KNOWLEDGE AREA REF. KNOWLEDGE ITEM Distinguish between the main classification methods (such as quantile, standard deviation, natural breaks). 2.5 Thematic mapping Thematic representation Define the term thematic map List the key elements of a thematic map Distinguish between different types of thematic maps (such as choropleth, isopleth, proportional symbols, dot density) Understand the terms quantitative and qualitative maps. 8

9 Module 3: Use of a GIS software The following is the syllabus for Module 3 of the GIS certification and provides the basis for the practical test. Module aims Module 3 aims to check the candidate s knowledge in the use of specific GIS software which could be, in this phase, from ESRI and Intergraph. The themes and topics are independent of the actual software package and the specific software is used to test the skills of the candidate in GIS functionality common to all GIS software packages. CATEGORY SKILL SET REF. TASK ITEM 3.1 General concepts 3.2 GIS Data and attributes First steps with a GIS application Launch, close a GIS application Load vector and raster data in the GIS application Save a session Use the online help of the GIS application Modify the settings Display, hide the tool bars Use the zoom and pan tools Modify the data representation scale Modify the reference system Layer management Move between different layers Vector and raster data Attribute management Activate, disactivate a layer Change layer names Modify the visualisation properties of vector and raster data Open and close an attribute table Insert, remove a column from an attribute table Change an attribute value Define the values of a new attribute column via arithmetic operations on numerical values Define the values of a new attribute column via logical operations on attribute columns Use statistical functions on attributes Show statistical values on a graph Data operations Modify and create an object Create a new dataset from video digitizing on a raster base map. 9

10 CATEGORY SKILL SET REF. TASK ITEM 3.3 Data analysis Query and choose data 3.4 Thematic maps 3.5 Report preparation Calculate the area and the perimeter of a polygon Set the measurement units and find the distance between two objects Add attributes to a newly created data set Carry out a union between two tables Link two tables Identify, find and choose objects interactively Find objects via attributes Create a data subset Identify, find and choose objects via a query Create a new layer with objects chosen via a query Spatial data analysis Apply a buffer function Thematic data classification Thematic data Representaion Design of a thematic map Prepare data for printing Apply an overlay function Classify data using constant interval and standard deviation methods Classify data using the quantile method Classify data using the natural breaks method Represent the themes via dot density Represent the themes via graduated symbols Represent the themes via graduated colours Modify the colours, the texture, the layout and features of a thematic map Insert, modify and remove labels from a thematic map Set and modify the print layout properties (such as margins, page size) Create personalized symbols Modify layout components such as map, legend, scale, title, orientation Export the layout in different formats (such as jpeg, tiff, pdf). 10

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