Taught by a diverse team of multidisciplinary faculty, this course is structured around a workshop-based format that emphasises case studies and active hands-on learning. It provides an opportunity for early career researchers to gain practical, hands-on experience with spatial data, tools and techniques. In this course, participants will gain an introductory understanding of various concepts related to Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing, while working with spatial data, open-source tools and services. During the course, participants will have the opportunity to delve into various key questions related to geospatial data and technology like:

  • What is “Spatial Thinking” and why is it important?

  • What is GIS and Remote Sensing, and how are they used in research and decision-making?

  • How can GIS and Remote Sensing be applied to specific research projects or questions?

  • How can one get started with working with spatial data, including data collection, storage, and analysis?

  • What are some of the techniques and tools that can be used to create maps and other visualizations from geospatial data?


Who this is for:

  • Young researchers working in academia or in the social sector
  • PhD scholars and Master’s students who would like to develop GIS skills
  • Practitioners employed in the government, NGOs or private sector, working broadly in the areas of urbanisation, sustainable development or public policy


This course will enable participants to:

  • Convert conventional tabular data into spatial data, facilitating effective analysis and visualisation
  • Create maps using openly available and self-created data, allowing them to communicate research findings effectively
  • Appreciate the importance of spatial concepts in academic research, and be equipped to use these concepts in their work
  • Utilise a variety of open-source GIS tools and services, which will offer a range of options for data analysis and visualisation
  • Identify spatial solutions to real-world problems, demonstrating the application of geospatial data and technology to practical challenges
  • Interpret spatial data and maps to extract meaningful insights, allowing for more useful research conclusions to be drawn

Amruth Kiran

Amruth is an ardent technology enthusiast with diverse interests that include Big Earth Observation (EO) data, cloud computing, UI/UX development, spatial data management, and integrating computer science with remote sensing and GIS. Currently, he is part of the faculty that teaches GIS and Survey Design in the IIHS Urban Fellows Programme, covering both foundational and advanced coursework. In the past, Amruth has worked at the Institute of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology in Bengaluru, where he developed mobile applications in the field of GIS and primary healthcare. Amruth has a Master’s degree in Remote Sensing and GIS, with a specialization in Geoinformatics, from the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing in Dehradun.



Dhananjayan Mayavel

Dhananjayan has nearly ten years of professional experience on projects such as Monitoring Global Urban Expansion, Land Use/Land Cover Classification, and Geographic Information System (GIS) based slum inventory mapping. He provides Geospatial analysis support to Research and Practice projects and is part of the teaching team that conducts GIS courses for the Urban Practitioners Programme and the Urban Fellows Programme at IIHS. Dhananjayan holds a Master’s in Remote Sensing from Anna University, Chennai.



Kiran Mathramkot Chandrasekharan

Kiran is a remote sensing researcher and analyst with more than two decades of experience in the application of geospatial technologies in environmental conservation and agriculture management. He had taken the lead in remote sensing-based spatial analysis for a range of interdisciplinary studies including assessing the trends and patterns in natural and agricultural landscapes, land suitability analysis and resource use of marginalised communities at multiple spatial scales.  In the past, he worked with International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore. Kiran has been involved in teaching GIS and remote sensing to PhD and postgraduate students and professionals.



Lokesh Bagepalli Subramanyam

At IIHS, Lokesh is involved in constructing the GeoData Library of India while simultaneously providing assistance to various research and practical Geospatial dataset-related projects. With over a decade of professional experience in GIS and data creation, he has contributed to the teaching team, offering courses on Maps, Google Earth, and QGIS to the Urban Practitioners Programme and the Urban Fellows Programme at IIHS. In the past, Lokesh has undertaken the development of Geodatabases for buildings, transportation networks, land use classes, and natural resources for multiple cities in India, China, North America, and Saudi Arabia, using LiDAR dataset, Orthophotos, DEMs, and satellite images.

Programme Structure

  • Delivered through a combination of online lectures, hands-on application and case studies
  • Building concepts of GIS, and map-making using open-source tools and services


Key Differentiators

  • Extensive use of real research cases and experiences
  • Concepts, discussions, examples, and methods rooted in the Indian context
  • Hands-on activities to enable immediate application


Hardware and Software Prerequisites

  • Computer with at least 4GB of memory (RAM) and upwards of Intel i5 generation of CPUs and/or AMD equivalent. Tablets/ touch screens will not be suitable
  • Windows 8 and above, MacOS High Sierra (10.13) and above, any Linux flavour with latest updates

Week 1

Friday, 23 June 2023
02:00 pm – 03:30 pmSpatial Thinking and Intro to GIS and Remote Sensing
04:00 pm – 05:30 pmWorking with Open GIS Platforms
05:30 pm – 06:00 pmQ & A Session
Saturday, 24 June 2023
02:00 pm – 03:30 pmIntro to QGIS and Map Making
04:00 pm – 05:30 pm
  • QGIS Atlas Creation: Generating Dynamic Map Series
  • Working with Open Street Maps (OSM)
05:30 pm – 06:00 pmQ & A Session


Week 2

Friday, 30 June 2023
02:00 pm – 03:30 pmVector Operations in QGIS
04:00 pm – 05:30 pmSummary Statistics in QGIS
05:30 pm – 06:00 pmQ & A Session
Saturday, 1 July 2023
02:00 pm – 03:30 pmData Creation in QGIS
04:00 pm – 05:30 pmWorking with Raster Data in QGIS
05:30 pm – 06:00 pmQ & A Session


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