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AG2425 Spatial Databases 7.5 credits

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are being used in a wide variety of applications. A key component of any GIS application is the underlying spatial database which must be designed to support efficient data storage, access and analysis operations.This course focuses on the design and development of spatial databases. Particular emphasis will be placed on the use of data modeling techniques to design a GIS database for a specific application. Students will work in small groups to develop a conceptual design for a GIS database and will then work individually to build a spatial database using digital data available through digital library as well as data digitized from existing maps, imagery and field data collected using GPS. The resulting database will be used to perform some basic spatial analysis.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus AG2425 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

  • Logical geographic data models for spatial databases, including vector and raster model
  • Physical data storage, data access methods, query processing and optimization
  • Design conceptual data models for spatial databases using a ER diagram approach
  • Process and retrieve geographic data from spatial databases using OGIS/SQL1999 interface and other specific interface (SDK) from database vendors
  • Optimize spatial database by applying spatial indexing technologies, pyramid structure, data compressing, etc
  • Basic operations of the Oracle Spatial databases and PostGIS/PostgreSQL open-source spatial database
  • Introduction to modern commercial and open-source (free) spatial databases products, e.g. Oracle 10g Spatial, ArcSDE 9.x, PostGIS 1.3/PostgreSQL 8.2, etc.
  • Advances and trends in spatial databases: network data model, spatio-temporal data model, spatial data mining, etc
  • Guest lectures on applications of spatial databases 

Intended learning outcomes

The goals of this course are to enable students to develop a good understanding of the principles and techniques of relational database design as they apply to spatial databases; apply these principles and techniques in designing and building spatial databases; and use spatial databases to perform common types of queries and spatial analysis.

Course disposition

Lectures 20h
Laboration 40h
Written exam

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

For admitted students to the Master of Science in Civil Engineering and Urban Management (CSAMH) or the Master of Science in Transport and Geoinformation Technology (TTGTM):
AG2412 Geovisualisation or an equivalent course.

For other students:

  • A completed bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, urban planning, geomatics, geography, engineering physics, computer science, statistics, economics, and/or mathematics, including at least 3 university credits (hp) in each of the following or their equivalents: Programming, Linear Algebra, Calculus in One Variable, and Probability & Statistics
  • Documented proficiency in English corresponding to English B; and
  • AG2412 Geovisualisation or equivalent course.

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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Kurslitteraturen kommer att publiceras på kursens hemsida senast fyra veckor före kursstart.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • LAB2 - Laboratory Work, 3.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN2 - Written examination, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Written examination (TEN2; 3,0 cr)
Project Work (PRO1; 1,5 cr)
Laboratory Work (LAB2; 3,0 cr)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

When supplementing, bonus points collected at previous courses do not apply

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

With explicit e-mail request to and approval from examiner no later than 1 month before exam. In the case of approved grade, bonus points accumulated at previous courses do not apply. 


Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AG2425

Offered by

Main field of study

This course does not belong to any Main field of study.

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Gyözö Gidofalvi, Tel. 08-7907341,