GIS_Update Courses

Acquire new skills and stay up to date! Choose from a set of online courses in the geospatial domain that are offered by the University of Salzburg, Department of Geoinformatics. GIS_Update courses are instructor-led courses that are tailored to the needs of working professionals. You can work through the materials at your own pace and get individual support by the lecturer whenever needed.

The Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS integrates cutting-edge research with application-oriented teaching. You will get personal guidance from leading experts in the field and tutors will provide individual support. As a participant in a GIS_Update course, you can thus take advantage of the strong expertise and the didactical experience of our faculty.

Z_GIS online compact banner

GIS_Update courses are provided by  UNIGIS, the best established distance-learning program for GIS and Geoinformatics in the world. A personal introduction will make sure that you get acquainted with the organisation, media and tools of distance-learning. Together with a cohort of other participants, you will then study in the selected intake of the GIS_Update course. All necessary materials and software will be provided via an online learning platform. All you will need is an ordinary computer with internet access.

Courses are offered three times a year and will take three months. During this time, you work through the materials and solve individual assignments. At the end, you submit your assignment solutions, for which you will get a grade together with an extensive feedback. After successful completion, you will get a confirmation that certifies your study performance according to the European ECTS-standards for Higher Education.

Course overview

Currently, the following courses are offered:


Together, the two dimensions of space and time build the spatio-temporal context of our environment. Spatial simulation models complement geographical analysis with a process-based approach. Thus, they are fundamentally new tools to study systems from a truly spatio-temporal perspective. Topics that have been successfully addressed with spatial simulation models include biological applications, geomorphological applications, heuristic algorithms or transport systems.

This course introduces to agent-based modelling and cellular automata to solve applied complex problems. With these methods, you complement your geospatial skillset in geographical analysis and get new impetus for your professional work.


QGIS is the best established open-source GIS software. It is constantly developed further and has a large and active community. Today, a sheer unlimited number of tools and algorithms are available. Moreover, QGIS Python offers the powerful possibility to automate individual tasks.

The goal of this module is to introduce the use of QGIS for typical GIS tasks, such as data visualization, editing, and analysis. A strongpoint in the module is that course participants will gain hands-on skills to use Python (in particular the QGIS Python API PyQGIS) in the automation of GIS workflows. Concepts that lend themselves to automation are first introduced using the QGIS GUI before we go into detail of achieving the goal in Python.

General Information

Starting dates

Next course: 3rd June 2024. The introductory webinar will be held on 27th May 2024, 5pm CET. Registration deadline: 20th May 2024.


The tuition fee for a 6-ECTS, three-month GIS_Update course will be € 1200.–. Should you decide to continue after taking this course with a UNIGIS study, you will get a reimbursement of € 800.-. Moreover, credits are fully transferrable to the Electives of UNIGIS programs.




Advanced GIS competencies (experienced GIS users with the competence to get acquainted independently with new software environments). Basic programming skills are beneficial (e.g. Python, Java), a generally positive attitude to coding is required.

English level

Recommended is language level B2 or higher according to the Common European Framework (CEF), or an equivalent level. We rely on your self-assessment, no language proof is needed.


An ordinary PC with internet connection.