ForBio: Introduction to GPS and GIS, October 2014

GBIF Norway and the UiO Natural History Museum organized in October 2014 a training course for the ForBio Research School in Biosystematics: Introduction to GPS and GIS.

ForBio GIS course illustration

ForBio: Introduction to GPS and GIS

ForBio course: Introduction to GPS and GIS

Time: Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th October 2014, 10 to 16 each day (CET).
Location: Botanical Museum (Lids building), Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo, Sars gate 1, 0318 Oslo, (59.91801 N, 10.77230 E).
People: Dag Endresen, Oddvar Pedersen, Sabrina Mazzoni, Christian Svindseth & Heidi Solstad.
Agenda: (this page)

Monday 13th October

10:00 Introduction to the course [Slides]

  • Overview course content and practical information.
  • Round-table presentation of your background and experience with GPS and GIS (maximum 2 minutes each).

10:45 Introduction coordinate systems, projections and data formats (Dag Endresen) [Slides]

11:15 Introduction to GPS (Oddvar Pedersen) [Slides]

  • Global Positioning System, GPS configuration, waypoints.

12:15 Lunch break

13:00 Hardware checks (Sabrina Mazzoni)

13:15 Practical exercise: using the GPS inside the Botanical garden (exercise 1).

15:00 Introduction to making maps using QGIS (Dag Endresen) [Slides]

  • Plotting points from the exercise using QGIS (excercise 2).

16:00 End of day 1

Tuesday 14th October

10:00 Access to species occurrence data from GBIF and Artskart (Dag Endresen) [Slides]

  • GBIF and Artskart contributes to making species occurrence data freely available online. GBIF can also assist you with uploading and publishing your own species occurrence data from your own fieldwork. You may also use citizen science tools such as Artsobservasjoner or iNaturalist.

11:00 Making maps using QGIS (Dag Endresen) [Slides]

  • Adding point data, basic layers and other GIS data to your own map.

11:45 Introduction to GIS analysis (Sabrina Mazzoni) [Slides]

12:15 Lunch

13:00 Practical exercise, plotting point data using QGIS [Excercises]

14:00 Practical exercise, adding layers to your species map [Slides]

15:00 Practical exercise, GIS analysis

  • Proximity analysis, distance to roads, rivers.
  • Extracting values from environment layers.

16:00 End of day 2 (and course)

Suggested reading list (further reading)

Chapman, A.D., 2005, Uses of Primary Species-Occurrence Data, version 1.0. Report for the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Copenhagen. 100 pp. Available online at 

Scheldeman, X. & van Zonneveld, M., 2010. Training Manual on Spatial Analysis of Plant Diversity and Distribution. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. ISBN 978-92-9043-880-9. Available online at 

Biodiversity Informatics Training Curriculum: 

Mapsource: (Windows)
BaseCamp: (Win & Mac)
QGIS plugin: 

Coordinate system WGS84: 
Convert srs: 

QGIS documentation: 
QGIS user guide: 
QGIS training: 
QGIS GIS introduction: 

GBIF data portal:

Norwegian geodata: 
“Kartverket” in Norway: 

RStudio training: 
Making maps with R:
Raster data (R):
Distribution modeling (R):

GIS data sources

Some examples of relevant data sources for the QGIS mapping exercise.


Norwegian Mapping Agency (“Kartverket”)


Norway map: 


Maritime map: 

Administrative borders: 

Forest types in Norway:


Artskart WMS


Natural Earth

The Blue Marble (satellite image)

NASA satellite data

NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NDGC)


GBIF Norway and ForBio
Tags: GPS, ForBio, QGIS, GBIF, GIS
Published Nov. 24, 2015 1:53 PM - Last modified Nov. 24, 2015 2:57 PM