GEO9520 – Advanced Remote Sensing and Topographic Analysis

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Teaching and exams spring 2022

In light of the most recent infection control regulations, we will at the start of the spring semester 2022 increase our online teaching, while we at the same time try to maintain in-person teaching where this is possible. We hope to go back to more in-person teaching later on in the semester. You will be informed about any changes in teaching or examinations on the semester page, in Canvas or through your regular channels.

Read more about postponed exams for the autumn semester 2021.

Course content

The course introduces advanced methods of remote sensing in geosciences, in particular generation of digital elevation models from satellite sensors, measurement of Earth surface displacements from satellites, change detection methods, and thermal remote sensing. Special emphasis is given to current research and the topics covered may therefore be adjusted depending on the background of the students and the present research focuses in the research group.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you are able to

  • explain how optical digital images can be used to generate a digital elevation models
  • describe the physical principles behind thermal radiation and how it can be exploited in remote sensing
  • compare different methods to detect changes in digital images and to calculate surface displacements based on them
  • apply satellite imagery to derive important land surface parameters such as surface temperature, snow cover, soil moisture or vegetation parameters
  • communicate results from two of your own remote sensing projects in oral and written form
  • reflect on your own experiences from analysis of digital elevation models, topographic classification methods and thermal remote sensing, and their application in environmental sciences

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Also, good basics in physics and geosciences are useful.

Overlapping courses


The course includes lectures, lab/computer training, project work, e-learning and student presentations.

3-4 scientific essays on curriculum literature and 2 project presentations must have been approved before the final examination.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration ( 

We reserve the right to change the teaching form and examination of the course in semesters where 5 or fewer students have been admitted.


  • 3-4 scientific essays on curriculum literature and 2 project presentations must have been approved before the final examination.
  • 2 project reports count ca. 50% (ca. 25% each) towards the final grade.
  • A final written examination counts ca. 50% towards the final grade.
  • Both the 2 project reports and the final examination must be passed separately in order to pass the course.

If there are less than 10 students admitted to the course, the final examination will be given as an oral examination. 

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as 1 of the 3 attempts to sit the exam for this course if you sit the exam for the following course:

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

Courses taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass, the original examination.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Jan. 18, 2022 11:24:37 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language