Technical Drawing, Cartography and Geographic Information System


The course of Technical Design, Cartography and GIS aims to provide and train students with essential tools for the practice of engineering. The Technical Drawing component is essential for engineering design disciplines, while the Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) components are essential for projects where spatial information is crucial, such as environmental impact studies.

It is an eminently practical course using CAD tools and software to support Technical Design and ArcGIS to support the GIS component.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Lia Maldonado Teles de Vasconcelos, Paulo Alexandre Marques Diogo


Weekly - 4

Total - 71

Teaching language



not applied


- Burrough, R. McDonnel and Christopher D. Lloyd, (2015) Principles of Geographic Information Systems, Oxford University Press. 3rd Edition
- George Omura e Brian C. Benton (2019) Mastering AutoCAD 2019 and AutoCAD LT. Sybex Press
- Paul A. Longley, Michael F. Goodchild, David J. Maguire, David W. Rhind (2010) Geographic Information, Systems and Science, Wiley. 3rd edition
- Luis Veiga da Cunha. Desenho Técnico. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkein
- Ricardo Costa (2018) Desenho Técnico para Arquitetura, Engenharia e Cosntrução, engebooks, Quântica Editora, Porto
- Robinson et al., (1995) Elements of Cartography, 6th Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons

Teaching method

This course relies on hands-on techniques aiming to turn the student into an active agent in the learning process. He/she is encouraged to solve and explore exercises with a growing level of difficulty, questioning aspects required to accomplish the exercises. In this way the student integrates gradually and in a phased way the supplied and learned materials, consolidating acquired knowledge and creating competences in its use, tutorially supported by the faculty.

In CAD and GIS components, the student develops practical work in class in project format, guided by the teacher.

Evaluation method

The evaluation includes:


1 – ATTENDANCE: The attendance is obtained with the participation of the student in 2/3 of the theorical-practical classes (except if it is a student-worker, or if the student already has the attendance obtained in the previous year) AND a grade of 9,5/20 or higher in the average of the TOTAL of practical works done.

The mean of the works is obtained by 50% of the grade of the practical work of Technical Drawing and Cartography and 50% of the grade of the practical work of GIS.


Attendance is required to complete the UC and counts with 50% to the final grade (either the course is done by tests or exam)


2 – TESTS COMPONENT: the semester will have 2 tests (substituting the exam of the normal phase – “exame de época normal”); this is, THERE IS NO exam in the normal phase. One of the tests is for the Technical Drawing and Cartography component and the other is for the SIG component. Each of these tests assume 50% of the grade of this component. To get approval to the UC, the average of these tests must be equal or superior of 9,5/20. The average of the tests grade counts as 50% of the final grade of the UC.


3 – ADITIONALLY: There is the possibility of the make-up exam (“exame de recurso”) for the students that (a) did not accomplish the tests, (b) had less than 9,5/20 in average, or (c) want to do improve the TESTS grade. The grade of the make-up exam counts with 50% to the final grade of the UC. The exam is always done with ALL the contents of the UC, even if the student has had a positive grade (over 9,5/20) in one of the tests.

Exceptionally, in the school year 2022/2023, for the set of students that are only doing GIS (since they had already got approval in the Technical Drawing UC previously), the evaluation is the following:

a) It is necessary to obtain attendance that is given by (i) participation in 2/3 of the practical classes of the GIS component, and (ii) a minimum of 9,5/20 grade in the practical work of this component (TP). This component counts with 50% to the final grade of the UC.

b) Attendance is a requirement to the accomplishment of the UC.

c) There is a test of the GIS component that must have a minimum grade of 9,5/20 and counts with 50% to the final grade of the UC

d) There is the possibility of EXAM for the students that (i) did not do the test, (ii) had less than 9,5/20 as grade, or (c) are willing to improve the grade.

Subject matter

1. Technical Design: Descriptive Geometry Objectives. Orthogonal projections. Portuguese and International Standards. Scales and development of projected parts. Reduce / enlarge and convert scales. Views of parts. Buildings: Plant, Elevation and Cut. Applications in CAD.

2. Cartography. Classification of charts. Thematic charts. Scales, planimetric and altimetric details, natural forms of relief. Profiles. Slopes. Flow and runoff. Delimitation of basins. Implementation of works on the ground. Geodesy and geographic coordinate systems. Datum and Geodetic Network: definition and existing systems. Projections. Projection systems.

3. Science and Geographic Information Systems (GI). GI science. GIS data models: raster, vectorial and digital terrain models. Map algebra and applications to environmental engineering. Interpolation methods. Geostatistics: analysis of variograms and kriging. Applications in ArcGIS. New SIG solutions: drones and cloud-based.


Programs where the course is taught: