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CODE 101144
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The teaching provides the principles, operation and accuracy of the main electronic navigation systems, including GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), to fix position and navigation. Then, electronic cartography and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for the management, analysis and display of cartographic data are described, with particular attention to electronic nautical cartography (ENC) and the main features of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Systems for Nautical Navigation). 



Principles of cartography and electronic mapping. Fixing position and navigation.


Theoretical and practical acquisition of the techniques for the Electronic Positioning and for the treatment of Electronic Cartography, with particular focus on the nautical field.

Elements for the treatment of observations to evaluate the position accuracy.

Capacity of results analysis depending on the metric resolution of data.

Use of free and open source software, when possible, in accordance with the directive of the Minister for Innovation and Technology, December 19, 2003 that encourage the use of these technologies.


The notions provided by the "Navigation" teaching.


The teaching includes theoretical lessons followed by practical lessons, to put into practice the notions learned during the theoretical lessons.

Innovative teaching tools, such as instant polls, will be used both to stimulate students' attention and to test their learning.

Working students and students with certified SLD (Specific Learning Disorders), disability or other special educational needs are advised to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and examination arrangements so to take into account individual learning patterns, while respecting the teaching objectives.

The teaching is held in English.


The course provides the principles, operation, limitations, error sources and accuracy of the main electronic navigation systems, including Loran C, eLoran and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and its augmented services, to fix position and navigation. Then, the main elements of electronic cartography, geographic data format for data interoperability, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for the management, analysis and display of cartographic data are described, with particular attention to electronic nautical cartography (ENC), its content and quality, and the main features of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Systems for Nautical Navigation). The theoretical fundamentals of geodesy, reference systems, cartographic projections and of positioning are recalled from the Navigation course.

In more detail:

Numerical cartography:

- Recalls of reference surfaces and datums, coordinate and reference Systems and transformations between them, cartographic projections; the EPSG codes for the management of different datum, georeferencing procedure;

- Geographic data type and format for data interoperability in GIS, nominal scale and error of graphism, metric and semantic data, topology, metadata and interoperability;

- Electronic nautical cartography (ENC), its content and quality, and the main features of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Systems for Nautical Navigation), with a view in the future S100 standards;

- Practical lessons on management, analysis and display of cartographic data.

Electronic Positioning:

- Introduction and principles of GNSS; Spatial segment: orbits; status of the constellation; Control segment. User segment: characteristics of receivers.

- GNSS signal: frequencies, codes C/A, P and D, emission and reception.

- Accuracy vs. errors: ionosphere and troposphere delays. Multipath. Influence of satellite geometry on the accuracy. Dilution of precision index. 

- Absolute, differential, RTK and PPP positioning: fundamentals, position correction, transmission protocol, system message. Hints on SBAS Augmentation Services. Reliability, suitability and accuracy of positioning. 

- Practical lessons on GNSS Positioning

- Hints on Loran C, eLoran and their integration with GNSS system. 

- Hints on beam and multibeam techniques for batimetric survey.

Statistical treatment of measurements for positioning: 

- Recalls of statistical concepts and indexes introduced in Navigation course for linear function;

- Average, variance and mean square error of a non linear function of observed quantities;

- Concepts of redundancy of measurements and their compensation using least squares adjustment, confidence ellipse.

- Practical lessons on statistical treatment of measurements to define the accuracy of a position on a nautical chart.


Lecture notes and material are provided by the teacher on Aulaweb.


Books for consultation:

Hofmann-Wellenhof B., Lichtenegger H, Collins J.: Global Positioning System - Theory and Practice. Springer&Verlag, Vienna

Leick A.: GPS Satellite Surveying, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New Jersey, USA, ISBN 0-471-05930-7

Mikhail E. M.: Observations and Least Squares. University Press of America, Lanham, MD, 1976.

Burrough P.A., McDonnel R.A., Principles of Geographical Information Systems, Oxford University Press, 1998.

Longley P.A., Goodchild M.F., Maguire D.J., Rhind D.W., Geographic Information Science and Systems, Ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2015, ISBN: 1118676955, 9781118676950.


Exam Board




DOMENICO SGUERSO (President Substitute)


Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.



The exam is oral and consists of some questions to ascertain the knowledge of the theoretical concepts of the teaching and in the presentation and discussion by the student of a personal application similar to the practical experience carried out during the teaching.


During the oral exam, the teacher will verify the knowledge of the theoretical concepts essential for a correct positioning with electronic systems and for the management of geographical data in the nautical field. Furthermore, the student will present and discuss a short personal application related to GNSS positioning processing (static and kinematic, in NRTK and Post-Processing), to the visualization of layers and cartographic elements in a GIS environment and to the evaluation of the cartographic accuracy of a route.

The final grade will take into account the quality of the application carried out (originality, type of application, processing and analysis techniques used, strategies for solving any problems encountered), the critical discussion of the results obtained and the expositive capacity, as well as the knowledge of the theoretical concepts.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
17/01/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
07/02/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
29/05/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
13/06/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
11/07/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
07/09/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale