Module M12 - Introduction to GIS for the Purpose of Practicing PGIS

Unit M12U04 - On-screen Digitising


Digitising refers to the process of converting a paper (or physical) map into a digital format so that it can be incorporated into a Geographic Information System (GIS). This data conversion process is also known as geocoding. Digitising can occur by:

  • scanning the paper map using a digital scanner;
  • manually digitising the map using a puck and tablet (these first two options are discussed in Unit M12U03);
  • capturing or adding information from/onto a scanned map or image through the process of on-screen digitising.

This Unit deals with on-screen digitising.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • conduct on-screen digitising.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. On-screen digitising (PPT No. 1) (30 min)

Components of the Unit

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)



30 min

Additional trainer resources

  • Sutton, T., O. Dassau & M. Sutton. A Gentle Introduction to GIS. South Africa: Spatial Information Management Unit, Office of the Premier, Eastern Cape. 2009.

Equipment needed

Beamer, a computer with an Internet connection for the trainer and a computer with an Internet connection for each trainee or for every two or three trainees, depending on local circumstances, digital handouts “A Gentle Introduction to GIS” and the “QGIS User Guide” for each trainee. QGIS software must be installed on each computer.

Additional downloads