General Information


Integrated Water Resources Management requires exchange of data and information among sectors. Often data is stored in files on harddisks, CD-ROMs or DVDs. This makes it hard to find the data. In addition, metadata is often lacking, which makes it hard to evaluate the quality of the data and to reuse the data. A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) can enable water sector organisations to improve the exchange of data within and among organisations. An SDI is a data infrastructure implementing a framework of geographic data, metadata, users and tools that are interactively connected in order to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way. In this course you will learn how to preprocess data before it can be stored in an SDI, style data with Styled Layer Description (SLD) files, save metadata, set user rights, manage and use a spatial database, manage an SDI and present interactive data online.

For whom? 

The course is designed for professionals (engineers and scientists) active in the water/environmental sector, especially those involved in data management.
Pre-requisites are a basic knowledge of computing and GIS.

An Open CourseWare GIS course can be found here.

Learning Objectives

After this course you will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts of Spatial Data Infrastructures
  • Install the necessary software
  • Understand the concept and use of spatial databases
  • Use SDIs in combination with GIS software
  • Publish data online, including styling
  • Manage metadata
  • Administer SDIs


The free and open source software (FOSS) used in this course are:

External resources

The following resources are suggested to support the course:


Course materials are prepared by:

  • dr. Hans van der Kwast, senior lecturer in Ecohydrological Modelling, Water Science and Engineering Department, UNESCO-IHE
  • Kelly Fouchy, project coordinator, Water Science and Engineering Department, UNESCO-IHE
  • Mark de Blois, CEO Upande Ltd., Nairobi, Kenya
  • Kevin N'Geno, Upande Ltd., Nairobi, Kenya
  • Claire Lelong, Port'Ability, France


The development of this course was funded by EP-Nuffic, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The course was first implemented as a Nuffic Tailor Made Training on the National Water Information System (SNIEAU) for DGEau in Benin.I tried to reference the sources and respect the licenses of the used sources. Please contact me if I missed any..

Short courses

This course material is provided as Open Courseware without support and interaction with lecturers. Only exercises are provided.

  • This course material is provided as Open Courseware without support and interaction with lecturers. Only exercises are provided.
  • GIS, SDI and modelling courses can also be provided as tailor made trainings for your organisation. Please contact me for more information.