Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Z_GIS Annual Report 2017 Published

Again at this time of the year we are proud to present Z_GIS' annual report, please get your online copy at >

This brochure introduces our new research projects, documents progress in study programs and outputs from our conferences in 2017. Enjoy reading - and we're glad to hear your comments and inputs!

 Open pdf version >>>

Monday, March 19, 2018

How to improve water management by using space technology

This issue was addressed by the 4th International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management, which recently took place in Islamabad, Pakistan. More than 100 experts from all over the world discussed cutting-edge tools and findings to better understand, describe and quantify water-related issues using space technology. The conference was organised by the the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the National Space Agency of Pakistan SUPARCO on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water.

The range of applications covered the entire water cycle - extending from precipitation estimation from satellite data to glacier mapping, run-off estimation, erosion and water quality assessment, evapotranspiration calculation and beyond.

In his keynote presentation within the session on case-studies, Lorenz Wendt (Z_GIS) gave insight into the lessons learned by Z_GIS from developing water-related information products and services and providing those to humanitarian actors within the EO4HumEn+ project.

The key to success in many water-related applications of space technology is the integration of remote sensing data with information collected in situ, by experts or measurement systems on the ground, which is both a technical and an organisational challenge. No the less, space technology bears a great potential to tackle the many water-related challenges the world is facing.

Contact: Lorenz Wendt

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Remixed Speeddating with Z_GIS @ BeSt Salzburg

As one of seven experts, Z_GIS researcher Sebastian d’Oleire-Oltmanns participated in a bmvit (Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology) initiative at the BeSt Salzburg event. The annual fair addresses pupils on the edge of deciding what to do after high school. Students from the Christian-Doppler High school as well as from the Werkschulheim Felbertal participated in the event in order to learn from and exchange with experts from various disciplines.

Source:fti remixed
The field of UAS-based remote sensing was of high interest for the participating students and generated a broad range of questions and a lively discussion. The exchange provided a detailed view beneath the surface of Geoinformatics to the students.

Contact: Sebastian d’Oleire-Oltmanns

For more information and more pictures see:
FTI remixed blog and  pics 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Stefan Zimmer - winner of 2018 EDC "Student of the Year" Award

As an ESRI Development Center, Z_GIS every year has the opportunity to nominate one top student based on his or her software development competence. This year this special honour is awarded to Stefan Zimmer for work leading to his University of Salzburg "Applied Geoinformatics" MSc Thesis "An Efficient Algorithm for Computing Space-Time-Linguistics - Similarities and Labelling Social Media Posts" supervised by Dr Bernd Resch.

Stefan Zimmer has recently completed his master's thesis at Z_GIS. Through his exceptional software development skills, he was able to develop and implement a number of geospatial applications using a variety of software technologies, including the extensive use of Esri technology for spatial data analysis and visualisation.

Spatial distribution of Boston tweets indicating
anger/disgust (red), fear (blue), and sadness (yellow)
In his thesis, Stefan developed a machine learning-based algorithm called TwEmLab (Twitter Emotion Labeller) that assigns emotion categories to social media posts like tweets. The workflow comprises a self-designed, multi-dimensional, similarity-based graph creation algorithm and the Junto engine that implements a graph-based labelling algorithm called Label Propagation. In addition to the methodological developments, he was able to convert the complex algorithm in a high-performance implementation that is able to process about 1,000 more datasets than comparable systems in a parallelised algorithm, both for CPU- and GPU-based operations:

Apart from that, Stefan developed a web-based real-time visualisation using Mapbox technology for physiological sensor data and social media posts for use in urban planning and management. Finally, in one of his course projects, he conceived and implemented a location-based game, in which a spaceship can be controlled using a mobile EEG device and voice commands - just using "the power of thought" without manual interaction. The application combines a variety of technologies using Unity, the Emotive SDK, Mapbox, Google Cloud Search API and Open Street Map.

Stefan Zimmer was a member of the successful team winning the first Copernicus Hackathon with the ‘ShareCropper’ concept >

Congratulations to this distinction, and to continuing a tradition of excellence established by previous recipients of this award like Azmat Arif in 2017!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Cornelia Schneider's successful PhD defense within the DK GIScience

Cornelia Schneider successfully defended her PhD Thesis “Methods for recording, processing and evaluating human movement data in the context of Active and Assisted Living”. While working for the “Salzburg Research” (SR), a research institution owned by the provincial Government of Salzburg, Cornelia has been associated PhD to the Doctoral College “GIScience”. At SR, she is the head of the competence field e-Health.

In her PhD, she contributed to tackle a major problem Europe aging Western societies are facing: The aging population will lead to a growing number of older people suffering from various ailments and consequently will be in need of support. Thus, the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) based assistance systems is of increasing importance. These so-called “Active and Assisted Living (AAL) solutions support older people to live independently as long as possible by maintaining and improving their quality of life.

In particular, the Thesis is based on research projects dealing with the development of a mobility assistance system and addressed research questions such as where patients typically stay, where they have been or where they most likely are going. This is answered by means of movement analysis together with complex spatio-temporal analyses. Next to technical and methodological issues of recording, processing and evaluating human movement data, usability of systems and how to deal with privacy concerns were major foci in this work which builds a significant contribution to the future development of mobility assistance systems.

We wish Cornelia all the best for her future endeavours!