Wednesday, December 4, 2013

PhD Career Day at University of Salzburg

On 29 November 2013 the first PhD Career day at the University of Salzburg was organized by the three FWF-funded Doctoral College’s “ICA”, “Imaging the mind” and “GIScience”.
More than 130 Doctoral candidates from the University of Salzburg used the opportunity to talk to leading scientists from Academia and industry and to representatives from funding authorities. Mission-critical questions for PhDs were discussed such as:

·         - What should a candidate observe during working on his / her PhD?
·        -  How to find a Postdoc position
·        -  What can be done after PhD is finished

Several prestigious speakers gave keynotes and answered such questions. 
Dr. Zinner – head of the Center for Doctoral Studies at the University of Vienna - gave insights about the Doctoral journey in terms of three different perspectives (student’s, supervisor’s and institution’s perspective). Dr. Golin from the scientific company in Hamburg gave an overview of figures and facts about the market in Europe and in particular in Germany. 
Dr. Zavarsky (Fulbright commission) and Dr. Grabner (FWF Austrian Science Fund) provided useful information in regards to individual scholarship programmes for PostDocs.
How to be successful after finishing the PhD was highlighted by representatives from the industry and clinical research (ASCINA, Ever Neuro Pharma, PMU). As a role-model, an University of Salzburg alumnus and currently Postdoc at the University of California presented her international experiences and her visions. She will return to Salzburg next year after various staging posts in Academia and Industry – the University of Salzburg seems to become more attractive internationally!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Trends in Open Geo|Government Data

The Austrian Academy of Sciences' Commission on Geographic Information Science on Nov 14 organized an event addressing backgrounds, practice and issues around Open Geo Data. Led by a wide ranging presentation of Jonathan Raper on 'Challenges for Geo-Infrastructure' arguing that SDI increasingly will be ad hoc aggregations of national, enterprise/commercial and open data services, six more short talks covered multiple aspects and experiences with open geo and government data.

Brigitte Lutz provided an excellent overview from an open government perspective, followed by BEV (NMA) chair Wernher Hoffmann highlighting difficulties with opening up cadastral and property management. Stefan Pawel from Linz Open Commons addressed the added value for communities and administration arising from open data policies, a view supported and illustrated by Wolfgang Jörg from ViennaGIS. Manfred Mittlboeck then discussed the need of SDIs for smart search based on semantic enablement, with Arnulf Christl from '' challenging participants to accept that sharing increases, not reduces digital assets.

J.Raper: Open Data Manifesto
Obviously the following lunch buffet as a non-digital asset did not follow this rule, but provided an opportunity for informal exchange, debate and engagement between different viewpoints. As a final step, Prof Georg Gartner moderated a wide ranging panel-and-plenary discussion on key topics around OGGD. Privacy issues received a lot of attention, essentially demonstrating that legal frameworks lag behind current practice and technologies. It was clearly acknowledged that the transition to open data policies can be considered a very substantial paradigm change, already well advanced across many domains. Supported by alternative business models the objectives of adding value, democratisation and innovation serve as common denominators to establish open geodata in public administration, business and academia.

More than 100 participants actively contributed through comments and discussion, highlighting the timeliness of the OGD debate and the relevance of ÖAW as a neutral platform joining different stakeholders. Presentations / slides are available from


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Z_GIS shares expertise on new EO-based geospatial technologies at the Humanitarian Congress in Olomouc

Andreas Papp – Program Director of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF-Austria) – invited Z_GIS to take part in a technology seminar in Prague (“The use of new technologies in humanitarian practice”) as well as the New Technologies Panel at the Humanitarian Congress in Olomouc, CZ.

Although a lot of knowledge on new technologies (GIS, satellite remote sensing, UAVs, mobile phone applications, Open Source solutions etc.) is readily available at research institutions and commercial companies, the question still remains how these technologies are best to be applied in humanitarian field operations to support the work of NGOs.

At both events, Stefan Lang, Assistant Professor at the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics (Z_GIS), discussed GIS and remote sensing technologies and demonstrated how these technologies are used in practice for disaster mapping, tracking displaced population movements and groundwater availability monitoring.

Z_GIS and MSF Austria are closely cooperating in the FFG/ASAP funded project EO4HumEN. For more information, please visit our website.

We thank Selleo – Business solutions for the photo material and for letting us re-blog. -

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

UAV-based Remote Sensing meets Archaeology

Sebastian d’Oleire-Oltmanns (Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS) was recently invited to give a presentation on UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) based remote sensing to scientists of the Archeoinformatic Forum at the University of Innsbruck, Austria

The Forum is run by Dr. Sandra Heinsch, Dr. Walter Kuntner (Department of Ancient History / Archeology of the Middle East & Central Asia) and Hansjörgg Ragg (Department of Geography). 
Z_GIS @  Aegina, Greece 2012

Sebastian  demonstrated the advantages of UAV-based remote sensing for archeological disciplines and provided insights in this new advancing field of research. Aerial photography, 3D surface modeling (with a resolution of 2-5 cm) and aspects of digital data acquisition for archeological excavation work were discussed in detail.

Z_GIS is looking forward to collaborating with the Archeoinformatic Forum in the future.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) to track Multi Sclerosis (MS) lesion development in space and time. A new interdisciplinary project: RISE

 In a unique cooperation between the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics-ZGIS (IFFB)  and the Christian Doppler Klinik (CDK) hospital, Department of Neurology, researchers will focus on the 3D+t development of Multiple Sclerosis lesion patterns.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the most frequent disabling neurological disease of young adults in Europe and North America, is an automimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). In the brain and in the spine, MS leads to typical demyelinating lesions with sizes of few mm to several cm. Advances in medical imaging with Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRT) at the fore-front, have provided a steadily improving spatiotemporal data base of MS. Yet, despite of intensive international efforts there is almost complete lack of suitable and objective parameters to determine a distinct MS subtype or to forecast individual disease courses. Following an innovative, interdisciplinary approach that combines neuroimaging and geoinformatics, this RISE project aims at establishing a methodology for quantitatively characterizing MS lesion patterns in space and time: from the neuroimaging pool of methods, we will use recent MS lesion extraction algorithms and brain geometry normalization software to generate normalized binary MS lesion models. From the geoinformatics pool of methods, we will focus on Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) for spatiotemporal MS lesion pattern handling and on geostatistics for multidimensional MS lesion pattern analysis and –reproduction.

Besides Jörg Kraus (MS Neuroimmunology), Stefan Golaszewski (Neuroimaging), Mark McCoy (Neuroradiology) the project involves Z_GIS researchers Peter Hofmann (OBIA), who will be employed by the CDK RISE funds and Robert Marschallinger (Geostatistics). Project Kick-off was on November 4, 2013.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kick-off meeting: LINKVIT in Rome

LINKVIT (10/2013 to 10/2015), an EU Leonardo da Vinci project, will primarily contribute to rationalize and organize vocational training about GI & INSPIRE in public and private sector, also as regards to an easy access to (standardized and validated at EU level) training. Its goal is to share results with INSPIRE community (EU and national level) to enable a better skill and so support the practical implementation of the directive.
Partners from administration and environmental agencies, (SMEs) companies and academy met in Rome on 28th October for the kick-off meeting to clarify the next steps.
Z_GIS, with Stefan Prüller as leader of workpackage III, is responsible for the adaption of contents and infrastructure, putting the actions and guidelines defined in the “Learning Material and Infrastructure Adaption Plan” into practice.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Z_GIS at uni:hautnah 2013 - Science united now!

Z_GIS will attend as presenter at uni:hautnah in Austria's biggest Shopping Center "Europark" from November 7-9, 2013. Within this framework Z_GIS presents two projects: The Project "Easy Rider" and Bicycle Map Salzburg and the YouthMap5020, and Integrating GIS Use in Education in Several Subjects. More information to this event: uni:hautnah 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kick-off meeting: GI-N2K: what is GIScience?

Europe has set out for a shared answer to the above question with the kick off meeting of the ERASMUS network project "GI-N2K" in Leuven, Belgium. This project builds up on the first initiative of elaborate a reference document for the domain of Geographical Information Science and Technology by the consortium of US-universities (UCGIS) led by David DiBiase (2006). The result of this collaborative effort in the US was the GIS&T Body of Knowledge (BoK).
The BoK until today is an important reference document for curriculum development, certification and accreditation of GIS programmes on a worldwide level. Taking up on this pioneering work in the US, this ERASMUS project now has started amongst 31 European partners to develop a renewed BoK 2.0. Together with the complementary updating initiative of the UCGIS, the new BoK 2.0 will not only have an updated content, but it will be transformed into a dynamic wiki-based format. Z_GIS (Dr. Gudrun Wallentin, Director of Studies UNIGIS MSc ) will be responsible for analysing the workforce demand in Europe, to explicitly address the competences that employers of the geospatial industry need.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Round Table „Open Geo|Government Data“

„Open Geo|Government Data“ will be the theme of a Round Table chaired by Prof Strobl at the Austrian Academy of Sciences on November 14. in Vienna. Representatives from government, business and academia will share and discuss different viewpoints on how “open” is interpreted, and how different policies are affecting the future of geospatial developments. Please find here more information about this event.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Z_GIS’ “Higher Education Projects Team”

Under the supervision of Prof. Strobl and Z_GIS’ “Higher Education Projects Team” various activities are devoted to capacity building in Geoinformatics education and research in Central Asia. The Tempus “GEM project”, coordinated by Z_GIS, had succeeded in establishing Geoinformatics MSc study programs at partner universities across Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as interdisciplinary Geoinformatics courses at additional partners. In August, the final project meeting was held in Bishkek, the project has ended on October 14, 2013.

As one successor project, the GE-UZ Tempus project is considered a key initiative towards implementation of Geoinformatics study programs at Uzbek universities, addressing the increasing demand for geospatial experts across a variety of disciplines in this country. Z_GIS has accepted the leadership of the “Development of learning environment” and the “Educational network development” work packages. The project will also use the expertise of Z_GIS in the strategic aspects, in particular for capacity building. Currently a four-week workshop on GeoDBMS at the University of West Hungary in Szekesfehervar is training teachers from four Uzbek universities, 17 teachers will be trained on “Spatial Analysis” in November in Salzburg.

Z_GIS currently is coordinating the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 project "gSmart - Spatial ICT Infrastructures for Smart Places" together with other EU partners. “gSmart” has started its mobility program already in this winter semester 2013, this initiative will focus on facilitating academic mobility in the field of Geoinformatics between European partners and universities in all five Central Asian countries. Further information is available on . The kick-off Meeting will be held in Almaty, KZ from November 1-2, 2013. There we are hoping to welcome delegates from 19 partner institutions.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The 3rd EnerGEO Summer School in Utrecht, Netherlands has started!

The 3rd EnerGEO Summer School which is dedicated to the “Environmental impact assessment of a transition to renewable energies” is currently held in Utrecht, The Netherlands from October 15 – 23 2013.

The Summer School is jointly organized by the Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS, Salzburg, and TNO Innovation for Life, Utrecht with support from the EnerGEO partners International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), MINES ParisTech, ARMINES, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Research Studios Austria (iSPACE). The program is complemented by external experts from the European Commission, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), National Institute for the Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the University of Nijmegen.

Participants from 9 different countries Brazil, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands with a background in academics but also coming from governmental institutions participate in the event. Lectures and hands-on sessions are dedicated to (1) models for assessing energy potentials, (2) environmental impact assessment, (3) life cycle analysis and (4) integrated assessment of renewable energy resource use.

The program is rounded off by interdisciplinary dialogues on the energy policy context and participation at the Final Event of the EnerGEO project, which will be held on October 24 -25.

The EnerGEO Project is funded by the EC’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7, 2007-2013) under Grant Agremement Number 226364.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New young researchers join CHANGES project

CHANGES Work packages
The FP7 CHANGES project took a major step forward by hiring another group of five motivated international young researchers who are now working on a web-based spatial decision support system (SDSS), the main deliverable of Work package 3 (WP3). WP3 is led by Z_GIS together with CNR-IRPI (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) in Italy. The SDSS will allow stakeholders to conduct quantitative probabilistic multi-hazard risk assessment in the four pilot study areas in France, Italy, Poland and Romania.

The platform will be based on open source software, which can be accessed through the World Wide Web, and will allow users to analyse the effects of different scenarios related to environmental changes in relation to planning. The SDSS represents a key component in the CHANGES project, as it will integrate the research results of the PhD candidates into a common deliverable.

The one-week kick-off meeting for the development of the SDSS took place in Perugia (Italy) at CNR in September 2013. A related workshop during that week was organized and held by Z_GIS.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

GIScience Colloquia series

With October the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS re-launch its GIScience Colloquia series. 

Ed Parsons, initially primary cartographer at Google, now Geospatial Technologist of Google, opened the series with his interesting talk, entitled: Mapping the world: From pizzas to portals

Ed Parsons provided insights about how to utilise the benefits of Google's geographical resources, as well as the future implications of geospatial technology.
"In the future, the map won't be a map”, is one provocative statements of his talk.
Adding a map to your website is now a relatively trivial exercise, but the real value of geography comes when we deeply embed location as an organising principle for all of our information. A users location becomes a key contextual clue in delivering services which are relevant, timely and useful to individuals.