Friday, December 6, 2019

PhD on 'remaining white spots' on our maps

Laura Knoth from RSA iSPACE had focussed her doctoral studies on the interfacing of BIM (Building Information Models) and GIS, aiming at extending geospatial analysis capabilities towards the built and specifically indoor environment. Core elements of her research were developed during a semester at the University of Melbourne, contributing to one of her key doctoral publications.

As data documenting structures come in all kinds of formats, she developed a generic data model supporting the mapping of domain ontologies onto a common framework connected to standard multidimensional visualisation and analysis engines. Her results serve as an important contribution to the development of full lifecycle digital workflows for buildings and cities.

Today, on Dec 6 Laura defended her doctoral thesis with perfect grades - congratulations!

Laura Knoth with discussants Barbara Hofer (left) and Gerhard Navratil (right)
and Josef Strobl (supervisor)

Thursday, December 5, 2019

CopHub.AC and EO4Geo at the European Space Week 2019

The General Assembly of the networks Copernicus Academy and Relay was  held this year at the European Space Week 2019, 1-5 Dec 2019, in Helsinki, Finland. The Horizon 2020 project CopHub.AC - with the aim to boost and sustain the Copernicus Academy and supporting the Copernicus Support Office and DG GROW in this respect -  and the Erasmus+ Skills Alliance project EO4GEO - trying to bridge the skills gap between supply and demand of education and training in the EO*GI sector - were prominent parts of the General Assembly. CopHub.AC and the main innovation elements the project suggests to the network, was presented by Z_GIS, Stefan Lang and Barbara Riedler. 

As project coordinators they also served as representatives for the Meet the Expert sessions. A workshop was held together with University of Malaga and Evenflow discussing about strategies to sustain the Copernicus Academy. Its current activities were well represented at this unique European event by CopHub.AC partners being present, including GISIG, University of Basilicata, KU Leuven, Climate-KiC, EARSC and Spatial Services

Contact: Stefan Lang, Barbara Riedler

Thursday, November 21, 2019

iDEAS:lab visit PH Linz

On November the 20th 2019, the Pädagogische Hochschule Linz took the opportunity for a visit in the iDEAS:lab Salzburg, which is aiming to contribute to teachers education. After a general introduction in the research areas of our science lab, the prospective teachers under the leadership of Mag. Alfons Koller were invited to get in touch with different theoretical concepts in GI-Science as well as different GI-technologies dealing with Augmented Reality, Smart Mediums and 3d-printing.

On this occasion the participants got an impression how educational content in the field of Geography can be communicated today in a digital   manner. For the student teachers of Geography and Economics, the experience with the concepts and technologies mentioned above can bring added value with respect to the didactic conditioning of teaching. After 2018, the PH Linz visited the science lab for the second time. Below we have some impressions from the visit and our obligatory Free-Play session.



Tuesday, November 19, 2019

GIS Day 2019

Geographie zum Anfassen: Am 13. November luden der IFFB für Geoinformatik (Z_GIS) und der FB Geographie & Geologie zusammen mit der PLUS SoE Schulklassen dazu ein, im Sationenbetrieb die Welt der digitalen Geographie hautnah zu erleben.

Der GIS- Day ist mittlerweile ein fester Bestandteil im Eventangebot des Fachbereichs Geoinformatik und soll dazu dienen, Schülern das breit gefächerte Spektrum der Geowissenschaften zu präsentieren und eine Vorausschau über Lerninhalte und Möglichkeiten der Spezifikationen für zukünftige Studierende im Fach Geoinformatik zu erläutern.  

Die teilnehmenden Schulklassen konnten dieses Jahr in unterschiedlichsten Modulen wie dem Messen mit GPS- Systemen, der Arbeit mit Open Street Map Daten, der Geo-Analyse von Sozialen Medien oder dem Gebrauch partizipativer Geo-Apps wie CITIZENMORPH einen Einblick in verschiedene Forschungsgebiete der Geoinformatik erlangen. Hierbei konnten die Teilnehmer entsprechend ihren Kenntnissen aus dem Schulunterricht interaktiv die einzelnen Module begleiten und ergänzen. 

Als Auflockerung zwischen den einzelnen Lerneinheiten erhielten die Schüler in einer „Free Play Session“ die Gelegenheit, im interaktiven Forschungslabor (IDEAS:lab) des Fachbereichs Geoinformatik Anwendungen aus dem Bereich der GI-Technologie wie die „Augmented Sandbox“ zum Modellieren topographischer und hydrologischer Prozesse auszuprobieren.

Ebenso großem Interesse erfreute sich auch die Station „Virtual Reality“ bei der die Teilnehmer mittels einer VR-Brille und Google Earth einen virtuellen Rundflug um die Erde erleben konnten. Darüber hinaus konnten sich die Schüler im Zusammenbau von durch 3D- Druck erstellten Höhenmodelle üben, womit eine Verbindung zwischen virtueller und analoger Welt hergestellt wird.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Erasmus+ CBHE: Successful DSinGIS project meeting

In the framework of the DSinGIS project, which aims to support Uzbekistan in sustainable development by geoinformation sciences (GISc), the 2nd review meeting took place in Tashkent in mid of October. This meeting was organized by the Uzbek partners at Tashkent Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering (TIAC) .
As one of the objectives of this project is to enhance the scientific level of academic and research staff at UZ partner universities, the project meeting started with a full-day training workshop on “Research methodologies and scientific writing”. Highly engaged and motivated researchers from different partner universities in Uzbekistan participated in this training and gained a lot of new insights how to improve their writing techniques and which possibilities they can use for publishing their scientific results in various open access journals.
Inspired by this workshop, Ilhom Abdurahmanov, one of the project coordinators, organized an additional presentation about “Research methodologies and scientific writing” which was held by Erika Blaschke, one of the representatives of PLUS, at Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers (TIIAME). More than 30 participants, consisting of faculty members, as well as of senior scientists and young researchers, followed this presentation, which ended up in a lively discussion on different aspects on scientific publishing and scientific collaboration possibilities cross-boarders.

Z_GIS contact: Sabine Hennig

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

International Real-Scenario Assessment of the HUMAN+ Demonstrator

Real-world Exercise with International Humanitarian Experts to Evaluate the HUMAN+ Project Developments

The HUMAN+ project team gathered at the THW training center in Neuhausen, Germany for an in-depth project demonstration and hands-on sessions with experts in the field of disaster management, representing different institutions like the Red Cross, THW, Johanniter, and the police. The HUMAN+ demonstrator supports the detection and management of refugee movements in order to coordinate humanitarian aid. The demonstrator includes various innovative geospatial layers that visualise refugee-related activities at different administrative levels. Half of the layers are based on social media data such as a hotspot layer that shows geospatial clusters of refugee-related activities, or the origin/destination layers that quantify how many people are leaving a region and where they are heading to.

During the demonstration, the experts worked on real international and national scenarios and assessed the situations based on the geospatial layers provided by the demonstrator. Following a critical discussion the experts highly acknowledged the current state of the demonstrator but provided valuable domain-specific feedback to tailor the demonstrator to the needs for effective disaster management. This input was directly used in the follow-up discussion of the technical development partners, during which the future implementation steps were agreed upon.

The final project results will be available around mid 2020. More information can be found at

HUMAN+ is funded by the Austrian security research programme KIRAS of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit), and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Netzwerk Itzling visit in the iDEAS:lab

Members of the Netzwerk Itzling, a representative interest group for the residents and different actors in the district, visited the iDEAS:lab for an exchange of thoughts and ideas. Visitors got an impression about media technology, methodology and different applications referring Geoinformatics. Technologies like GPS, Virtual Reality, Object Based Image Analysis and several Digital-Earth- Applications required the attention of the visitors.  

The overall aim is to establish a consistent exchange between scienctists from different faculties like the Center for Human- Computer Interaction, the faculty of chemistry and physics as well as the ideas:lab which belongs to the interfaculty department of Geoinformatics. Furthermore citizens and business representatives should have the possibility to get an impression about the different research areas which are located in the Science City Itzling.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

ASEA Uninet Workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam!

The Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS implemented a week-long Interdisciplinary Faculty Development Workshop on 'Integrated Spatial Management with GIScience' at University of Transport and Communications, Ho Chi Minh City campus (UTC-HCMC), Vietnam. The workshop was organised jointly by Z_GIS and UTC-HCMC from 23rd to 27th September, 2019 and it was co-funded by ASEA Uninet Austria.

Prof. Josef Strobl (Head of Z_GIS) had been guiding the design and implementation of various types of activities for enhancing geospatial capabilities at the cooperating Universities in Southeast Asia (i.e. Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) over the last one and half decades. This was the 15th GIScience capacity building workshop Z_GIS has conducted in the region and altogether trained about 500 university level young teachers and students.

Dr. Tran Xuan Hoa, Deputy Head of Science, Technology and International Cooperation Department, UTC-HCMC chaired the inaugural session of this workshop. The session opened with a welcome address delivered by Dr. Le Van Phuc, Vice Dean of Faculty of Civil Engineering and it was followed by introduction of the workshop and the the participants.

Dr. Shahnawaz from Z_GIS taught the concepts of GIScience and spatial analyses to the participants as well as trained them in generating and processing a range of data sets required for integrated spatial management using ArcGIS Pro software. Having background in civil engineering, 16 young teachers and students participated in the workshop and worked on group projects focusing on applications of GIScience in Building Information Management, Highway & Long Bridge Construction as well as their monitoring and Management during floods.

(participants displaying workshop completion certificates)

Prof. Dr. Nguyan Van Hung, Vice Rector (UTC-HCMC), congratulated the participants for having benefitted from this pioneering GIScience workshop in the campus. He also conveyed his gratitude to Z_GIS as well as to ASEA Uninet and extended invitation to Z_GIS faculty for strengthening and expanding institutional collaboration for longterm mutual benefits.