Friday, November 17, 2017

FamoS project: Bicycle models as a planning tool for reorganization of the transport infrastructure

Cities are known as complex, densely populated environments with transport infrastructure playing a substantial role. With a new policy push to shift people’s travel behavior to healthy mobility, improved cycling routes may positively alter the comfort of travelers. A model of traffic flow can help city planners to delineate spots where road rearrangement is required. By means of a simulation approach the model can imitate disaggregated movements of a very large amount of travelers in a spatio-temporal manner. Characteristics of a built bicycle network and a natural environment influence the choice of every individual to use their preferred transport mode and route within a day. Thus, dynamic assignment of people’s daily activity schedules depends on a combination of their personal attributes, along with environmental conditions and interactions. These assumptions in transport modelling are supported by an agent-based approach, which allow unpredictable patterns to emerge. 
The FFG funded FamoS project develops such a bicycle traffic flow model for the city of Salzburg in the GAMA-platform simulation environment, using the agent-based modelling approach. A project partner, the Institute of Highway Engineering and Transport Planning from the Technical University of Graz, implements a classical 4-step transport modelling technique to develop a similar bicycle demand model for Graz.

Contact: Martin Loidl,  Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics  - Z_GIS

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Z_GIS team awarded 3rd place at the European Copernicus Masters University Challenge

Congratulations to Martin Sudmanns, Hannah Augustin, Christian Werner, Anna-Maria Cavallaro, Dirk Tiede and Stefan Lang! The Z_GIS researchers developed and submitted a web-application to the Copernicus Masters University Challenge 2017.

The tool aims to improve the conceptualisation, planning and feasibility assessment of earth observation (EO) projects by providing information about the suitability of data for known project specifications. Projects utilising European Sentinel satellite data can be approached more efficiently, saving time and initial planning costs. The tool will also aid less experienced users of EO-data towards more efficient and targeted project planning and execution.

The interactive Web-based tool visualises and analyses the metadata of the 2+ million currently accessible Sentinel-2 images, revealing spatio-temporal variability of acquisitions that inherently influence analyses. It allows querying spatially explicit aggregated information, such as average cloud cover, average time span between scene acquisitions, time gap between cloud-free scenes, etc. Analytical maps explore specific themes (e.g. cloud cover) improving the identification of suitable study areas, or retrieval of Sentinel-2 imagery for a use-case with specific data characteristics.

For example, a project team might be interested in monitoring deforestation in Indonesia based on change detection using a time-series. With the tool, the users can select an area-of-interest and immediately retrieve relevant information about the frequency of acquisition, historic information of the average time between cloud-free acquisitions, etc.

Contact: Martin Sudmanns 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Excellence Award for Z_GIS' Dr.Shahnawaz

Dr. Shahnawaz has been has been honoured with the ‘Excellency Award 2017’ by the Union of Geographic Information Technologists (UGIT) established at Bangalore University, India for his contributions in enhancing geospatial education, training and research in South and Southeast Asia over last fifteen years. He is Director of UNIGIS S/E Asia at the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, Austria and has established cooperations for Geospatial education between Z_GIS and a number of leading universities in S/E Asia and implemented a range of cooperation activities.

Dr. A. S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman - Indian Space Research Organisation conferred the award on Dr. Shahnawaz in Bangalore during the inaugural session of the 6th UGIT’s International Conference on Climate Change and Sustainable Water Resource Management – Innovative Geospatial Solutions schedule from November 9 to 11, 2017.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

ASEA Uninet Workshop 'clim-SAT' in Bogor, Indonesia

The Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS implemented a week-long Interdisciplinary Faculty Development Workshop on 'Geospatial Applications of Satellite Generated Atmospheric and Climatic Data (clim-SAT)' at Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Bogor, Indonesia. The workshop was organised jointly by Z_GIS and IPB from 23rd to 27th October, 2017. The clim-SAT project was co-funded by ASEA Uninet Austria.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. (Ms) Sri Nurdiati, Dean - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, IPB. The session was followed by three open lectures delivered by Prof. Lilik Budi Prasetyo and Prof. I. Nengah Surati Jaya both from Faculty of Forestry, IPB; and Dr. Shahnawaz from Z_GIS which attracted about 100 attendees from within and outside the IPB.

(Attendees in the clim-SAT inaugural session) 

Dr. Shahnawaz (Z_GIS) and Dr. (Ms) Imas S. Sitanggang (IPB) conducted the workshop at the Faculty of Forestry (IPB). They taught the participants about the TERRA, AQUA, TRMM and GPM satellite platforms as well as trained them in using a range of data sets generated by various sensors aboard these platforms. Focusing on an interdisciplinary approach, 25 teachers and postgraduate students from 9 universities across 4 countries (i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand) participated in the workshop. The trainees worked on individual projects and explored geospatial applications of various atmospheric and climatic data sets in a range of disciplines. The hands-on practical work was based on the GIS software ArcGIS Desktop, and all participants presented interesting outcomes in the concluding seminar. The workshop concluded with a visit to the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) on the last day.

(Clim-SAT Workshop Participants) 

Prof. Lilik Budi Prasetyo (Head, Dept. of Forestry, IPB) conferred the certificates of successful completion on the participants and congratulated them for having benefitted from this international and interdisciplinary workshop. Appreciating the high quality of the workshop, he announced that IPB has allocated 3 credits to the workload for recognising it as a part of various study programmes at IPB as well as other participating universities. He also conveyed his gratitude to Z_GIS as well as to ASEA Uninet and expressed willingness to strengthen and expand the institutional collaboration with Z_GIS.

Friday, October 20, 2017

MORPH project: First field trip to Iceland

During a field trip to Iceland this summer, the MORPH team visited the study sites around Hekla and Öræfajökull. The MORPH project (Mapping, Monitoring and Modelling the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Land Surface Morphology) focuses on the investigation of landslides and volcanic deposits in these two study areas in Iceland. Both areas are highly dynamic in their geomorphic evolution and characterised by progressive mass displacements and surface deformation.  

Daniel Hölbling, Barbara Friedl and Jirathana Dittrich collected field pictures, took GPS measurements and validated preliminary analysis results in the field. They presented first results for selected study areas and discussed them with the collaboration partners from the University of Iceland in Reykjavik and with local experts from the South East Iceland Nature Research Center (NATTSA) in Höfn.   

The study areas are of high complexity in their environmental, geological and geomorphological conditions. Visiting the sites made the researchers more familiar with the specific conditions. The field trip complemented and improved the remote sensing based analysis.