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