Saturday, January 31, 2015

Applications for PhD Scholarships in GIScience invited

The GIScience / Geoinformatics 'Doctoral College' at the University of Salzburg has opened the 2015 call for scholarship applications. At least 8 fully funded 3-4 year PhD research positions will be awarded to successful applicants.

We invite outstanding applicants from any and all nationalities. Requirements are excellent completion of a Master's level degree in Geoinformatics, Geomatics, Computer Science or any scientific/technical subject in a relevant field, professional working competency in English language, and a high degree of commitment and dedication to advancing Geographic Information Science through research.

Applications stating a preference for one of the supervisors' topical areas can be submitted until April 13. It is advisable to explore the previous cohort of doctoral college students currently finishing their theses and degrees.

For display on your departmental notice board, or as a reminder on your own pin board:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

GIScience colloquium & Brown bag seminar

Brown bag seminar 

Date: Monday, January 26, 2015; 12:30 – 13:30

Place: Techno-Z, GI-lecture room: SC30OG1.107 (Schillerstraße 30, building 14, first floor)

Presenter: Vera Andrejchenko

Title: CHANGES Spatial Decision Support System

Spatial decision support system (SDSS) was developed with the aim to analyze the effect of risk reduction planning alternatives on reducing the risk now and in the future, and support decision makers in selecting the best alternatives. The SDSS is composed of a number of integrated components.

GIScience Colloquium 

Date: Monday, January 26, 2015; 16:00 – 17:00

Place: Techno-Z, GI-lecture room: SC30OG1.107 (Schillerstraße 30, building 14, first floor)

Presenter: Varga Orsolya Gyöngyi (University of Debrecen, Hungary)

Title: Remote sensing, Soil sciences, Drones – What Do They Have in Common?

Are you interested in different applications of GIS for various purposes? If you do, visit the presentation about the individual researches which describe applicability of GIS e.g. in remote-sensing, web mapping, and processing data provided by drones. Our guests from the University of Debrecen present a review on the history and significant results of their institute and modern trends of GIS research examined by them nowadays.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ESMERALDA – Enhancing ecoSysteM sERvices mApping for poLicy and Decision mAking. The first Z_GIS Horizon 2020 project starts in February 2015

Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services (ES) are core to the EU Biodiversity (BD) Strategy. They are essential if we are to make informed decisions. Action 5 sets the requirement for an EU-wide knowledge base designed to be: a primary data source for developing Europe’s green infrastructure; resource to identify areas for ecosystem restoration.

In response to these requirements, the 42 months long ESMERALDA project aims to deliver a flexible methodology to provide the building blocks for pan-European and regional assessments on mapping ecosystems and their services. The work of the 18 partner consortium will ensure the timely delivery to EU member states in relation to Action 5 of the BD Strategy, supporting the needs of assessments in relation to the requirements for planning, agriculture, climate, water and nature policy. Z_GIS will contribute to the mapping approach and will integrate biophysical and integrated assessment techniques.
For more information, please contact Hermann Klug @ Z_GIS

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nanjing Normal U. cooperation intensified

Prof Josef Strobl visited Nanjing Normal University (NJNU) on Jan 9-11, aiming at strengthening and expanding the longstanding academic cooperation between NJNU and Salzburg. Hosted by Prof Tang Guoan, Dean of the NJNU School of Geography and 1998 PhD graduate from Z_GIS, the visit was focussed on developing a joint application for Erasmus Mundus led by Z_GIS' Dr Shahnawaz and enhancing the exchange and student mobility activities between both universities.

Hanqing Zhao
Started already in 2014, a joint MSc program offers students the opportunity to graduate from NJNU and PLUS with double degrees in Geoinformatics. Chinese students spend a full year in the 'Applied Geoinformatics' MSc programme at Z_GIS, and then finish their research and theses at NJNU before graduating from both universities. As a first candidate, Ms. Hanqing Zhao currently is 'testing' these arrangements, with another six students scheduled to come to Salzburg in the 2015/16 academic year.

Prof Strobl presented a lecture on 'Balancing Micro- and Macro-Geographies' before meeting with graduate students to discuss their research and offering advice on methodologies and publication options. This brief visit succeeded with setting the stage for intensified cooperation and selecting qualified candidates for the highly regarded joint study programs.

Presentation and discussion of student projects

Friday, January 16, 2015

First “cotutelle de thèse”- defense within the DK “GIScience”

On December, 19th, Sebastian d’Oleire-Oltmanns defended his PhD Thesis, entitled “Gully mapping on multiple scales based on UAV and satellite data” successfully at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. 

Since a “cotutelle de thèse” is a bi-lateral doctoral program that is carried out jointly by two international partner universities, the examination committee consisted of Sebastian’s main supervisor in Salzburg, Prof. Blaschke and his supervisors from the University of Frankfurt, Prof. Wunderlich and Dr. Marzolff and Prof. Ries from the University of Trier. Being a member of the DK “GIScience” 

Sebastian additionally presented his research at the University of Salzburg in the framework of the GIScience seminar. After his presentation a lively and challenging discussion examined his major approaches of the research work. More than 30 visitors followed this interesting presentation, and some participants took the chance to actively engage in this discussion. 

During his PhD, Sebastian dealt with methods for gully mapping on two different scales. In addition to the traditional field investigations carried out in geomorphology, remotely sensed data acquired at different scales covered various possibilities to analyze a specific study site, the broader spatial context around this study site (e.g. catchment level) and finally enabled area-wide mapping of gully-affected features. Several workflows were developed and applied: a workflow for photogrammetric processing of Small Format Aerial Photography (SFAP) data, the concept of object-based image analysis (OBIA) was applied at two different (spatial) scale levels for the detection of gullies and gully-affected areas and further analysis of the DSM provided estimations on the total soil loss for a specific gully as well as for the catchment level. 

We wish Sebastian all the best for his future career.

Cities, scales, and complexity

Brown bag seminar 

Date: Monday, January 19, 2015; 12:30 – 13:30

Place: Techno-Z, GI-lecture room: SC30EG0.E07 (Schillerstraße 30, building 15, ground floor)

Presenter: Dr. Mark Padgham (Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster)

The study of complex systems has been strongly dominated by examinations of "scale-free" or power-law patterns and processes, reflecting its origins in Per Bak's (1987-88) simple models of collapsing sand piles, in which the sizes of avalanches are power-law distributed. The fact that power-law distributions have no meaningful central moments presents, however, a fundamental difficulty in preventing reference to mean states or properties. Reports of power-law adherence also dominate recent urban science, as reflected most notably in Luis Bettencourt's prominent Science article (2014) in which he reveals the wealth of properties of urban systems that manifest power-law distributions, including city size, population density, infrastructure, crime, health, and transport. Cities nevertheless have defined scales. Houses are built to scales typical of the morphology of Homo sapiens. The structure of lanes, streets, and roads reflect typical gaits of humans and our beasts and vehicles of conveyance, and the scale of city blocks reflects in turn the scales of the ways that bound them. Urban science to date generallly treats such entities as "atomic", and pursues examinations of the scaling behaviour of aggregated houses, streets, and city blocks. In these cases, scaling behaviour emerges from the aggregation of such atomic units. There is nevertheless one other fundamentally important "unit" of all urban spaces that is not atomic, and that only emerges following initial aggregation: the neighbourhood. Neighbourhoods are in effect imposed a posteriori onto aggregations of "atomic units," and very commonly manifest their own intrinsic scales. I will present results of my research into urban scales, and use that to illustrate how cities offer unique systems in which to attempt what has not yet been formally achieved for complex systems in any general sense, namely the reconciliation of fixed-scale processes and properties within a general scale-free dynamic.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Global Urbanisation – An Earth Observation Perspective

GIScience Colloquium

Recent and prospective urbanization trends lead to new spatial dimensions of urban landscapes including so-called ‘mega-regions’. Examples shown include multi-temporal and multi-source satellite data to classify urbanized areas for an exemplary megaregion – the Hong Kong-Shenzhen-Guangzhou mega-region in Southern China. 

Presenter: Dr. Hannes Taubenböck (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR))

Date: Monday, January 12, 2015; 16:00 – 17:00

Place: Techno-Z, GI-lecture room: SC30OG1.107 (Schillerstraße 30, building 14, first floor)