The UNIGIS International Association gathered in November in Amsterdam for their 12th yearly conference. Representatives from South Africa, the USA, India, and Europe (U.K., Austria, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Spain) met to discuss the current developments in GIScience education, research and innovative ways for distance education. The international business partners of the UNIGIS network were invited as well, to present their views on future directions of GIS education, research and applications. Johannes Kebeck and Jos Bakker of Microsoft presented Virtual Earth using oblique aerial photographs, and demonstrated impressive 3D models of European cities; a model building application for architects; and a demo of an Hurricane Management System; With little additional development or third party tools you can use this approach to integrate OGC-compliant Web Mapping Services or other spatial-data-formats like ESRI-Shape-files. This all left us very impressed and full of ideas on how to incorporate this in current GIS education.
The ongoing collaboration between Oracle Academy and UNIGIS will result soon in a common module on Spatial Databases. Dr. Martin Huber from Condesys Consulting, Switzerland, presented a new UNIGIS module on OpenGIS and Interoperability and the development of a book on this issue. We thank Dutch Directorate for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) for the courtesy to welcome us at their traffic control centre in the province North Holland, were we could see an impressive real-time application of location information availability in transport and future developments in this area. In style, we has a diner in IJmuiden during the Strom with the highest water levels since the 1953 disaster (316 cm above average sea level).