Sunday, December 5, 2010

Top academic honours for UNIGIS Hungary alumnus

On Nov 30, Peter Gyenizse (UNIGIS Hungary 2004) successfully finished his habilitation process, the highest level of academic qualification in his country. The presentation of his scientific work is titled "An investigation of the physical and social impacts on the urban development of Pécs using GIS".

Pécs, the most populous city of Southern Transdanubia (Southwest-Hungary), is located on the southern foothills and slopes of the Mecsek Mountains and in the bottom of the Pécs Basin. P. Gyenizse's study applies GIS methodology to explore the major physical and social potentials and their influence on the urban environment.

During the last fifteen years almost 200 student have graduated in Geoinformatics from the University of West Hungary. More than 10% of these alumni are holding a PhD degree, which reflects the high quality of this postgraduate course.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The 13th edition of UNIGIS Girona Professional Master in GIS Management starts!

The 13th edition is running and almost 70 new students are part of the worldwide UNIGIS community.

It is a pleasure to have, year after year, this number of registrations wich notes the success of UNIGIS training programs in GIS, adapting to the needs and demands of professional environment.

Another year, UNIGIS Girona will work hard in order to guarantee the success and recognition of UNIGIS training offer.

UNIGIS Girona website

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

UNIGIS at Intergeo Trade Fair, Cologne

The UNIGIS Salzburg team is advising prospective students in their MSc and professional certificate programs at this year's Intergeo exhibit on Cologne, Germany. Interest in obtaining a widely recognized advanced qualification in Geoinformatics / GIScience continues to draw numerous visitors. At this increasingly international event Asia plays an important role, very much in line with the overall development of the UNIGIS program. Of course, as always, the UNIGIS booth is an important meeting place for the many UNIGIS alumni working at Intergeo or just attending the exhibits.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1st Latin American GIS education conference

On September 21st, UNIGIS co-organized the first Latin American Conference on GIS-Education ( in cooperation with ESRI. The conference was hosted by ESRI’s Mexican representative SIGSA ( and brought together GIS-users, teachers and other faculty from all over Latin America. A curriculum development workshop was held by the director of the UNIGIS program in Latin America, Richard Resl from the University San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. Nearly 200 participants discussed common goals and challenges for developing and implementing up-to-date GI curricula that satisfy the specific needs of students and professionals in order to meet the growing demand for high quality GIS-Education in Latin America.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Winners of the UIA Academic Excellence Prize 2010

The UNIGIS International Association (UIA) would like to announce this year’s winners of its worldwide Academic Excellence Prize. The Prize, initiated in 2008, is presented to the student, or students, who submits the best MSc thesis (or paper based on their thesis) during the academic year. This year the competition was very tight with six excellent high quality MSc theses and a paper being considered by the UIA Review Board. In the end the panel decided to make three awards.

Eva Willerslev from UNIGIS Manchester has been announced as the winner of the UNIGIS Academic Excellence Prize 2010. Her thesis titled “Methods of extracting a coastline from satellite imagery and assessing the accuracy” was considered unanimously by the Review Board as the best thesis this year.

In second place is Pedro Sarmento from UNIGIS Portugal, with a paper “Incorporating reference classification uncertainty into the analysis of land cover accuracy”.

In the third place is Hans-Jörg Stark from UNIGIS Sakzburg, with the thesis "Quality assurance of crowdsourced geocoded address-data within OpenAddresses - Concepts and Implementation".

Congratulations! The Review Board would like to commend these individuals for the high quality of their research.

The competition for the 2011 Prize is now open.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Master Theses Workshop

UNIGIS Salzburg students were attending a September 24/25 workshop presenting and discussing their thesis projects. More than 20 topics ranging across a variety of application domains, from a methodology focus to systems implementation and from business cases to educational perspectives demonstrated the enormous width and depth of GIScience!
The UNIGIS Salzburg team is wishing everybody well with the final stages of their MSc thesis - and congratulates Thomas Purfürst who was first with submitting his work on GNSS signal quality under forest canopy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

UNIGIS Annual Partner Conference

This year, UNIGIS partner universities are convening at ISEGI in Lisbon, Portugal for their annual network coordination conference. Topics like curriculum and learning media development are on the agenda just like joint summer schools, credit transfer and enhancements for the worldwide community of UNIGIS alumni.

With the UNIGIS network approaching its third decade of providing distance learning to GIS/GIScience professionals around the world, its reach now has expanded to all continents and student numbers continue to grow at an impressive pace - testimony to the high quality of education recognized across the GIS industry and all application domains.

UNIGIS chair Prof. Josef Strobl emphasizes: "Our network is now established as THE global virtual university for GIScience, and we are proud of making valuable contributions to the evolving GIS industry and to establishing Spatial Data Infrastructures worldwide!"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

UNIGIS Orientation / Promotion workshop in India

“The appreciation and recognition of the UNIGIS network of GIScience education is increasing among students from various disciplines in India“ says Dr. Shahnawaz (Director S&SE Asia, UNIGIS International). This conclusion is based on the educational backgrounds of 26 students and 3 teachers / professionals participating in the UNIGIS orientation workshop organised at the UNIGIS AIILSG study centre, Cochin, Kerala ( on 4th September, 2010. Most of the the participants in this one-day workshop are pursuing postgraduate studies in oceanography, environmental science and geography at various colleges in Kerala.
After open-floor discussions with the participants, Mr. V. Govindankutty (Coordinator, UNIGIS@AIILSG_India) concluded that many students aspire to obtain GI-qualifications but there are hardly any opportunities for quality GIScience education in Kerela. He expressed the urge to organise UNIGIS workshops in various part of Kerala.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

UNIGIS Faculty Workshop - Indonesia

Within the context of working with potential new partners within the UNIGIS network in Southeast Asia, UNIGIS regional director Dr. Shahnawaz organised a 3 days faculty development workshop at the Bina Nusantara University (, Jakarta, Indonesia from August 4-6, 2010.

29 faculty participated in the workshop, all with a computer science background. The workshop was themed "Spatial Management with GIScience" and focussed on developing spatial perspectives among computer science specialists. Besides delivering conceptual lectures, practical exercises were completed using professional GIS software. Following this workshop, options for continued UNIGIS collaboration were discussed during a half day meeting with BINUS administration on August 7.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Expanded UNIGIS presence across Asia

At this year's MapAsia conference in Kuala Lumpur, UNIGIS regional director Dr Shahnawaz had the opportunity to present postgraduate distance education as an innovative option for professional and personal development to delegates from a range of disciplines and backgrounds. Interest in pursuing continuing education in GIScience and GIS was intense, demonstrating accelerated growth across the GIS industry!

Ms. Norizah Kamarudin, Junior Faculty and PhD candidate at the Department of Forestry, University Putra Malaysia was welcoming visitors at the UNIGIS exhibition booth.

On the closing day of MapAsia, Prof Josef Strobl keynoted and chaired the Capacity Building Forum, a key platform for GIS educators from institutions in S/E Asia.

Monday, July 19, 2010

UNIGIS at ESRI International User Conference in San Diego

UNIGIS actively participated in the ESRI International User Conference, July 12-16 2010.
Monday night UNIGIS was present at the 'Academic GIS Program Fair', and from Tuesday to Thursday was available for attendees at a large booth in the main exhibit hall, providing information on all UNIGIS Distance Learning offerings worldwide. A lot of people stopped by to find out about UNIGIS: current UNIGIS students and alumni, prospective UNIGIS students, university faculty/staff as well as prospective UNIGIS member institutions.
Representatives from UNIGIS USC, Latin America, Salzburg and Poland staffed the booth, presented UNIGIS programs and actively promoted UNIGIS studies worldwide.

UIA Academic Excellence Prize 2009 – Award Ceremony

Christof Amelunxen (UNIGIS Salzburg), winner of the Academic Excellence Prize 2009 presented his top quality MSc thesis at the GI_Forum 2010 in Salzburg. His thesis titled: “An approach to Geocoding Based on Volunteered Spatial Data” was unanimously considered by the Review Board as the best UNIGIS thesis worldwide submitted in the academic year 2008/9.

After his presentation at the GI_Forum he was publicly awarded with the price and trophy by Josef Strobl in recognition of his work and the academic achievement. Congratulations!

The competition for the 2010 Prize is currently open. All UNIGIS partner universities worldwide are encouraged to take part in the competition.

Monday, June 14, 2010

UNIGIS professional – Workshop in Salzburg

On Friday 11th and Saturday 12th a new intake of UNIGIS professional students started into a demanding but interesting year of learning applied GIS by getting together in Salzburg for an introductory workshop. Participants of the German language version of the UNIGIS professional certificate course typically originate from Austria, Germany or Switzerland, although Austria was a bit underrepresented with just one student in this group. The team from Salzburg wishes a good start and looks forward to interesting discussions on GIS-topics!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

UNIGIS Netherlands Conference

UNIGIS Amsterdam is again inviting to the annual UNIGIS conference, June 14-18. The conference program includes multiple workshops on topics ranging from Spatial Analysis: a case study on malaria to Analysing & explaining land use change and will conclude with an Alumni Day on June 18 themed 'Risk Assessment & GIS'.
The opening lecture will be given by Prof Henk Scholten, the UNIGIS Amsterdam program director. While time has been set aside to watch soccer World Championship matches, numerous presentations and activities will introduce participants to the hot topics in today's world of GIS.
Wishing everybody a successful conference and reunion!

Friday, May 21, 2010

UNIGIS in Saudi Arabia

In the presence of the Saudi Minister of Higher Education, His Excellency Dr. Khalid Al Anqari on April 28, 2010 an academic cooperation agreement was signed between King Abdulaziz University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the University of Salzburg Center for Geoinformatics (Z_GIS).
The signatories Prof Osama S. Tayyeb, President of King Abdulaziz University (KAU) and Prof Josef Strobl, Chair of UNIGIS International and Director of Z_GIS are aiming at establishing a dual degree program between these two universities. With the intent of starting a joint postgraduate distance learning program later in 2010, the globally recognized UNIGIS qualifications will be made available to students from Saudi Arabia.
The Department of Geography, KAU will serve as a UNIGIS study centre and thus extend the reach of UNIGIS into the Arab Peninsula. Prof Al-Doaan, chair of the KAU Geography Department has been providing leadership to this initiative throughout the last year, and Dr. Mohamed Amri will be serving as program coordinator. Further program details will be available through!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

UNIGIS with ESRI at Latin America GIS Edu Conference

UNIGIS is cooperating with ESRI in organising and contributing to the Latin America GIS Education Conference hosted by SIGSA, announced for September 21, 2010 in Mexico City:

The conference flyer offers additional details for this event which will bring together the Latin America GIS educators' community sharing their experiences, discussing curricula, educational pedagogies and methods, and models for GIS labs.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

UIA Academic Excellence Prize 2010

The UNIGIS International Association (UIA) is pleased to announce the third 'UNIGIS International Academic Excellence Price' competition. We would like to recognize authors of the most outstanding master theses (or published scientific papers based upon a thesis) submitted at UNIGIS universities worldwide during the academic year 2009/10.

The criteria used to evaluate the theses include: technical quality, quality of literature review, relevance, presentation and originality. We are hoping for standards as high as last year.

The competition for the 2010 Prize is now open. Candidates must submit their MSc thesis or their paper through the respective UIA partner institution no later than July 15.

Monday, April 5, 2010

UNIGIS en America Latina – first intake 2010

The UNIGIS program in Latin America that is coordinated by the University San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) is happy to announce its first intake in 2010. By the end of March a group of 50 postgraduate students from Ecuador, Colombia and other Latin American countries were successfully enrolled in the two year UNIGIS master program. Two residential seminars were held to welcome the new students on March, 20th at USFQ, Quito (Ecuador) and March 27th at CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Cali, Colombia). The recently enrolled students can count on a distance learning qualification offered in Spanish language that is specifically tailored to particular needs of GIS professionals in Latin America. Welcome – Bienvenidos!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

UNIGIS worldwide - record number of students in 2009!

For the first time, the annual number of new students starting with a postgraduate UNIGIS distance learning / online studies program at one of the worldwide partner universities including study centres has exceeded 500. The increasing popularity of UNIGIS qualifications -2010 numbers are expected to be significantly higher- demonstrates the importance of lifelong learning in a growing field like Geographic Information Systems and Geoinformatics.
This success emphasizes the objective to 'Educate GIS Professionals Worldwide', with UNIGIS having reached the aim of being a virtual and multilingual university, connecting partner universities worldwide.

Monday, February 15, 2010

UNIGIS Krakow - Intro Workshop for New Students

On Saturday, February 13 the UNIGIS community was enlarged with a group of 50 new MSc students from Poland. They participated at the opening residential UNIGIS workshop (Feb 13-14) in Krakow, at the Jagiellonian University.

This intake is supported by the European Social Fund within a project dedicated to employees at enterprises. The group is strong, highly motivated and ambitious. All share the common goal of achieving an advanced qualification in Geographic Information Science & Systems in order to stimulate their careers and to enhance their professional skills.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

50th UNIGISprofessional Study Group

Today the 50th group of students have commenced the 1-year programme leading to their academic certificate in Geoinformatics. This brings the grand total of students and alumni in this German language course offered by Salzburg University's Centre for Geoinformatics to 693.
Typically 4 groups per year start with a curriculum comprising 7 compulsory modules before choosing elective subjects or an optional practical project. With a completion rate of above 85% this programme ranks at the top of successful distance learning qualifications. "I continue to be amazed by the dedication and motivation of our students!" says Christoph Traun, UNIGIS professional director of studies.
English language postgraduate certificate programmes following the same curriculum are offered by UNIGIS Salzburg study centres in several countries. GIS professionals with a UNIGIS certificate are highly regarded and sought after around the world and continue to make significant contributions to advanced applications of GIS across all disciplines and domains.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Salzburg MSc students gather for startup workshop

The 2010 class of UNIGIS students in the German language MSc programme today met for their first residential workshop at Salzburg University's Centre for Geoinformatics. Again a very diverse group from a range of academic disciplines and professional backgrounds had decided to focus their continuing eduation on Geoinformatics and Geographic Information Science.
This annual startup workshop is dedicated to building a community of learners, developing the foundations of successful online learning by creating a strong social network sharing a sense of purpose, common goals and a spirit of mutual support.
By exploring the experience of alumni from previous classes the new students were able to get a headstart into their curriculum as well as access to the rich set of experiences how to succeed through the motivational, organisational and scheduling challenges of a postgraduate online distance learning programme.
The UNIGIS team is wishing everybody a successful and rewarding path throughout this academic, personal and professional challenge!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Career Orientation for UNIGIS Noida Students

The current UNIGIS Postgraduate Diploma in Geoinformatics (UNIGIS professional) students at the GIS Institute Noida met for a workshop with Prof. Josef Strobl and Dr. Shahnawaz on January 18th. Course coordinator Anshu Miglani was proud to introduce all 34 participants and concluded that "students now have a much clearer picture how to focus their career development efforts, combining their personal strengths with the highly regarded UNIGIS qualification". In addition, the workshop introduced the concept of real time Geoinformatics, spawning lively discussions beyond the scheduled end of the event.

GISociety - Chandigarh Lecture

UNIGIS was introduced to the Indian Society for Remote Sensing at a public lecture on "Managing our Societies with GIS&T" by UNIGIS Chair Josef Strobl on June 16 at SASE (Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment) in Chandigarh. This lecture was part of a workshop with the first group of UNIGIS MSc students at Panjab University (PU). Prof. Surya Kant, PU UNIGIS coordinator states: "we are proud to work with outstanding postgraduate students from a range of professions, and looking forward to significantly expanding the joint MSc programme with the University of Salzburg in the near future".

Thursday, January 14, 2010

MSc class of 2010 - Salzburg

With the beginning of 2010 this year's class of (German language) MSc students at the University of Salzburg has launched with 50 participants aiming at graduating with an MSc in Geographic Information Science & Systems. They will meet in Salzburg for their first residential workshop Feb. 4-6, and already have started their online coursework. The UNIGIS postgraduate distance learning programme continues to be the most successful and most widely recognized continuing education qualification for GIS professionals worldwide.