Friday, October 28, 2011

2011 UNIGIS Academic Excellence Awards

During the UNIGIS annual network meeting at USFQ in Quito, Ecuador, the 2011 winners of the UNIGIS Academic Excellence price recognizing top Master's Theses were announced:

  1. Hugo MARTINS (UNIGIS Lisbon) SIGLA WEBGIS PORTAL: An Open Source Web-based GIS application for the Portuguese Bluetongue Entomological Surveillance Program.
  2. Stephanie BRAND (UNIGIS Salzburg) Roof surface classification with hyperspectral and laser scanning data - an assessment of Spectral Angle Mapper and Support Vector Machines.
  3. Peter WITT (UNIGIS UK) The development of a predictive hiking travel time model accounting for terrain variations.

The jury with members from UNIGIS Krakow and Lisbon was chaired by Richard Armitage from UNIGIS Manchester, and acknowledged the high quality of this year's submissions of Master's Theses from across the worldwide UNIGIS network. Their judgement was based on the combined criteria of literature review, technical and methodological quality, relevance, presentation and originality - leading to a tight race for the top spot. Congratulations to winners!!

UNIGIS Academic Excellence Prize – 2011 Awards announced

Hugo Martins from UNIGIS Lisbon has been announced as the winner of the worldwide UNIGIS Academic Excellence Prize 2011. His thesis titled ”SIGLA WEBGIS PORTAL: An Open Source Web-based GIS application for the Portuguese Bluetongue Entomological Surveillance Program” was voted by the International Review Board as the best UNIGIS thesis this year.

Stephanie Brand from UNIGIS Salzburg finished a very close second in a highly competitive finish. She submitted a thesis "Roof surface classification with hyperspectral and laser scanning data. An assessment of Spectral Angle Mapper and Support Vector Machines".

In the third place is Peter Witt from UNIGIS Manchester, with the thesis "The development of a predictive hiking travel time model accounting for terrain variations".

All winners will be invited to present their work in July 2012 at the Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg ( where they will be publicly recognized for their outstanding academic achievement.


UNIGIS at National GIScience Symposium in Indonesia!

UNIGIS was invited to the 2nd 'Simposium Nasional Sains Geinformasi 2011’ (2nd National Symposium on Geoinformation Science) organised at the National University of Indonesia i.e. Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta on 27/28 October 2011. Dr. Shahnawaz (Director UNIGIS S/E Asia) gave an extended presentation on ‘Empowering GIScience Learners through UNIGIS Online Distance Education’.

Besides introducing the principles, activities, study programmes and experiences of UNIGIS, Dr. Shahnawaz emphasized that UNIGIS has the vision of ‘educating GIS-professionals worldwide’ and the mission is to integrate all the major countries into the UNIGIS network.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

UNIGIS at GIS-Day in Quito

'A dream is coming true', says Richard Resl, Director of UNIGIS Quito as he presents the success of UNIGIS in Latin America at the GIS-Day of the Universidad de San Francisco en Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador. The programme that started off at USFQ with a couple of students in 1999 has now spread over the contintent with a new study center in Colombia and other centers to be established, e.g. in Bolivia. Currently, more than 250 active students are enrolled with UNIGIS Lationamerica.
USFQ will host this year's meeting of UNIGIS International Association (UIA) on 27. / 28. October.

The 14th edition of UNIGIS Girona Profesional Master starts succesfully

This new edition has more than 50 students who become part of the worldwide UNIGIS community. Year after year, the number of registration notes the success of our Programme, adapted to the emerging needs and demands more professional environment GIS.

train professionals capable of managing, implementing and developing Geographic Information Systems to address and resolve the needs and demands of the professional world.

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

UNIGIS Girona website

Friday, October 21, 2011

UNIGIS at Asia Geospatial Forum 2011!

The only international academic exhibitor was UNIGIS at the Asia Geospatial Forum ’2011 held in Jakarta, Indonesia during 17-19 October. The director of UNIGIS network in S/E Asia, Dr. Shahnawaz, received a large number of visitors and informed them about the UNIGIS programmes of online distance education in Geographical Information Science (GISc). The majority of the visitors came from several institutions, organisations and companies located in various parts of Indonesia, and from China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam etc.

Many visitors expressed concern about and discussed the employment opportunities and challenges young people
of the ASEAN region are going to face in the coming years after Southeast Asia becomes a free-trade and free-mobility zone. They emphasized the role well established and internationally recognized educational programmes can play in enhancing the competences and skills of job seekers in the region.

UNIGIS was also given the honour of being judge of the poster exhibit competition!

Monday, October 17, 2011

UNIGIS Salzburg - New Intake

Aiming to become GIS professionals after an intensive year of studying, a group of 17 professionals from a variety of application domains like archaeology or sea surveying started the UNIGIS professional program with an introductory workshop in Salzburg. As good as the weather was the overall atmosphere within the group – the UNIGIS team wishes a good start…

Sunday, October 16, 2011

UNIGIS invited to INCA Conference in Chandigarh, India

UNIGIS was invited to contribute to the 31st Annual conference of the Indian National Cartographic Association (INCA) organised from 15th to 17th October, 2011 in Chandigarh, India (

Dr. Shahnawaz was speaking on the "Dynamic Cartography for efficient Disaster Management", illustrating how    highly qualified individuals are key to leveraging the potential of GIS in these (and other!) application domains.
During the opening session, Prof. Josef Strobl was invited to deliver the prestigious 'Professor S. P. Chatterjee Memorial Lecture' which is organised once every three years. Prof. Strobl discussed concepts around  "Map Interfaces for Disaster Management" and demonstrated how GIScience and participative online GI services play significant roles in disaster management planning and action.

At a booth in the exhibit area, attendees had the opportunity to explore UNIGIS postgraduate study options in India, including the Universities of Madras, Goa and Panjab University at Chandigarh.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This September saw the 21st intake of students to the programmes run by UNIGIS UK at the Universities of Manchester Metropolitan and Salford. The start of the new UNIGIS academic year also coincided with the introduction of UNIGIS UK’s brand new Master programmes for 2011/12. The three new programmes being

· MSc in Geographical Information Systems - which provides a broad grounding in the major aspects of contemporary GIS

· MSc in Applied GIS - which focuses on the applications of GIS and Geographical Information

· MSc in Geographical Information Technologies - which provides the opportunity to look at the technologies underpinning GI solutions

September also saw other exciting developments at UNIGIS UK. A new website for both students and the public was unveiled. However, perhaps the most exciting development has been the rolling out of a new virtual learning platform through which the programmes in the UK will be taught.

UNIGIS UK intends to hold a number of events over the coming year to celebrate its 21st year and the 21st year of the UNIGIS concept.


In late September UNIGIS UK represented the UNIGIS Network at the annual conference of the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), which was held at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham (UK). The event, which is one of the major GIS meetings to be held in the UK, provided the UNIGIS UK team with the opportunity to formally launch our new MSc programmes. In addition to sponsoring the conference, UNIGIS UK also had a stand, which proved very popular with conference goers. A wide range of individuals and organisations, from both public and private sectors, stopped by the stand to look at what opportunities studying with UNIGIS might offer. The UK team were extremely satisfied with the opportunity the conference provided to get the education message over to the GI user community.