During the Oracle Spatial Summit on May 22 2014 in Washington, DC, UNIGIS Salzburg was distinguished as recipient of the Oracle Spatial and Graph Excellence Award in the 'Education and Research' category. Xavier Lopez, Senior Director for Oracle Server Technologies presented the award to Prof. Josef Strobl from the Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg.
In his remarks, Xavier Lopez recognized the worldwide outreach facilitated by UNIGIS distance learning programmes, putting graduate geospatial education within reach of everyone interested. Qualified alumni are the critically important resource to develop geospatial applications and to leverage current and future technologies. The collaboration between Oracle and UNIGIS Salzburg had already reached a key milestone back in 2002 with the designation of Z_GIS as an Oracle Spatial Center of Excellence. Since then, in addition to applied projects, extensive education materials were developed, turning hundreds of students into experts for geospatial databases.
Of course, looking ahead is much more interesting than contemplating history: geospatial education is facing new opportunities and challenges, like cloud-based software, scaling of education, microlearning and mobile learning. Several of these topics will be at the core of future initiatives fostering capacity building and ultimately supporting spatial thinkers and geospatial designers&developers.