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Varsity establishes geoinformatics as interdisciplinary domain

Austria: The University of Salzburg, Austria, has established its new “Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS”. This step acknowledges the important new interdisciplinary positioning with Geoinformatics at the intersections of technical, natural and social sciences.

The University of Salzburg with this department enhances its internationally recognised focus on research and education in Geoinformatics. More than 70 faculty and staff in the units GIScience, Integrated Spatial Analysis, Communication & GISociety, Capacity Building and Spatial Data Infrastructures contribute to research projects and address problems in science, business, society and environment.

Research-led teaching and learning will be a core responsibility: the international PhD program excels with its flagship doctoral college in GIScience, the English language MSc in ‘Applied Geoinformatics’ attracts and graduates top students from many countries, and substantial Geoinformatics content is contributed to the Geography bachelor program. Of course the worldwide leading UNIGIS distance learning programme is part of the new department as well.

Led by professors Josef Strobl and Thomas Blaschke, the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics is demonstrating a pathway which might serve as a role model for university organization worldwide: Geoinformatics being established as a trans-disciplinary subject beyond the constraints of traditional faculties and schools, it is subject to direct quality assurance through competitive research funding, pursues international cooperation in projects and educational programs, and aims at leadership in several core competences.

The well established brand of ‘Z_GIS’ is retained as the banner for ‘Geoinformatics Salzburg’, the new organizational framework together with well-proven experience will be the foundation of our 25th annual AGIT conference and GI_Forum in July 2013. We are looking forward to again meet peers and friends from the geospatial community to discuss insights from an academic organization making ‘spatial’ an integrated perspective across the university.

Source: GI Science