University of Salzburg establishes Geoinformatics as interdisciplinary domain

By on 27 August, 2012
Combining the success stories of the previous “Centre for Geoinformatics” with the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ “Institute for Geographic Information Science”, the University of Salzburg, on August 1, 2012, founded its new “Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS”. This step acknowledges the important new interdisciplinary positioning, placing Geoinformatics at the intersections of technical, natural and social sciences.
Led by professors Josef Strobl and Thomas Blaschke, the Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics is demonstrating a pathway that might serve as a role model for university organisation 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 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 top students from many countries, and substantial Geoinformatics content is contributed to the Geography bachelor program. Of course, the worldwide leading UNIGIS distance learning program is part of the new department as well.
The well-established brand of ‘Z_GIS’ is retained as the banner for ‘Geoinformatics Salzburg’. The new organisational framework, together with well-proven experience will be the foundation of the 25th annual AGIT conference and GI_Forum in July 2013.

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