Z_GIS is an interdisciplinary Centre of Competence for Geoinformatics, serving the University of Salzburg as well as partner institutions and the geospatial community worldwide. By integrating basic and applied research with graduate education and outreach activities, we are contributing to applying new technologies and developing methods for managing our societies, businesses and environments.
Geographic Information Systems and Services (GIS) today are important interfaces between the real and the virtual worlds. The concept of ‘Digital Earth’ addresses public participation and ‘spatially thinking citizens’, including education and learning across all disciplines and levels, which Z_GIS is fostering through academic programmes, outreach to schools and public service initiatives.
Z_GIS contributes to the worldwide geospatial community through memberships in scientific and professional associations, through project partnerships and as a centre of expertise for industry partners. Our global network of academic partner institutions is a strong platform for exchange of students and faculty, joint research and fostering awareness, motivation and sustainable management of livelihoods.
As an interfaculty department, Z_GIS is aiming at excellence in research, education and communication across traditional disciplines, combining the best from the worlds of natural sciences, social and economic domains as well as technology and engineering. As ‘experts for the spatial view’ we are keen to contribute this perspective to today’s information and knowledge society.
Research and Development
GIS are enabled by the methodology of Geoinformatics, and based on Geographic Information Science. Z_GIS is therefore striving to contribute to fundamental models of spatial phenomena and processes, analytical extraction of information from data and sensors, application of geospatial intelligence in society and industry, and the effective communication and interaction through visual media.
Z_GIS Research & Development fosters new technologies for spatial decision support and policy implementation. Macro-drivers (such as climate change, natural disasters, resource scarcity) require a macroscopic spatial view in better understanding the emerging patterns and underlying processes in a systemic and synoptic way. Thus we apply a multi-scale mode, utilizing latest technology and innovative sets of spatial tools. The global concern for a changing world entails a new way of approaching multi-dimensional problems and makes decision makers acknowledge tools capable to tackle the ‘big picture’ rather than looking at isolated aspects only. In a transdisciplinary way, we integrate both physical and socio-economic aspects.
We integrate new approaches with well established concepts of spatial thinking while stimulating scientific discourse. Along the entire geodata processing chain, we structure and harmonize, analyze and visualize, communicate and disseminate spatial information and unleash the inherent meaning of spatial data collections. As experts for the spatial view, Z_GIS focuses on interoperable GIS usage, spatial modelling, satellite remote sensing, image analysis, digital cartography and GI-based communication. Computer-based methods and tools are applied and adapted to landscape and urban analysis, water and environmental management, crisis and conflict prevention in the light of sustainable development. We likewise refine tools to provide and manage such information over the Web, to make it accessible and usable in an interactive, bi-directional way.