This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952327.
The Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS is a so-called ‘interfaculty’ (meaning interdisciplinary) department (90 scientific and technical staff) at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS). Z_GIS is dedicated to fundamental and applied research, outreach activities and networking, and professional education and training.
As experts for the spatial view, Z_GIS is strongly involved in RTD activities, development cooperation and educational projects. Z_GIS is inextricably linked with the OBIA (object-based image analysis) approach and develops sensor-spanning spatial-temporal semantic analysis concepts for Big Earth Observation data. Z_GIS promotes a systemic understanding of multi-scale, multi-dimensional spatial phenomena by targeting its research on both environmental integrity and human security. We also believe an integrative, spatial view is fundamental to sustainable development. Through its wide-ranged activities, the department fosters mutual exchange of requirements and knowledge between the scientific and the users’ domain. Z_GIS holds bilateral research agreements with industry, UN organizations and NGOs.
Z_GIS is providing up-to-date and reliable information for dynamic information needs in Humanitarian Action using Earth Observation (EO) data combined with cutting-edge methods and tools to international NGOs and key players in the humanitarian sector. PLUS/Z_GIS is co-founder and member of the Copernicus Academy and leads supporting projects (EO4GEO, CopHub.AC, Master in Copernicus Digital Earth). The department is one of the recognized centres of excellence in global capacity building for GIS and participating in and leading educational initiatives with partners worldwide. These include curriculum development, geospatial faculty development workshops and mobility schemes (ERASMUS+, CEEPUS, TEMPUS, etc). Z_GIS has set up the iDEAS:lab for various science-to-public events. Z_GIS has attained a unique position in international postgraduate and continuing education through the worldwide UNIGIS distance learning program. Research-led teaching and learning is a core responsibility of Z_GIS: the international PhD program excels with its flagship doctoral college in GIScience since 2011, the English language MSc in Applied Geoinformatics attracts and graduates top students from many countries.
For more than 25 years, Z_GIS has organized the leading GIS conference in German speaking countries - AGIT, complemented since 2007 by the international symposium GI_ Forum. Z_GIS R&D participates in a diversified project-scape, ranging from EC Horizon 2020 and 7th Framework programme, Interreg and eContentPlus / PSP, over nationally and institutionally funded projects including fellowships to bilateral funding agreements with UN organisations and NGOs. Z_GIS has served over forty different research programmes and funding schemes.
PLUS/Z_GIS contributes to the project through supervision, access to research facilities, as well as through synergy effects with other projects. Infrastructure includes relevant hardware and software for digital image analysis, e.g., ERDAS Imagine, ENVI and eCognition, and GIS Analysis, for instance ArcGIS Desktop, and various other specialized software packages.