• Starting dates next intakes: Twice a year (March and October)
  • Where to meet UNIGIS: GI-Forum, Salzburg

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Core Modules

1 Module: GIS Introduction

This module provides a general introduction to the discipline GIScience&Technology. It starts with the discussion why spatial is special and why spatial has become a value-added perspective in many different fields, particularly Geography. Terminology and components of GIS are introduced followed by its scope and history. An overview of current GI technology is given followed by a discussion about aspects of integrating spatial information into general ICT and pointing out the emerging GIS communities as well as the ever growing GI industry and its market. The module concludes with lessons dedicated to the spatial reference systems emphasizing the importance of positioning with coordinate systems, and introducing map projections.


2 Module: Data Modelling and Data Structures

This module introduces spatial concepts and establishes a framework for spatial thinking; thus it provides insight into the specifics of modelling spatial information. The majority of academic disciplines are non-spatial and many people are spatially unaware. This module is designed to overcome this deficiency and, at the same time, show the way spatial thinking and modelling can be implemented into computer programmes.


3 Module: Data Sources and Data Acquisition

This module focuses on acquisition of spatial data, its principles and respective techniques. Data quality is directly connected to the applied acquisition method(s). Therefore quality concepts and metrics are introduced. Rapid increase of data and its availability requires metadata for their effective and efficient search; thus the principles of metadata are presented. The module concludes with a discussion of related legal aspects and ethical issues.


4 Module: GIS Organisation and Project Management

Initially, GIS were considered a technological challenge to be solved by technological progress. Now we recognize that the organisational environment is perhaps the single most critical success factor for GIS implementation and projects. Projects are not just organisational frameworks to reach operative objectives. Looking at the top-down process of enterprise strategic planning leading to specific business activities, we recognize 'project orientation' as a centrepiece. Project management is the discipline of defining and achieving targets while optimizing the use of resources such as time, money, people, and space, and is the focus of the first part of this module. The last part of the module discusses issues such as GIS in organisations, planning, and procurement. In addition issues of quality management and legal issues are touched on, and it concludes by pointing out leading innovation in the GI economy.


5 Module: geoDBMS

This module establishes the foundations of data organisation and database management systems (DBMS). The module covers techniques and tools for the design of DBMS. Various types and architectures of DBMS are discussed with special emphasis on relational, object-oriented and object-relational databases. Structured Query Language (SQL) is introduced both from the point of view of the logic of querying a relational database as well as defining its structure. The second part of this module deals with geoDBMS, i.e. DBMS specially tailored to handle spatial data. In particular, the representation of simple features as well as an efficient multidimensional access to spatial data are discussed. Concepts of warehousing and benefits of data mining conclude this module.


6 Module: OpenGIS and Distributed GI Infrastructures

Currently, all over the globe and at all scale levels, Spatial Data Infrastructure projects can be recognized. Their aim is to improve the availability of and access to geospatial data. With the paradigm shift ”from systems to services“, Spatial Data Infrastructures, spatial data market place and geo business have become keywords in the GIS world. A common understanding of these concepts is given which helps to evaluate the political and economic impact of distributed geo-processing and the OGC process. The technological side to these developments such as WMS as the first Web Service standard of the OGC, and XML and GML are introduced.


7 Module: Geographical Analysis

The process of analysing geographical data is called geographical or spatial analysis. Spatial analysis can be used for evaluating, estimating, predicting, interpreting, and understanding geographical information. Spatial analysis is one of the most important components of any GISystem. In this module the principles and main concepts of spatial analysis are presented. An overview of the functions - analysis tools - as well as their classifications are given and illustrated by numerous examples. Particular attention is paid to issues like map algebra, distance-based analysis, network analysis, allocation, interpolation and fuzzy-set analysis, to mention only a few. The module concludes with discussing models for spatial decision support as these are based on geographical analysis outcomes.



8 Module: Spatial Statistics

This module reviews some popular approaches to statistically analyse data in their spatial context, providing hands-on experience with widespread software. The module starts with a review of basic statistical concepts and their extension by adding the spatial aspect; it then explains concepts and methods of pattern analysis,introduces methods for measuring spatial dependence, and finally provides a compact gateway to geostatistics.


9 Module: Visualisation and Cartography

Visualisation and cartography are located at the business end of the GIS stream. After all the data compilation, data processing and data analysis (often in the middle of all this), a GIS expert will have to choose what information is necessary to display to achieve a particular goal. This module will be looking at issues of purpose, parsimony, and design; that is, why, what and how to (spatially) communicate. Cartography and GIS are tools which serve communication goals. The recent use of computers in cartography and consequently in GIS have considerably changed the design and presentation of maps and diagrams. Foundations of cartography and of visual communication are revisited. Issues such as static, dynamic, surface or fly-through visualisation are discussed as well as some cutting-edge work in GIS like immersive visualisation tools or 3D rendering of geospatial objects.



Module Overview

UNIGIS MSc Documents