Purpose of this page

All students of the Masters programme "Applied Geoinformatics" of the university of Salzburg are required to create and mantain an online portfolio to document and present their work-progress, competences and abilities. This can comprise lectures, summer schools, projects or internships. An ePortfolio can serve as reference for one self, or can further be used as reference for job interviews.

Geoinformatics: System or Science?

Geoinformatics could be described as the sum of technologies supporting and the concepts describing the collection, analysis, visualization and use of spatial data. First applications have been developed in the second half of the 20th century and in the first few years the term 'GIS' has only been used as abbreviation for geographic information systems. In 1992 Michael Goodchild coined the term geographic information science when it became clear that a system can not exist as a stand-alone solution without a science and conceptual framework behind it. This led to the research field of GIScience which is therefore often called the 'Science behind the System'. So geoinformatics is both: system and science. The curriculum of the study 'applied geoinformatics' in Salzburg tries to cover both aspects of geoinformatics, thus featuring lectures dealing with the theories and concepts of this science on the one hand and lectures comprising application examples led by modern technologies like todays geographic information systems or web mapping interfaces on the other hand.

What is it used for?

A sharp question which can only deliver fuzzy answers, because there is such an immense broad field of applications. It starts with the collection and storage of (spatial) data and attributes. Additionally, »GIS serves as a data handler for other analyses. For example, passing geologic and topographic data to an erosion model ..., or passing water quality and groundwater levels to a groundwater flow model» Source: GIS Lounge 2013

Further, there is still demand for 'classical' geographic disciplines like cartography and its newer offshoots such as geovisualization or web-mapping, which are unbelievable powerful tools in terms of delivering information or services to a wide public. And rather new developments in the mobile phone sector paved the way to another huge market. Smartphone apps which deliver location-based services, sprung up like mushrooms within the last few years and there is still no sign for this development to slow down.