Sunday, December 12, 2010

Successful Tempus GEM kick-off meeting at KSUCTA

On Dec 10 and 11, project partner representatives from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Hungary, the Netherlands and Austria met at KSUCTA in Bishkek to launch the development and implementation of an international Master’s program in ‘Geoinformatics Management’.

First students will start their studies in the academic year 2011/12, aiming at advanced qualifications in Geoinformatics with a special emphasis on “Managing Energy, Resources and Environment”. The initial goals are curriculum development and teacher training. Program implementation will be supported with computer classroom installations, and accompanied by quality and integrity control as well as outreach to potential employers and prospective students.

Offering an English language postgraduate program in an important Science & Technology discipline is a first in the Central Asia region and an ambitious undertaking. Motivated efforts by all partner institutions will be required not only to launch, but also to sustain this program!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'Geoinformatics Management' MSc Development Started

A new Tempus curriculum development project with participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has started in October and will be officially launched Dec 10-11 at KSUCTA in Bishkek. From the fall of 2011 Masters students in "Geoinformatics: Managing Energy, Resources, Environment" will start their education at several Central Asian partner universities, with additional universities joining in the following year.
This international MSc programme is aiming at addressing the urgent need for graduates qualified in technology, methods and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The definitive curriculum will be presented at GISCA 2011 in Almaty, with registration for students opening shortly thereafter.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

GISCA 2011 - Call for Papers

The annual GIS-in-Central Asia Conference now has opened its 2011 Call for Papers and registration. The conference is scheduled for May 19-20 in Almaty, Kazakhstan and will be preceded by a range of workshops and tutorials. Again, it is expected that this event will bring together all key players in the Geoinformatics and GIScience disciplines from Central Asia and beyond!

The main theme of GISCA 2011 will be "Geoinformatics: Managing Environment, Resources and Risk", and contributions are welcome addressing this theme from the entire range of Geoinformatics and Spatial Sciences backgrounds.

The 2011 conference will simultaneously serve as this year's key coordination  and training event for the Tempus GEM curriculum development project for Geoinformatics Management, and as a venue for various user groups and special interest communities.

GISCA 2011 is being jointly organized by the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience and the Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi as a local host. The conference will be supported by the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet and several sponsors from the Geoinformatics industry.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dr Nazarkulova presenting at Global SDI Conference, Singapore

At the GSDI Conference, held in Singapore Oct 19-22, Dr Ainura Nazarkulova was invited to present the results of her work in  a presentation titled "Building an SDI as a Community Project - Challenges in Emerging Economies". After being nominated as a recipient of the GSDI small grants program in 2008, this paper and poster presentation acknowledged her efforts towards establishing several key elements of a Spatial Data Infrastructure for Central Asia.
During the conference Kyrgyz 'insignia' were presented to Dr Al Stevens, administrator of the SDI small grants program. "Dr Nazarkulova's presentation was one of my personal highlights during the Singapore conference", Dr Stevens commented.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mark Your Calendars: GISCA 2011 for May 19/20 in Almaty!

The annual GIS in Central Asia conference will be organised in Almaty at the Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi on May 19/20, 2011. Workshops and project meetings will be scheduled on the days before the conference.
A Call for Papers will be issued later this month, suggestions and offers for enhancing the conference program are welcome!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Successful enerGIS Faculty Dev'l Workshop in Dushanbe

Today the enerGIS'10 workshop hosted at the Tajik Agrarian University named after Shirinsho Shotemur and supported by the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet has been successfully concluded in Dushanbe.

On Monday, participants from Central Asian countries and organisers from the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience were welcomed by Ambassador Ursula Fahringer, Rector Izzatullo Sattori and the local organiser, Zamira Khodirova from TAU.

The overall workshop program was focusing two sets of topics - advanced skills in Geographic Information methods and techniques, and a particular focus on applications in the wide area of energy management and the identification of renewable sources of energy.

An intensive program of lectures and practical work was aimed at advancing the skills of university teachers, and assisting with developing a community of academic researchers and teachers across the Central Asia region qualified in geospatial management of energy resources.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

UNIGIS Course: Start in early October!

Due to the current level of registrations, the next starting date for the UNIGIS Geoinformatics / GIScience distance learning program for students from Central Asia can be confirmed for the beginning of October 2010!
The UNIGIS Study Centre at ACA*GIScience in Bishkek is offering MSc in GIScience as well as GIS diploma/certificate programmes, candidates have the opportunity to begin their studies towards this postgraduate qualification within the worldwide UNIGIS network of universities. 
The Bishkek study centre is offering Russian language tutoring and instruction, thereby facilitating access to this international English language continuing education programme addressing in-service professionals. Applications for admission of qualified candidates to remaining places are still accepted! 
Further information is available through - specific enquiries can be directed to Dr. Ainura Nazarkulova.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

enerGIS Workshop in Dushanbe

Hosted by the Tajik Agrarian University named after Shirinsho Shotemur (TAU), the Technical University of Graz jointly with other partners from the Austrian Eurasia-Pacific Uninet is offering a faculty development workshop from Sept 20 to 24 within the framework of the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience.

The enerGIS workshop offers participants an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based on renewable-energy-relevant applications with a focus on Central Asia. University lecturers and administrators, NGO or technical experts are invited. Core topics of the workshop will be:
  • Applying GIS technologies to energy issues and related projects.
  • Applying the acquired skills  in Central Asia.
  • Building up a collaborative network (coordinated by ACA*GIScience).
  • Enabling GIS to support decision-making processes by assisting the management of renewable energy resources like biomass, hydro, solar or wind energy.
Further information is available via!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Central Asia Geoportal Available!

Researchers from ACA*GIScience, the Austrian Academy of Sciences - Institute for GIScience and the University of Salzburg Center for Geoinformatics have announced the public availability of a prototype Geoportal with a focus on Central Asia.
Access is available via or (as backup address) All holders and owners of geospatial data sets with a focus on Central Asia are invited to register their data sets or services as metadata to facilitate cooperation across institutions and research groups.
The conference presentation on the new Geoportal is available here and enquiries are invited via register.geoportal[at] The Central Asian GIS community and all individuals and institutions interested and active in this region are invited to fully participate!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

GISCA 2010: “Water: Life, Risk, Energy and Landuse”

Geospatial experts meeting at GIS Central Asia Conference in Bishkek

by Ainura Nazarkulova,
Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience

The 4th annual Central Asia GIS Conference at the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience (  was opened on May 27 by Rector Abdykalykov from the Kyrgyz State University of Construction, Transportation and Architecture in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. He was assisted by the Austrian ambassador to Central Asia, HE Ursula Fahringer and the representative of the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet, Prof. Alfred Pitterle.

The two-day conference program brought together speakers from Central Asian and surrounding countries addressing the main theme of the conference: Water for life, Water posing a risk, Water for renewable energy, and Water as the key resource controlling regional landuse. Particularly due to climate change and increasing societal pressure on resources, quality and quantity of water supplies are critical factors in developing and maintaining livelihoods. Geographic Information Science offers an indispensable set of instruments for managing the water cycle.

The opening keynote on ‘Perspectives of Cartographic Design‘ by Prof. Karel Kriz from the University of Vienna recognized and illustrated the importance of using effective cartographic communication as a key success factor for geospatial methods and technologies. The main conference was preceded by four workshops, with the Kyrgyz National Agrarian University focusing on the topic of GIS for Environment Management, and one-day events dedicated to Data Modeling with FME, Open Source software options and the development of an SDI for Central Asia.

The latter topic turned out to be the most attractive innovation presented at GISCA’10: a regional geoportal will serve as a platform for collaboration and significantly lower the entry hurdle into GIS-based analyses and applications. This service is available from and is supported by the newly created Kyrgyz GIS Association, which can now be contacted at

Even though the recent political turmoil in Kyrgyzstan caused difficulties due to institutional and corporate travel restrictions, over 100 registered participants had the opportunity to continue building a Central Asia – focused network of GI experts and professionals. Capacity building within and beyond this network now is led by the UNIGIS study centre for Central Asia ( reaching out to GIS professionals with its postgraduate programs of study.

Conference participants received a copy of the conference proceedings at registration (jointly published by KSUCTA and Salzburg University’s Centre for Geoinformatics), this volume and further information are available from the conference website at Plans for a 2011 conference with an even stronger educational focus are currently being finalized for May/June 2011 – emphasizing GIS as an indispensable component in the development of the Central Asian societies and economies.
GISCA 2010 was made possible through generous support from
the Austria-based Eurasia-Pacific Uninet (

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Next UNIGIS course - starting Oct 2010

The UNIGIS Study Centre at ACA*GIScience in Bishkek will be offering the next starting date for Geoinformatics / GIScience distance learning students from Central Asia on October 1st! MSc in GIScience as well as GIS diploma/certificate candidates will have the opportunity to begin their studies towards this postgraduate qualification within the worldwide UNIGIS network of universities.
The Bishkek study centre is offering Russian language tutoring and instruction, thereby facilitating access to this international English language continuing education programme addressing in-service professionals. Applications for admission are accepted until July 2010! Further information is available through

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Land Use / Hydrology Project

Within the PALM-ICARDA framework aiming at sustainable land management in the Pamir-Alai mountains we at the Kyrgyz GIS Association were awarded an ‘adaptive research grant’ by the United Nations University (UNU, Bonn) to develop “Regional Water and Small Hydropower Potentials in the Pamir-Alai Mountains”.
Starting from land cover and terrain analysis, the project will model the terrestrial phase of the water cycle for catchments in southern Kyrgyzstan. Results will be insights into local (small catchment area) potentials for hydropower and irrigation, with a particular focus on the evaluation of climate change scenarios to assess the potential impact on the seasonal availability of water for consumption and the production of food and energy.
The project is conducted in close cooperation with the Centre for Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg and is coordinated through the Kyrgyz GIS Association (KGGISA) with support from the Kyrgyz GIS Centre by supplying hardware infrastructure and data. First results will be reported at the upcoming GISCA conference.