Thursday, September 29, 2011

GISCA 2012 - mark your calendars: May 2/3

The GISCA organizing committee is announcing the 2012 conference to be held in Bishkek on May 2/3. A call for contributions will be published at a later date, right now - please put this date into your calendars!

After a successful GISCA 2011 held at the Kazakh National University in Almaty, GISCA in 2012 will be returning to Bishkek, likely to be combined with a summer school and teacher training within the Tempus Geoinformatics MSc programme development initiative.

GISCA 2012 again will appeal to specialists from the full range of applied, conceptual and technical areas within Geoinformatics and GIS. Watch the webspace on!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scholarships awarded to Bishkek students

At the Austria - Central Asia Centre for GIScience, two graduate students were awarded joint Eurasia-Pacific Uninet and UNIGIS scholarships for the coming academic year!

Ms Gulnara Orozalieva was the successful applicant now holding an EPU on-place scholarship for working at ACA*GIScience in combination with studying towards an UNIGIS MSc degree. Her background is in geodesy with strong interests in GIS.

Mr Eric Jeentaev was granted a one-year continuation of the scholarship he won in 2010, based on his successful performance and contributions to project work at ACA*GIScience.

Congratulations, and wishing both recipients successful postgraduate studies towards their UNIGIS qualifications!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Geoinformatics Teacher Training at TAU - Dushanbe

Within the Tempus ‚GEM‘ curriculum development project leading towards implementation of international MSc programmes across Central Asia, this week was highlighted by the highly anticipated teacher training seminar organized by Zamira Qodirova at the Tajik Agrarian University (TAU), Dushanbe.

Close to 30 participants from partner universities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are working with their project partners from Austria, Hungary and the Netherlands towards enhancing their skills in facilitating students’ learning in various geoinformatics topics. Aiming at supporting emerging postgraduate studies at their institutions, these teachers are the core of an evolving ‘community of practice’ in GI education in the Central Asia region.

This theme of collaboration was emphasized by project coordinator Prof Josef Strobl from the University of Salzburg. Assisted by the national Tempus representative Czarina Nuridinova, the Rector of TAU welcomed all seminar participants and expressed his commitment to support a future dedicated study programme in Geoinformatics, positioning this as an important contribution to improved management of Central Asia’s environments, economies and societies.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

UNIGIS scholarships offered at ACA*GIScience Bishkek!

The Eurasia-Pacific Uninet is again offering two full student scholarships at ACA*GIScience in Bishkek. Successful candidates are expected to work on GIS projects at this Center for at least one year (with an extension option for another year), and will be offered the opportunity to simultaneously complete the UNIGIS distance learning MSc.

The UNIGIS Study Centre at ACA*GIScience in Bishkek has opened 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  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 from July 2011 onwards! Further information is available through

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Top Remote Sensing Publication on 'Bishkek Green Spaces'

Dr. Ainura Nazarkulova from the Austria - Central Asia Centre for GIScience, together with Dr. Peter Hofmann from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Prof. Josef Strobl from the University of Salzburg published their recent research results in the Journal "Remote Sensing" in the article "Mapping Green Spaces in Bishkek—How Reliable can Spatial Analysis Be?" (Remote Sens. 2011, 3(6), 1088-1103; doi:10.3390/rs3061088).

Analyzing recently acquired imagery donated by GeoEye with advanced image processing methods enabled researchers to evaluate quantities and qualities of urban green spaces. This article is focusing on the quality assessment of results - and all authors certainly can be proud to have their work published in a top journal.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Successful conclusion of GISCA 2011 in Almaty!

The Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi on May 20 successfully concluded their first 'GIS in Central Asia' conference. The conference organizing team led by Gulnara Nyussupova and Nurzhan Kerimbay from the Faculty of Geography under Dean Vitali Salnikov had the opportunity to welcome close to 100 participants, many of them from international universities in Europe, Middle East and USA.

Following three days of intensive parallel workshops and overlapping with a Geoinformatics training for Tempus and UNIGIS teachers, the conference was started on May 19th with welcome addresses from dignitaries and organizers. The excellent conference facilities on the top floor of KazNU's main building provided a stimulating venue for research presentations and lively discussions throughout a conference program arranged by Akylbek Chymyrov from the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience in Bishkek.

The conference offered more than 20 high level paper presentations on current topics of GIS and remote sensing applications, development of methods, and educational perspectives. Supported by social events and a field trip on the day after the conference, GISCA again made a significant contribution to building a network of Geographic Information Science researchers, educators and professionals across Central Asia!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

PALM Project results presented at GISCA'11

Ainura Nazarkulova from ACA*GIScience together with Vincent Lalieu from Bloomingfeld Asia Ltd. today presented results from their project work in a paper titled "Local Water and Small Hydropower Potentials in High Mountain Areas" at the GIS in Central Asia Conference, held at the Kazakh National University named after Al Farabi.
Based on the results from the analysis of small catchment hydrographic cycles, not only hydropower potentials for local electricity generation were derived, but ongoing and future work will focus on establishing basic information for irrigation management.
Advanced GIS-based models including terrain models and land cover, as well as soils and climatological parameters allow for detailed, local scale analysis of the entire process chain from precipitation to river flow. This will allow well-founded decisions for land management as well as implementing new hydropower and irrigation schemes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

First time at KazNU: Annual Central Asia GIS Conference

Geoinformatics: Managing Environment, Resources and Risk – GISCA‘2011
May 19-20, 2011 - Almaty, Kazakhstan

Geographic Information Science and Technologies have evolved into a key instrument for managing our societies, environments and infrastructures, as well as individuals’ daily lives. The continued success of the development of ‚GIS Applications‘ is built upon cooperation across disciplines, scientiests and countries. Conference presentations demonstrate advanced applications across Central Asia, complemented by contributions from European scientists.

The GISCA series of conferences aims at building a Central Asian network of GIS professionals supporting the sustained development of this region into an environmentally friendly, secure and prosperous society. This year’s conference topics emphasize disaster and risk management through geospatial methods and technologies, a particularly timely and important theme considering the exposure and vulnerability of Central Asian countries to a variety of risks.

GISCA‘2011 is bringing top scientists to KazNU, the pre-conference workshop programme offers an outstanding learning opportunity for young teachers and researchers. Again the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet ( is supporting the event, demonstrating the value of KazNU’s membership in this international network managed by Austrian scientists. Details about the conference and the two-day lecture programme are available from

Geoinformatics Teacher Training in Almaty

Within the EU-TEMPUS MSc development project „Geoinformatics: Managing Energy, Resources, Environment“ (GEM) a one-week training as part of a faculty development initiative targeting Central Asian Universities has been started today. The Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi in Almaty is hosting 35 participants from seven universities in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. European partners from Austria, Hungary and the Netherlands

The main objective of GEM is to develop and implement an international, interdisciplinary postgraduate curriculum in Geoinformatics, with a clear focus on the management of critical resources. In particular, important pillars of the success of emerging economies in the Central Asia region will be addressed. The program will focus on the contents, teaching methods, academic integrity and a collaborative form of delivery as well as laying the foundation for lifelong learning in accordance with the Bologna Declaration.

From late 2011 onwards, these faculty members will instruct and supervise master’s students in Geoinformatics in their home institutions. For the first time, these universities will offer a joint curriculum framing an international MSc integrated through summer schools, elearning media and close cooperation of teaching faculty. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Austrian gov't delegation visiting ACA*GIScience

On April 14th, an Austrian government delegation led by Ambassador Ursula Fahringer visited the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience at KSUCTA. The Austrian Foreign Ministry was represented by Ambassador Martin Eichtinger, and Vice Minister Elisabeth Freismuth attended on behalf of the Ministry for Science and Research.
ACA*GIScience faculty presented a brief overview of scientific and education activities at ACA*GIScience in cooperation with Austrian universities and international organisations. The annual GISCA conference, the joint UNIGIS distance learning program, Tempus curriculum development and various research projects were highlighted, as well as the overall objective of academic capacity building.

All attendees were sharing the hope that international support for ACA*GIScience could be expanded and cooperative research on a high level will provide an important foundation for progress in science and higher education.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pre-Conference Workshops at GISCA'11

With support from the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet and from GIS industry, and in close cooperation with the Tempus GEM project, the organisers of the 2011 GIS in Central Asia conference are proud to announce an extensive pre-conference program of workshops.
These offerings are directed at junior faculty and advanced students from Central Asian universities. Workshops will cover working with GPS, open content and open source technologies, advanced ArcGIS, FME from SAFE and will offer an introduction to SDI frameworks.
Detailed information is available through and Candidates need to pre-qualify and fully register for GISCA 2011.

Friday, February 18, 2011

GSDI recognizes work at KgGISA

The Global Spatial Data Infrastructure organisation for the second time awarded a 'Small Project Grant' to the Kyrgyz GIS Association. Based on an application developed and submitted by Dr. Ainura Nazarkulova, this project will support the development of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) Awareness training, implemented jointly with the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) represented by Mariana Belgiu, MSc from the ÖAW GIScience Institute in Salzburg.

Spatial Data Infrastructures are increasingly evolving into critically important infrastructures for managing livelihoods, environments and societies. Much more than just online maps and satellite imagery, an SDI provides the foundations for each country, region or municipality as well as NGOs to organize and coordinate its resources and assets in a 'spatially intelligent' way. SDIs now are rapidly becoming state-of-the-art toolsets for planning, logistics, environmental monitoring and general spatial development.

The first prototype SDI awareness course will be offered as a GISCA preconference workshop in Almaty. Participants will have the opportunity not only to work with Geoportals, but to learn about SDI architectures, standards, organisational frameworks and how to leverage the potential of spatial information for a range of application domains.