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.