Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Logo for ACA*GIScience - our first step into 2014

The Austria-Central Asia Central Asia Centre for Geoinformatics at KSUCTA and KazNU is well known for managing the annual GISCA conference, facilitating academic collaboration and initiating projects - all geared towards capacity building in Geoinformatics and supporting the development of SDI components across Central Asia. 

Right now, we want to select our new logo, and need your help! Below you can view two suggestions for the logo - then, please follow this link and select your preferred version: http://zgis.doodle.com/nbqcfuzyxdv77f3e 

Thanks, and let the logo guide ACA*GIScience into another successful year :-)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

EM - gSmart: 2nd Call for Scholarships open until January 31, 2014!

The second call for applications within the Erasmus Mundus project ‘gSmart - Spatial ICT Infrastructures for Smart Places’ has opened on December 15, 2013 and is aiming at those students and faculty who are working (or planning to work) with spatial methods like GIS or Remote Sensing or GNSS on explicitly "spatial" problems!

These scholarships are for Central Asian students from Bachelor to PhD and Post-Doc levels, as well as academics to study/research/teach/work in one of the gSmart partner institutions in Europe. Before applying - please check your eligibility and scholarship conditions carefully on the Website: http://em-gsmart.zgis.net !
Or get advise from CA partner contacts, who are the primary contacts at partner universities in Central Asia, and familiar with opportunities, requirements and criteria within gSmart: http://em-gsmart.zgis.net/ca-partner-contacts

Project Office
University of Salzburg, Department of Geoinformatics, Z_GIS
Hellbrunner Strasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Geoinformatics-2013 GEM Students starting at KSUCTA

New GEM-2013 Students, enrolled in the "Geoinformatics" Master  Programme of KSUCTA, had their first online meeting with Prof. Dr. Josef Strobl, GEM Project Coordinator, on November 20. All 10 new students introduced themselves and shared ideas and motivation why they have selected to study Geoinformatics, and  in which research topics they are interested. They come from KSUCTA, other universities and research institutions for learning advanced GIS and RS technologies as well as for improving their professional and scientific skills.

Prof. Strobl has welcomed them all and expressed his best wishes for successful study in the GEM MSc Programme. Also he has mentioned the importance of personal motivation and hard work of students for the successful completion of Master Programme.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tempus Spatial Analysis Workshop for Uzbek Universities

Within the Tempus GE-UZ project, teachers from four Uzbek universities are being trained in spatial analysis methods and techniques during a four-week workshop at the University of Salzburg, Department of Geoinformatics, Austria.

Today, the first week of training ended with a visit to the library of the Natural Sciences Faculty and an excursion to the “Vermessungsamt Salzburg” (BEV) = Federal Office of Surveying of Austria. Exchange students from Al-Faraby Kazakh National University joined the excursion.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

gSmart Promotion in Uzbekistan

On November 12, the Erasmus Mundus gSmart scholarship project joint-coordinator, Aizhan Assylbekova from Al-Faraby Kazakh National University, presented scholarship possibilities to an interested audience at the National University of Uzbekistan in Tashkent (photo) as well as to teaching staff & students from different Uzbek universites at the "European Edu Faire" hosted at the University of Architecture & Construction.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

European 'geospatial' scholarship info for KazNU students

On Nov 2nd, 78 students from a variety of departments attended a scholarship programme info afternoon offered at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Faculty of Geography and Environmental Sciences. Students with a record of excellence, outstanding language skills and a dedication to developing the foundations for an international career are invited to consider applying for short term, semester or full programme scholarships within the "gSmart" Erasmus Mundus initiative.

Successful applicants will attend one of six European partner universities in Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands Romania or Spain. A majority of scholarship recipients will study on MSc or PhD level, with Bachelor studies, Postdoc and Admin/Staff awards also available. The next call for applications will open on Dec 15, and a strong field of applicants is expected from KazNU.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Completing 'gSmart' Erasmus Mundus kickoff @KazNU

An intensive 2-day working meeting brought together representatives from 13 Central Asian and 6 European Universities cooperating in the implementation of this scholarship program for students and faculty from the geospatial disciplines. Led by Dr Aizhan Assylbekova as the joint coordinator in this Erasmus Mundus project, participants were developing initiatives and activities directed towards selecting the best and brightest of students for an opportunity to study at European partner universities.

Ms Giordana Bruno joined from Brussels representing the Erasmus Mundus Executive Agency, and Mr René Mally participated on behalf of the European Union Delegation to Kazakhstan. After the Dean of the Faculty of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Prof Vitali Salnikov had welcomed all delegates, they dedicated themselves to planning and taking all steps towards successful implementation of the programme with sustained outcomes and measurable impacts across Central Asia.

Over the coming years more than 100 top students from Central Asia will complement or conduct their studies in Geoinformatics and related disciplines at EU universities, making an important contribution to the development of this core discipline as well as numerous application domains throughout their home countries.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

gSmart Erasmus Mundus Info Day at Gumilyev ENU

Today on Oct. 16,  Dr Ainura Nazarkulova from ACA*GIScience at KSUCTA Bishkek led an information day on gSmart scholarship opportunities at L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University (ENU) in Astana. Dr Nazarkulova started with a presentation introducing the overall framework of gSmart and giving recommendations for applications, followed by an intensive Q&A session with approx. 50 students and faculty attending the event.

ENU is one of 13 Central Asian partner universities in gSmart, offering attractive scholarship options to its students, faculty and staff. The event was held at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and organized by Prof. Musabaeva Meruet Nasurlaevna, Dr of Geography and Head of Physical and Economic Geography, and Senior Lecturer for GIS Babkenova Lazzat Temirhanovna.

Candidates from ENU are invited to apply during the second call for applications opening in December 2013. They are encouraged to study information available from the gSmart website > http://EM-gSmart.zgis.net in detail, and clarify any remaining questions through the ENU contact person, Prof. Nurzhan Kerimbay. A preregistration is being offered at any time, registrants will be informed by email as soon as the next call opens.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tempus GeoDBMS Workshop for Uzbek Universities

Within the Tempus GE-UZ project >http://www.ge-uz.eu, teachers from four Uzbek universities will be trained in a four-week workshop at the University of West Hungary in Szekesfehervar, Hungary >http://www.geo.info.hu/english/.

Today this workshop started with a year-1 review meeting involving project contacts and leaders from partner universities, the Uzbek Ministry if Higher Education and the state enterprise 'Geoinformkadastr'. Progress towards curriculum and learning materials development, faculty development, accreditation and start of Geoinformatics MSc programs is being discussed.

The GE-UZ project is considered a key initiative towards implementation of Geoinformatics study programs at Uzbek universities, addressing the increasing demand for geospatial experts across a variety of disciplines in this country. Establishing and enhancing international collaboration certainly is a critically important step towards achieving these aims.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Open Call – apply now for Erasmus Mundus scholarships

The first call for applications within the Erasmus Mundus project ‘gSmart - Spatial ICT Infrastructures for Smart Places’ is opening on September 1, 2013 and is aiming at the following target disciplines: Geography, Geodesy, Architecture & Planning, (spatial) Social Sciences, Resource Management, Geology, Water & Environmental Studies, Agriculture, Regional Economics, Transportation, Civil Engineering and is open to students and graduates of other 'spatially oriented' disciplines!

These scholarships are for Central Asian students from Bachelor to PhD and Post-Doc levels, as well as academics to study/research/teach/work in one of the gSmart partner institutions in Europe. Only Master Level students will be funded for full academic periods of study. Before applying - please check your eligibility and scholarship conditions carefully on the Website: http://em-gsmart.zgis.net !

Project Office
University of Salzburg, Department of Geoinformatics, Z_GIS
Hellbrunner Strasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

gSmart - Spatial ICT Infrastructures for Smart Places
15.07.2013 - 14.7.2017
Erasmus Mundus Action 2
545696-EM-1-2013-1-AT-ERA MUNDUS-EMA21

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tempus GEM Final PM Meeting in Bishkek

The Tempus GEM project consortium was hosted on Aug 21-23 at the University of Central Asia (UCA) in Bishkek. This project had succeeded in establishing Geoinformatics MSc study programmes at partner universities across Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as interdisciplinary Geoinformatics courses at additional partners.

In this final project management meeting all partners prepared not only for the reporting phase, but put a major emphasis on continuing support for the newly established curricula and programmes. Securing the sustainability of project outcomes tops the agenda - with ongoing needs like teacher training and international networking addressed through a variety of means.

As an international university covering all three participating countries, UCA was not only a very suitable host institution, but also contributed a strong forward looking vision towards internationalisation of higher education, quality assurance for qualifications and international connectivity within a community of practice.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

KAzNU Joinining ACA*GIScience

In a signing ceremony in Almaty on Aug 20, followed by another in Bishkek on Aug 21, the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) joined the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience (ACA*GIScience). Represented by Dean Vitali Salnikov from the Faculty of Geography and Environmental Sciences and in the presence of staff from the international department, KazNU and Prof Josef Strobl from the University of Salzburg signed the joining agreement.

Akylbek Chymyrov from ACA*GIScience
with Gulnara Nyussupova and Aizhan
Assylbekova (right) from KazNU in Bishkek
ACA*GIScience, originally established by the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet serves as a regional hub for the cooperation between Central Asian and Austrian universities. Joint activities include educational projects from the Tempus and Erasmus Mundus programmes, student and faculty mobility as well as access to the UNIGIS distance learning programme. A special highlight is the annual GISCA conference managed through ACA*GIScience.

Members in ACA*GIScience collaborate in numerous joint projects, in the development of regional Spatial Data Infrastructure components, and of course in capacity building initiatives. KazNU, as one of the leading universities in this region, will strengthen this network and certainly make important contributions to its succcess!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

gSmart - New Erasmus Mundus Project in CA

The new Erasmus Mundus Action 2 Project  "gSmart - Spatial ICT Infrastructures for Smart Places", coordinated by the  Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg, will start in Central Asia. Such a large scale international project is the result of long-term and successful academic and research cooperation between Central Asian and European universities and research institutions established and led by Z_GIS in the field of Geoinformation Science. The gSmart initiative will focus on facilitating academic mobility between European partners and universities in all five Central Asian countries.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

UNIGIS distance learning MSc - registration open for fall 2013!

Interested students and professionals from Central Asia will again have the opportunity to enhance their qualifications and to improve their career prospects: the UNIGIS MSc in 'Geographic Information Science & Systems' as well as the 'UNIGIS professional' certificate are offered via online distance learning to active professionals and graduates aiming at making GIS and Geoinformatics the basis for their current and future jobs.

The globally recognized UNIGIS qualifications are offered in Central Asia in a cooperation between the University of Salzburg's Z_GIS competence centre and the Austria-Central Asia Centre for GIScience - ACA*GIScience. Degrees and certificates are awarded from the University of Salzburg, Austria. The UNIGIS study programmes for Central Asia are based on English language online materials with support from instructors in local languages.

Registration now is open for the fall 2013 intake of students, starting in October. Enquiries can be directed to unigis@aca-giscience.org and a brochure for Central Asian students is available online. An informational video and a general information brochure about UNIGIS MSc and certificate studies provide additional detail.

Explore the potential of UNIGIS online qualifications to enhance your career prospects - applications are accepted within the coming weeks!

UNIGIS - Educating GIS Professionals Worldwide.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

KSUCTA GEM students have passed the State Exam

Today the second year GEM students of KSUCTA have passed the State Examination on professional modules of MSc Program. Dr. Ermek Sharsheev, the Chairman of the State Attestation Commission, has acknowledged and emphasized the high level of acquired knowledge of our Tempus 'GEM' Geoinformatics students and advanced professional GIS skills.

Six students now have completed the theoretical part of their studies and are working towards finalizing their Master theses.  The Chairman has highlighted the growing importance of Geoinformation science and technologies as well as interest from the academic-research and industrial institutions of Kyrgyzstan.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

GISCA'13 Proceedings published

http://tinyurl.com/GISCA13The Proceedings volume of the 7th Central Asia GIS Conference "Connected Regions: Societies, Economies and Environments", May 2-3, 2013, KazNU, Almaty, now is published and available for download at http://tinyurl.com/GISCA13 . Print hardcopy is available on request from ACA*GIScience, KSUCTA,  Maldybaeva Str. 34 "b", Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan or at KazNU, Al-Farabi avenue 71Almaty, Kazakhstan 
Contact:  gisca13@aca-giscience.org

This publication now has evolved into an annual review and 'yearbook' of GIS research and applications across Central Asia. The GISCA conference series is providing a platform for researchers and educators from different countries to get together, exchange experiences, and develop plans for future initiatives.

Thanks are due to all authors and reviewers working diligently on good quality papers, the editorial team and the conference organisers for facilitating the overall framework, and to Trimble for making this publication possible through their sponsorship!

Friday, May 3, 2013

uniGIs Quiz at GISCA

UNIGIS Central Asia has organized a quiz of Geoinformatics knowledge and competences during the current GISCA conference. All participants were invited to test their knowledge across the areas of spatial data models, spatial analysis, remote sensing and cartography.
Everyone who is not a teacher in a Geoinformatics program took part in a competition for token prices donated by conference sponsor Trimble, hosts KazNU and UNIGIS International. Corresponding to GISCA'13, 13 questions had to be answered, resulting in a tight field of top performers reaching the critical threshold of 30 points:

  1. Alishir Kurban (CAS IEG, Urumqi)
  2. Hasan Safarov (TAU Dushanbe)
  3. Gulnura Orozalieva and  Tatygul Urmanbetova (KSUCTA Bishkek)
  4. Kubanychbek Koshoev (KSUCTA Bishkek)
  5. Evgeniy Shibkov (KSUCTA Bishkek) 

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all participant for facing this interesting challenge!

Monday, April 29, 2013

GEM 2013 Summer School in Almaty, April 28 - May 4, 2013

The TEMPUS GEM Summer School and Teacher training workshops have started at the Faculty of Geography and Environmental Science, Al-Farabi KazNU in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

GEM and UNIGIS MSc students and young teachers from Central Asian universities are attending classes on GIS, Remote Sensing and Project Management given by Prof.Dr. Strobl, Prof.Dr. Bela Markus and other international trainers. These activities are organized as pre- and post-conference events to the  Annual Central Asia GIS Conference - GISCA'13, May 2-3, 2013, KazNU, Almaty.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Workshop ‘Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment for Central Asia and the Caucasus'

The workshop  ‘Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment for Central Asia and the Caucasus’ was held from March 7-10, 2013 in Tbilisi (Georgia). This workshop is organized by the Volkwagen Foundation and Giessen University, Center for International Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).

The workshop was aiming to identify current research directions and to explore possibilities for cooperation between researchers in Germany, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Discussion topics of the workshop sessions will address interdisciplinary research strategies as well as methodological research questions on a regional scale.

The work process -Interactive World Café group #1
There are about 70 participants from Central Asia and Caucasus and Europe. During these days we had an excellent opportunity to work in small groups in Interactive World Café. It was really very interesting experience. All of us could make contributions within this time. This also helped us to meet and get aquainted with new contacts.

All participants had a good opportunity to learn about the country by visiting Aragvi valley, Mleta and  Gudauri. We were all very impressed by the city tour introducing special architecture and old historical buildings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

KKSU welcoming Tempus GEM delegation

Kyzylorda Korkyt-Ata State University (KKSU) is an important partner in the EU Tempus project "Geoinformatics: Managing Energy, Resources, Environment - GEM", and currently is in the process of launching Geoinformatics and Cartography courses across multiple institutes and departments. To support and consult in this process, the 'GEM' project coordinator Prof Josef Strobl from the University of Salzburg together with highly qualified and experienced senior teacher Aizhan Assylbekova from the Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi were visiting KKSU on February 19/20.

After a kind welcome by  university vice-rector for academic affairs, first vice-rector Dr. Abaibek T. Zhunissov, this visit introduced several teachers from KKSU to the leaders in this project, and provided opportunities for discussing concepts and objectives. For the visitors, this was a chance to familiarize themselves with the excellent facilities and highly motivated faculty at KKSU, and for offering advice on next steps in the implementation of project objectives.

International Cooperation Department
Timur Kenshinbay (right) and
Kuanysh Daurenbekov
The delegation was welcomed at the Polytechnic Institute Department of Water and Land Management, talked to chairperson Prof.Dr. Serikbay I. Koshkarov as well as teachers and other participants of the project. After visiting a computer classroom to be equipped during the project, course syllabi offered by  Tempus GEM were discussed with Laura Abzhamiyeva and Elmira Yeleuova.

This was followed by a visit to the Institute of Natural Sciences and Agrarian Technologies Department of Geography and Biology. Chairperson Prof. Dr. Saltanat Ibadullayeva offered a warm welcome on behalf of faculty members, followed by an inspection of a future Tempus computer classroom and deliberations on a broad range of topics related to teaching and learning in Geoinformatics, as well as the potential for cooperating with application domains for this important methodology facilitated by new technologies like GNSS, GIS and remote sensing.

Extensive time was dedicated to discussing designs and outlines for the courses 'Introduction to Geoinformatics' and 'Online Cartography', which will be offered to students from different programs. These courses will be a first step towards offering a complete study program in Geoinformatics, which will be of high importance in a region where geospatial experts are urgently needed in the resources industries, agriculture, planning and public administration.

Prof Strobl discussing curriculum design and management
of educational programs with KKSU faculty

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tempus: Geoinformatics MSc Development for Uzbek Universities

ACA*GIScience is congratulating our colleagues at four Uzbek universities to successfully launching the new Tempus project "GEoUZ" on January 17-19, aiming at establishing Geoinformatics study programs at the Uzbek partner institutions National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulug’bek (NUU), Karakalpak State University (KSU) Nukus, Tashkent Architecture Building Institute (TABI) and the national lead institution Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration (TIIM).

Led by the University of West Hungary (UWH), KTH Stockholm, University of Greenwich and the University of Salzburg contribute to this initiative as European partners, jointly developing curricula, learning materials, dissemination and outreach activities and quality management for graduate Geoinformatics studies now soon available in Uzbekistan, after they had been established in other Central Asian countries through the Tempus "GEM" project.

Prof. Bela Markus from UWH as project coordinator opened the kick-off meeting at TIIM and gave an extensive overview of project objectives and management. Hosted at TIIM, this event was introduced by Rector Professor Uktam P. Umurzakov, followed by the remarks by European Union Ambassador Yuri Sterk (photo: sitting next to Rector Umurzakov) on the development of relations between Europe and Uzbekistan.

Dr. Odil Akbarov, head of the Land Tenure Development Center at TIIM managed to get the GEoUZ-Initiative off to an excellent start with this meeting, commenting that "Uzbekistan needs highly qualified Geoinformatics experts, contributing to the evolution of the country through this aptly named project - Geoinformatics-enabling sustainable development in Uzbekistan".