Deutscher Geographentag 2009


Größere Kartenansicht


19.-26. September 2009


The “Deutscher Geographentag 2009”  is the largest geographical Geographers conference in the German-speaking communities. It takes place every two years in another university town. The event is aimed in its first time in 2007 as a general congress of the geographical associations designed form part of the same science, practice and school. The Geographers provides a forum for professional discussions and the dialogue both between the participants and between the sub-disciplines of geography. This year’s Geographers conference is the fourth in Austria. In 1891 the Congress had once performed in Vienna, Innsbruck 1912 and 1975 was the venue. My first impression is a very well organised conference. The different venues are easily to reach by foot. It seems that the nearly the whole university is involved organising the conference not only for discussion places but also for time to relax.

Live report from 20/09/09:

I had already my first GIS-workshop yesterday, which dealt which a hydrological analysis. The workshop was actual a promotion for the GIS-software-package Intergraph. The software is free available for university and, more important, it includes some row data of digital German landscape (DGMs), hydrology and infrastructure (vector data) also for free. Therefore, I will consider ordering the package for Topoi.

The software is very similar to ArcGIS. The lecturer mentioned that it is used in many governmental and industrial Geography departments. Therefore, the package could become interesting for Topoi-members who look for a future job in these fields!


Live report from 21/09/09:

Today we had the only session of geo-archaeology. As expected, the reports were mainly focused on geography with just a slight regard of archaeology :-(.

We heard very interesting presentations of Stefan Dreibrodt and Rainer Dambeck about the successful co-operation of geographical and archaeological tandem projects in different parts of Europe. Stefan Dreibrodt presented results of geo-archaeological investigations of Bosnia-Herzogovina and Saxony-Anhalt. Rainer Dambeck displayed interdisciplinary results of a transect across the valley of Rio Sizandro, Portual, which ended up in very good absolute dates of geomorphologic and archaeological events. As an outlook, the project plans some GIS-based analysis for investigating erosion zones to explain the origin of the great amount of alluvial material and its archaeological artefacts within the valley.

In comparison to the former, Barbara Neumann gave an introduction to the recently started project of a predictive model considering the border area Saarland/France after the coffee break. The model looks for Roman villae rusticae. The discussion mentioned the over-represented parameters of environmental determinism of the first test model. We are curious of the final results!

Fuzzy logic:

… was the topic of my GIS-workshop this afternoon. Prof. Kainz gave a great introduction into the topic. After the theorethical part we worked with a practical example. For this he provided us with a selfmade python-script for practising fuzzy logic in ArcGIS, a similar tool we can expect in the next version 4.0 of ESRI.

Live report from 22/09/09:

The spatial SQL function in Manifold GIS is a powerful tool I learned this morning. In comparison to ArcGIS it combines vector and raster queries in the same syntax. Therefore, if you are familiar with SQL syntax you are able to create powerful spatial queries in short time. The stress lies in ‘familiar with’ because the learning curve is quite steep at the start.

Strange but comprehensive was the first glance into the geographer’s gis-lab – full of macs but with a windows operating system. But don’t worry they have both systems, of course.

The afternoon was consumed by a guided tour through the worldwide first and only Globenmuseum of Vienna, a part of the Austrian National Library. The guide was the director Jan Mokre himself, an expert in the field of Globology.

The museum stores not only globes but also historic maps! The highlight is a hyperglobus – a digital version of the famous Mercator globe. The original one can admire in the museum, too.

If one is interested in working with this map of the 16th century, just feel free to contact Jan Mokre. He confirmed that maps are available for research projects!

Live report from 23/09/09:

Upcoming session: “Working with mobile GIS”

ArcPad is the mobile extension of ArcGIS – a tool for pocket PCs, notebooks etc. – all mobile devices with a GPS receiver. ArcPad works as an extended GPS device. Like in ArcGIS one can store vector data as points, polylines and polygones as common shapefiles. It is possible to load satellite pictures, aerial photographs or similar as background image. If the data are already in the right projection and co-ordinate system they are instantly ready for use in a desktop GIS.

The hook is the GPS itself. As usual, the precision is between 3 to 10 meters. Suitable for survey but if one needs more accuracy it is possible to buy reference data by the German company SAPOS.

In conclusion, I think it’s a great tool. I will try to install it at one of our project tablet PCs and keep you informed if it works!

The very informative workshop was also my last one. A great end – a great conference. I hope, I could make you a little bit curious for the future conferences of this subject. The “Deutscher Geographentag” is held every second year.

A last typical impression of Vienna, the conference venue this year. Good bye!

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