GI_Forum 2008: Geoinformatics on stage!

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The world cultural heritage city of Salzburg was once again the setting for the second Geoinformatics Forum (GI_Forum’08) symposium from July 01-04, 2008 at Salzburg University Centre for Geoinformatics (ZGIS), Austria. The interdisciplinary GI_Forum (July 01-04, 2008) focused on an international GIScience audience, communicating in English, and sharing an interest in translating new methods and techniques into a broad range of application domains in geoinformatics. Young researchers and established scientists found a vibrant GI community from academia, industry, and government to analyze progress and to explore new research directions. The symposium was co-located with the highly regarded annual German language conference on Applied Geoinformatics (AGIT, ) celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The two symposia and the agitEXPO – with around 70 companies presenting – were frequented by more than 1000 attendees.


The programme committee selected over 60 contributions to be presented as publications, in a discussion session or as poster presentations at the GI_Forum’08. Over 30 of these contributions qualified for publication in the GI_Forum proceedings based on the review outcomes. The topics ranged from geospatial data acquisition and GI-techniques, advanced spatial analysis and knowledge extraction, advanced geovisualization and cartography, to geoontologies, standards and spatial data infrastructure, distributed and mobile services, and dynamic modelling and simulation. Application fields comprised natural resources, the environment and sustainable management of various resources, as well as global monitoring, security and emergency management. Friday sessions – in cooperation with the Herodot network ( ) – were dedicated to Learning with Geoinformation discussing various issues related to geoinformation in education.

Discussion Sessions

The format of a discussion session was selected for two thematic sessions at GI_Forum’08 in order to facilitate the exchange of experience and further enhance discussion among the presenters and audience. The two sessions proved to be a huge success. In such a session a keynote introduced the topic at the beginning followed by presenters giving a short overview of their contributions during the information market. In-depth discussion aided by laptops, posters, handouts, etc. took place at individual stands distributed in the room. A session concluded with a summary of the discussion points. Peter Zeil from Z_GIS, the session moderator, collected these and compiled them into conclusions.

Keynote Speakers 2008

– Josef Strobl, Centre for Geoinformatics – Z_GIS, Austria: “Real Time Geography”

– Michael Goodchild, University of California, USA: “Assertion and Authority: User-Generated geographic content”

– Andrew Frank, University of Technology, Austria: “Formal Ontologies for GIS: Current State of Challenges”