Geoinformatics and digital earth initiatives: a German perspective

Autor(en): Ehlers, M.
Stichwörter: academic programmes; digital earth modeling; emerging scientific discipline; Geography, Physical; geoinformatics; Physical Geography; position paper; Remote Sensing
Erscheinungsdatum: 2008
Volumen: 1
Ausgabe: 1
Startseite: 17
Seitenende: 30
This paper discusses the role of Geoinformatics as a new scientific discipline designed for handling of geospatial information. Depending on the scientific background of the people involved in shaping the emerging discipline, emphasis may be placed on different aspects of Geoinformatics. Applications and developments may address geoscientific, spatial planning, or computer science related matters. The scientific field of Geoinformatics encompasses the acquisition and storing of geospatial data, the modelling and presentation of spatial information, geoscientific analyses and spatial planning, and the development of algorithms and geospatial database systems. It is the position of the author that these tools from Geoinformatics are necessary to bridge the gap between Digital Earth models and the real world with its real-world problems ('connecting through location'). It is, however, crucial that Geoinformatics represents a coherent integrated approach to the acquisition, storage, analysis, modeling, presentation, and dissemination of geo-processes and not a patchwork solution of unconnected fields of activity. Geoinformatics is as such not a part of Geography, Surveying, or Computer Science, but a new self-contained scientific discipline. The current paper highlights international and national trends of the discipline and presents a number of Geoinformatics initiatives. The research and teaching activities of the newly formed Institute for Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing (IGF) at the University of Osnabrueck serve as an example for these initiatives. All these developments have lead to the long overdue formation of a scientific `Society for Geoinformatics' (German: Gesellschaft fur Geoinformatik - GfGI) in Germany.
ISSN: 17538947
DOI: 10.1080/17538940701781975

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