The University of Gävle secures its lead within Geographical Information Science and starts a Masters Degree in GIS. The Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen) has granted them SEK 1.4 million for the development of GIS.
A Geographical Information System is a computer-based system designed to capture, analyse and present geographical data. GIS can be simply described as intelligent, digital maps.
The use of, and the need for, geographical information systems has increased by staggering proportions in the last five to ten years, especially since location intelligence applications and spatial information become more accessible.
“In the job market this has led to a need for advanced expertise within geographical information technology, both regarding user applications and on the development side,” says Professor Stefan Seipel.
Within the county, one thousand new jobs are expected to be created in the field of GIS over the next ten years.
Within the field of GIS application tools there are very many users. There are many powerful information system/computer tools, and GIS experts often use these tools, in certain circumstances they can also adapt them.
"But there is a great need for more qualified GIS users; experts in the area between highly qualified GIS use and GIS development, with the ability to create specialised and customised services within geographical data processing."
Gävle, that also markets itself as the GIS capital of Sweden, is the perfect place for such a course. Here is a concentration of GIS knowledge and expertise in companies that are world leaders regarding their tools and instruments.
"It is the right time given the great need for expertise on the job market, and the right place given the fact that we have the competence and the environment is perfect."
"We are unique in Sweden, we are the only institute of higher education where one can study for a PhD in Geospatial Information Science."
Now the University wants to bring about a compatible progression from undergraduate studies to a Doctor’s degree. They want to create a two-year post graduate course, recruiting from other Swedish institutions, but also internationally.
"There are similar courses abroad but Sweden would be unique in its approach creating the close link between GIS and computer science."
The establishment of the PhD course is planned for the autumn in 2017 and would normally be an activity that the University itself would have managed. However now extra resources have been granted, and with them comes the possibility of focusing on development with a completely different approach.
"From the very beginning the project will be conducted in collaboration with a number of companies and organisations that are very innovative within GIS and the geodata field."
"In addition we will involve two of Sweden’s top organizations within GIS (FPX and ULI Geoforum) to link an even greater number of branch representatives to the research and development work."
"We will be able to provide a course that not only maintains very high academic standards but also fulfils the demands of the business community - expertise in GIS."
“A great achievement for the university and for Gävle,” concluded a very satisfied Stefan Seipel.
For further information, please contact:
Stefan Seipel, Professor, University of Gävle
Tel: 026-64 85 63
Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Photo: Ove Wall