UNIPHORM Course Guide

by Bela Markus, June 1999

 

Objectives of the course

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have become important elements in information strategies in local government, utilities, national government, non-government agencies, environmental agencies and consultancies, mapping agencies and many sectors of business. At the present time, however, GIS industry is undergoing a major shift of emphasis to what are called open systems.

Course Description

The UNIPHORM Multi-Country Phare project developed a 160-hour distance learning course for professional development in GIS and services for the OpenGIS environment. The UNIPHORM consortium includes 4 UNIGIS sites (Austria, Hungary, Romania and UK), 2 PHARE Study Centres (Miskolc, Hungary - Bucharest, Romania) and GISIG. UNIGIS is a virtual university in GIS formed by 18 universities around the world. GISIG is the largest European network of GIS educators and users having more than 100 member institutions.

The UNIPHORM course addresses a number of issues:

The course duration is 8 - 18 weeks with an equivalent of 120 hours of distance study, followed by a face-to-face training session (40 hours) which will expand the participants understanding and knowledge of the subject through case studies and group work using a market leading OpenGIS software package.

Target Group

The course is targeting public administrations (local governments, utilities etc.), regional planning authorities, decision makers and GIS companies. The current shift toward OpenGIS systems has created a need and a rapidly growing market for OpenGIS training packages.

Initially the course will be disseminated in Hungarian and Romanian language versions through Phare study centres in Hungary and Romania. An English version of the course is available to all the Phare Study Centres. Through UNIGIS sites the course will be disseminated in Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and USA. More information is available from Phare Study Centres or at http://uniphorm.cslm.hu


UNIPHORM Course Board: Prof. Bela Markus, Department of Geoinformatics,

College of Surveying and Land management, University of Sopron, H-8000 Székesfehérvár P.O.Box 52

Email: uniphorm@cslm.hu


UNIPHORM Course Guide

UNIPHORM CD ver. 2.1

 

Hardware requirements: multimedia PC, display 1024x768, Internet connection

Software requirements: Internet Explorer 5 or Netscape 4.5

 

CD Contents:

The course is supported by a CD which contains:

Learning Guide

GIS for beginners

Learning materials

Introduction

OpenGIS Concepts

Object-oriented Systems

Spatial referencing

Metadata issues

Management

Software

MS Internet Explorer 5.0

Netscape Communicator 4.03

Adobe Acrobat Reader

ArcExplorer

Kappa

MindMan

Interesting Web links

Case studies

GIS Exercise Database

BEST-GIS

Glossary of GIS Terms

 

The CD contains AUTORUN. If you can not see the following initial screen, please install MS Internet Explorer or Netscape Communicator 4.03 from the CD and open index.htm from the root directory.

You will see this material is copyright. Except for short passages used for quotations or reference, no part of this material may be copied by any means nor translated without written permission of the course board. The module contains material under other copyrights which has been copied with permission. These other copyrights are still effective and such material may not be copied without permission from the appropriate copyright holders. Course Board for the UNIPHORM Programme : University of Sopron, College of Surveying & Land Management.

  

image211.jpg (193533 bytes)

Fig. 1. Initial screen

Clicking on Introduction to OpenGIS , you will see the content of the course materials.

 

image212.jpg (219053 bytes)

Fig. 2. English course Homepage

 

Behind the button in the upper-left corner there is Learning Guide. Clicking on Introduction, Concepts etc. there are learning units (chapters).

The principal tool for course design and organisation of the resources is a mindmap created using Mindman software. The mindmap is also used as a presentation tool since students and staff can use it to see the course structure and logic as well as the links to and meaning of resources. This is an important pedagogic element which is difficult to achieve in other ways.

Building the mindmap is actually the first stage in course design. The course author uses Mindman to lay out the structure of the lesson on which the PowerPoint show is based. Resources are then collected to satisfy the demands of the course. Resources held as local files or on the web are connected via hyperlinks on any of the mindmap branches. The branches are highly configurable in terms of their location as well as easily edited. This means that authors can easily engineer or modify the structure and the resource links according to particular needs or in response to new or changing resources. Mindmaps can be exported as active images for use on web sites or as java applets of pages which can substitute for PowerPoint shows.

 

Fig. 3. The knowledge is organised by mindmaps

 

The learning materials are presented by Microsoft PowerPoint files converted into html documents. One unit has around 15 hours study load, which needs usually one week. A typical screenshot is presented by the following figure.

 

Fig. 4. Learning materials

 

Fig. 5. UNIPHORM Quiz

 

The learning units are supported by selected literature in the form of Web links. To help GIS beginners there is special unit behind the icon in the upper-right corner (compass). The UNIPHORM Web-site contains many valuable other learning resources and support. Below the compass you can find a Dictionary of GIS terms containing around specific 1000 terms.

Fig. 6. GIS Dictionary

 

The module deals with Guidelines for Best Practice in User Interface for GIS, intended to help GIS users to achieve Best Practice in using GIS for their job and hence to achieve added value from their systems. The Guidelines address needs and requirements of end-user organisations. This process can be facilitated by adopting the user-centred design (UCD) paradigm, commonly applied in several engineering fields but not very well-known in the GIS domain (see Fig. 8).

The course duration is 8 - 18 weeks with an equivalent of 120 hours of distance study, followed by a face-to-face training session (40 hours) which will expand the participants understanding and knowledge of the subject through case studies and group work using a market leading OpenGIS software package.

 

Fig. 7. Guidelines for Best Practice in User Interface for GIS

 

The course contains the following elements:

 


Sample database available for the exercises

Each thematic group is organised into individual logical group, called layer, during data input. The sample database covers one statistical region near Debrecen in Eastern part of Hungary.

The sample database can be visualised either with ArcExplorer or Geomedia.

Thematic structure of the database:

Content

Scale

Filename

  1. Agricultural review region with address

1:200 000

Agric_region.shp

Cadastre – ecological regions with names

1:500 000

Ecol_region.shp

Main railway line with national numbering

1:50 000

Railway_main.shp

Other railway lines with national numbering

1:50 000

Railway_sub.shp

Soil science database with FAO soil classes

1:200 000

Soils.shp

Characteristic data of land use with CORINE universal classification

1:200 000

Landcover.shp

Natural lakes with names

1:50 000

Lakes.shp

Artificial lakes with names

1:50 000

A_lakes.shp

Main roads with national numbering

1:50 000

Roads.shp

Surfaced roads

1:50 000

Roads_2.shp

Dirt roads

1:50 000

Roads_3.shp

Nature conservation areas with names

1:25 000

Protected_national.shp

Local nature conservation areas with names

1:25 000

Protected_local.shp

Protected landscapes with names

1:25 000

Protected_landscape.shp

Planned nature conservation areas

1:25 000

Protected_planned.shp

Smaller villages with names

1:50 000

Villages.shp

Cities with suburban areas and names

1:50 000

Cities.shp

Crofts and farms

1:50 000

Croft.shp

Stream network

1:50 000

Streams.shp

Average annual temperature in C°

1:100 000

Temperature.shp

Average annual rainfall in mm

1:100 000

Rainfall.shp

Depth to groundwater in meters

1:50 000

Groundwater.shp

 

Logical structure:

1. Tables of the geometrical blocks, together with their relations and data quality attributes:

2. Tables of objects, by (thematic) classification levels, together with their attributes and relations:

3. Attribute Tables:

 

 

UNIPHORM Web-site

Fig. 9. UNIPHORM Web-site

 

The static learning resources are amended by a Web-site (http://uniphorm.cslm.hu/). The tutors can be selected from the world-wide network of GIS experts.

 

 


Course summary

Full communication details of the contact person at the consortium’s lead partner institution responsible for administration of future enquiries and/or negotiations about the course exploitation by the third parties.

 

Full name Prof. Bela Markus
Position at the unit/organisation head of department
Name of the unit/department Department of Geoinformatics
Name of organisation College of Surveying and Land Management
University of Sopron
Full address Pirosalma u. 1-3.
City including post code H-8000 Székesfehérvár P.O.Box 52
Country Hungary
Telephone +36 22 348 271
Telefax +36 22 327 697
E-mail mb@cslm.hu
GSM +36 30 916 2524

 

 Detailed breakdown of learning support materials, which are going to be used for the course delivery

Ref. No.

Material title/name

Medium

Quantity/ duration

and other details

Language

Ref. No. of Module(s)

1

Course materials & Case study from Hungary and Romania in English

CD-ROM

1 disk

English

M1

2

BEST-GIS Guidelines: Best practice in GIS

CD-ROM

1 disk

English

M1

3

Introductory GIS course

CD-ROM

1 disk

English

M1

4

Glossary of GIS terms

CD-ROM

1 disk

English

M1

5

Course materials for Hungary

CD-ROM

1 disk

Hungarian

M1

6

Case study materials for the Hungarian course

CD-ROM

1 disk

Hungarian

M1

7

Glossary of GIS terms

CD-ROM

1 disk

English- Hungarian

M1

8

Course materials for Romania

CD-ROM

1 disk

Romanian

M1

9

Case study materials for the Romanian course

CD-ROM

1 disk

Romanian

M1

10

Web support

Web Page

http://uniphorm.cslm.hu

English, Hungarian

M1

 

 

List of delivery methods/techniques used in the course delivery

 

Ref.

No.

 

Delivery event

Face-to-face Session Duration

(hours)

Assignment

Minimum number of self-study

hours

1

Kick off session

6

   

2

Distance learning - Self study

0

Written assignment (2000 words) to be elaborated

40

3

Mandatory intermediate session

6

   

4

Distance learning - Self study

0

Written assignment (2000 words) to be elaborated

40

5

Mandatory intermediate session

6

   

6

Final training session

20

   

7

Preparation for final examination

0

Final assignment (5000 words) to be elaborated

40

8

Final examination

2

20 minute assignment presentation and oral examination to be passed  
 

Total

40

 

120

 

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