Chair of Geoinformatics and Cartography
The Chair of Geoinformatics and Cartography provides education and carries out research in geomatics, geoinformatics, cartography as well as remote sensing, geodesy and topography. The chair provides support in tasks related to geoinformatics and cartography to other chairs in the department and the institute.
Specialization in geoinformatics and cartography is suitable for students interested in the understanding and application of spatial knowledge: maps, geographic information systems (GIS), geospatial modelling, analysis and programming. Graduates will find employment in IT and mapping companies, land surveying offices, governmental institutions, local governments or private companies looking for GIS specialists, cartographers and spatial data analysts/scientists. Since there is a growing demand for people with an advanced skillset in geoinformatics in many disciplines, the chair is also tasked with developing spatial skills of both human and physical geographers as well as students from “non-spatial” disciplines.
The purpose of our research is to analyze and develop different uses of geospatial data, spatial understanding, and their applications in the areas of natural and human environments alike. Through applied scientific research projects, the chair is directly involved in developing solutions for problems in the scope of the state and local governments. The chair also carries out ongoing research related to the history of Estonian cartography started by Professor Endel Varep.
At the Chair of Geoinformatics and Cartographyhave we have several focused research labs and work groups, including:
- Landscape Geoinformatics
- Remote Sensing
- The use of landscape metrics in describing and relating spatial patterns to ecological, physical and social phenomena; the effect of urbanization on spatial patterns; analysis of the reliability and the uncertainty of the landscape metrics
- Applications in remote sensing, including research related to the applicability and quality assessment of UAV photogrammetry
- Analysis of global land use and topography changes
- Development of predictive mapping and lazy learning methods
- Research in the field of the reliability, usability and accuracy of maps
- Development of web-based spatial data applications
- Research on improving the teaching methods of geography and geoinformatics
BSc and MSc theses can be conducted on these topics.
Research done by the chair is carried out as the Lab of Geoinformatics and Cartography. The Lab of Geoinformatics and Cartography is a member of the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe (AGILE).
Under initiative of the Department of Geography, the University of Tartu (UT) has joined the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) in order to further strengthen its leading role in providing geospatial education and innovation. The membership enables all UT researchers, staff and students to actively participate in international standards working groups and provide real input to the development of standards that shape the geospatial and big data industry.
The Department of Geography puts strong emphasis on co-operation and partnerships between academic and professional GIS practitioners across disciplines. This is also reflected in the various established spin-off companies that specialize in geospatial data management, analysis and application development. We are actively collaborating with the Estonian Land Board, geospatial companies like Regio, and Reach-U, the Estonian Geoinformatics Society (ESTGIS) and Tartu City Government.
- RITA program project “Using remote monitoring data for the development of public services”. Head of the consortium is Anu Reinart from the Tartu Observatory; partners are University of Tartu, TalTech, Estonian University of Life Sciences and KappaZeta OÜ. We study ways of preventing and suppressing wildfires (responsible partner is Tõnu Oja from our chair), monitoring the use of agricultural land, monitoring floods and water levels and supervision of construction activities.
- Post-doctoral research project, Alexander Kmoch: Using data fusion and data assimilation methods and advancing computational parallelization for hydrological modelling; and estimating sensitivity to spatial of SWAT parameterization (via various input datasets, DEM, soil, land cover) to model nitrogen and phosphorus runoff at local and global scale.
- Post-doctoral research project, Merle Muru: “Coastal Change: modelling submerged landscapes and prehistoric human colonisation of the southern North Sea basin”.