SCGIS Scholars

The board

Tomaz Podobnikar

2015 Program

  • Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • I have been learning the GIS software and methods by myself starting during my study of geodesy, and later on self-teaching under supervision of different people from various organizations. I haven’t attended any GIS course yet with exception when I got a grant by the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science, Santa Barbara, for workshop “Perspectives on Spatial Analysis in the Social Sciences”, Washington University, Seattle, USA, in 2000. In 2002 I have initiated and setting up there an internet GIS server platform for Cultural and Natural Heritage Database. That time I also initiated and managed agreement with the company GISDATA to establish common ESRI software for all institutes of ZRC SAZU. For research purposes at the ZRC SAZU I also managed free national spatial data sets of the Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Environment. I have been coordinating a number of national/international symposiums in order to build common network of researchers, producers of databases and software, teachers and other users of geoinformatics products and services. Starting in 1997 and during the next 10 years I had been played an important role as an editor of the GIS in Slovenia. This occupation was also important for my better holistic understanding of the GIS domains and strengths. During my study for MSc and PhD degrees I have established a number of scientific collaborations, especially with the Vienna University of Technology in Austria, Eötvös University in Hungary, Finnish Geodetic Institute, and Dresden University of Technology in Germany. Later on I have been learned by myself more different GIS-related software and program languages through the basic research and applications for the governmental, NGO and private sector organizations. In 2000/2001 I produced a Digital Elevation Model of Slovenia for mobile communication network planning at national mobile operator Mobitel, and I produced a number of derived maps of Slovenia, Europe and Earth for commercial POP TV. In 2004/2005 I have designed an inventive online archaeological mapping methodology for Maya settlements in Yucatan, Mexico. In 2005 produced a high accuracy Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of Slovenia and surroundings, with resolution of 12.5, 25 and 100 m. It based on my own novel methodology of positional and semantic data integration/fusion from multi-source data of different quality. This model is still regarded as the national standard and is publicly available. The DEM 12.5 was integrated into both the European model and into improved Google Earth model. In 2012 I invented a new approach to analytical hill-shading using a Multidirectional Visibility Index (MVI). The technique uses a range of methods which, together, reveal detail in a Digital Elevation Model and other surfaces. This multi-applicable generic method has been implemented in geovisualization and visual analytics applications, quality control procedures, and used as an image processing technique for photography improvement. Nevertheless, this generic algorithm was used in mountain peaks detection and applied in ESRI World Topo Map.

    Since 2006 I have been employed at different organizations: Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Slovenia; Faculty of Information Studies in Novo mesto, Slovenia; School of Advanced Social Studies in Nova Gorica, Slovenia; Mura Regional Development Agency Ltd, Slovenia (NGO); School of Environmental Sciences, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia; Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vienna University of Technology, Austria; and C.N.R.S., Laboratoire de Chrono-écologie, Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France. Presently I work at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, Department of Environmental Civil Engineering, mostly as a researcher and a supervisor of different students on different levels. Through solving the challenges and lecturing I am involved to a never-ending process of learning about GIS technology in many different ways.

    I have also been actively involved in building research teams of considerable size at different institutions. I have collaborated as an institute member of the science counsel and as an independent governmental adviser for the high resolution lidar digital terrain models. Another effective self-learning method is my involvement as a reviewer of the 22 journals and a membership of the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Editorial Board.