GI-Forum 2010

Location of event: University of Salzburg, Austria

The Salzburg University Centre for Geoinformatics together with GIScience at the Austrian Academy of Sciences is offering an annual forum to the worldwide geoinformatics community, bringing together English-speaking researchers and practitioners across disciplines and industries. Simultaneously, the GI_Forum connects participants into a well established co-located regional symposium - Applied Geoinformatics (AGIT) - sharing the state-of-the art AGIT-EXPO exhibit.

The conference also wishes to attract submissions pertaining to digital terrain representation and analysis.

Please find attached the First Call for Papers.



Call for Papers: Special issue of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) on Geomorphometry and Hydrology

Quantitative analysis of DEMs for hydrology and Earth system science
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
An Interactive Open Access Journal of the European Geosciences Union
The guest editors: Ross Purves, Peter Molnar and Stephan Gruber

We invite submissions to a special issue of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) on Geomorphometry and Hydrology to coincide with the conference Geomorphometry 2009, held in Zurich in September 2009. Papers are invited from participants at the conference, but also those in the broader academic community active in this field.

The aim of the special issue is to showcase papers illustrating how geomorphometry can be used in hydrology and the potential for future developments in hydrology and earth systems sciences resulting from geomorphometry. The linkage between geomorphometry, the science of quantitative land surface analysis, and hydrology is intimate, since geomorphometry aims to describe land surfaces that are shaped by, and shape, hydrological processes on the earth’s surface. Topics of interest to the special issue might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Methods for classifying objects within catchment areas (that is to say attaching semantics to catchments to allow their description and comparison).
  • Investigations of the potential of new data sources, such as LIDAR, for hydrological parameters, and the development of new parameters to describe catchments at such resolutions.
  • Methods to link processes across scales through, for instance, comparisons of catchment properties across scales and comments on their robustness with respect to uncertainty.
  • Scalable methods for calculation of hydrological parameters at continental and global scales.
  • Linking topographic parameters at a variety of scales to hydrological processes.
  • New advances in methods for pre-processing, analysis and visualization of elevation models for hydrological and earth system sciences applications.

When preparing papers for the special issue, it is important that authors make clear the relevance of the work to hydrology and earth systems sciences in the sense of the general aims of HESS.

Submissions must be new, unpublished work which is has neither been previously published, nor is under consideration for publication elsewhere except in the form of an abstract or proceedings type publication.

Submissions will be accepted for review from the 1st of September through HESS’s online submission system. Please carefully review all of the information provided by HESS in preparing your submission. Note that HESS is an open-access journal with associated page charges.

The final special issue can be accessed here:

geomorphometry terrain toolbox

Short title: amltools

ArcInfo Arc Marco Language Code (AML) Geomorphometry Toolbox contains a collection of terrain analysis scripts which can be used with a installation of ArcInfo’s Workstation. Please note: They are not working with ARCVIEW and also not directly with ArcGIS, even if it is possible to run AML Code from inside ArcGIS. Still, you need ArcInfo Work Station installed. For a quick start please refer to readme.txt for some command calls or to the outdated topomanual2.pdf.

The ArcGIS Geomorphomerty Python toolbox (DEMO Version) works up to a cell limit of 5000 cells. It contains a significant larger amount of functionality. As of Version 1.0.6 you do not need ArcInfo WS to be installed anymore if AG10 is installed. I rewrote IFTHENELSE and DOCELL in python. Previous Versions(AG9.4) will still need to install ArcInfo Workstation on your machine as ESRI programmers have not been able to port certain GRID functions as DOCELL. The gtb_demo zip contains now three different zip files for the respective Python Version (2.4-2.6) you might be using. If you get the magic number error, the installed tollbox does not match your installed python version. Current Version is 1.0.6.

For further information and FULL version please refer to

Programming environment: Arc AML
Status of work: Public Domain
Reference: Geomorphometry: Concepts, Software, Applications

Workshop: Back to reality - Reconciling geomorphometry and geomorphology in the field

Workshop moderator: Oliver Korup

Location: Sihlwald area, SW of Lake Zurich

Meeting point: Zurich Central Railway Station (“Zürich HB”) @ “Group Meeting Point” (indicated by a large red cube!). Meeting time is 9 AM. Please try to be punctual so that we can catch the 9.18 service to Sihlwald station (train no. S4). There is no need for registered participants to purchase a ticket, which is included in the conference fees.

Daily programme:

  • Full-day field-based workshop: Sihlwald area 30 min. from Zurich on train (participants bring their own field lunch; there are several nice BBQ spots, so think of packing the odd sizzler; also make sure to bring plenty of fluids as late summer can still be very warm)
  • Brief overview of the area: Quaternary geomorphology, historic land use, recent conservation strategies
  • Review of key morphometric parameters and scale/resolution effects
  • Presentation of high-resolution LIDAR data for the area
  • Group-based exercises to determine locally morphometric parameters
  • Comparison of field- and LIDAR-derived parameters
  • Final group discussion on the advantages, potentials, and limits of LIDAR-based geomorphometry

NECESSARY EQUIPMENT: outdoor wear (incl. sturdy footwear and raingear)

INTENDED AIMS AND SCOPE: • To test the applicability and reliability of LIDAR and other DEM-derived attributes by comparison with field-derived data; • To raise awareness among LIDAR users of the potential pitfalls and limitations that come with enhanced resolution DEMs; • To re-appreciate the meaning of terrain parameters and their applicability in geomorphic research.

This field trip is also intended as an icebreaker reception, so socialising is more than welcome. We would like to use this opportunity to bring “geomorphometrists” together to discuss in an informal manner pending issues of high-resolution DEMs and DTMs in an actual landscape rather than at the desktop. The Sihlwald is a pleasant and mainly forested area near Zurich that caters for nearly all levels of fitness and recreational demands. It also hosts a number of challenges for digital terrain analyses, which we will explore during some leisurely walks and group discussions. The underlying idea is not to simply reiterate known problems of LiDAR data, but to consider ways of improving their use in geomorphometry and related disciplines.

Overview map of the area. The blue area is Lake Zurich.

Geomorphometry Society meeting 2009 / E-democracy

Here are the results of the e-democracy and society meeting discussion. We received 29 votes from 64 registered members (44%). Considering future organization of the society 45% of members confirmed that they prefer to keep the society of small size, while 45% of members believe that we should try to get anybody working with DEMs involved with this society.

Considering the name of the society, 89% of members find the current name “geomorphometry” more appropriate than “terrain analysis” (11%). One member proposed that the official name should be “Geomorphometry: the science of digital terrain analysis”, which seem to be the best compromise between the two alternatives. A large majority of members (90%) believes that the focus of geomorphometry should be on both technology and methods.

Considering the organization of future meetings, majority of members (48%) believes that the registration costs of the conference should not exceed 100 USD per day, however, 37% of members also do not mind the costs of registration if the programme is good. Most of people nominated Ian Evans (38%) and John Gallant (11%) for the chair, and Tomislav Hengl (52%) and Ross Purves (11%) for the vice-chairs. Both of the first nominated candidates have accepted this nomination and will represent the society until the next conference (2011). The chair and vice-chair will take further steps to organize the next meetings, regularly send information and news to all registered members (geomorphometry mailing list), and facilitate various workshops and international collaboration. They will also ensure that the coming meetings follow some quality requirements, e.g. that they focus on the topics of interest to geomorphometry society, that the first call is send on time, that enough information is provided for international visitors etc.

Considering the location of the next conference, 41% of members would like that the next geomorphometry conference stays in Europe, 31% of members would like to leave the decision to the scientific committee, 17% voted for North America. We discussed the dangers of having two conferences in a line on the same continent, and concluded that possibly the best decision will be to organize the next conference in USA, considering that the TADTM conference in 2006 was in China, 2009 was in Europe, so that this seems to be the most logical solution.

In the final block of the society meeting, we have carefully discussed advantages and disadvantages of having a more formally organized society and possible alternatives: e.g. optional merging with some other (bigger) research group such as International Association of Geomorphologists, GIS societies, ISPRS and similar. We concluded that (1) geomorphometry is a distinct field that certainly has an audience and future (especially considering the recent development of LiDAR technology, new geo-visualization tools and new fields of application); (2) place of the next meeting and similar organizational issues should be decided upon during the running conference to ensure sustainability; (3) geomorphometry should try to connect all people involved with production and processing of DEMs and surface models.


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