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The Geoinformatics is the science of nature and function of spatial information ( geo ) and its autonomous navigation on HD Maps (drones / vehicles), mobilization (Smartphone / location-based apps), networking (Internet / GeoWebInfrastrukturen), collection and analysis (PC / GIS). It is a branch of applied computer science . The industrial dimension (similar to computer science and IT) is called GeoIT, since the number of end users, for example navigation, includes practically every consumer. What all geoinformatics applications have in common is their relation to spatial issues and thus to the basic question “Where?”.


A distinction is made between independent courses of study and combinations with other areas such as computer science, geodesy and geography .

An important part of the content is the design and development of GeoIT software components to e.g. B. consumer navigation , but also specialist applications such as autonomous driving and other classic land registers . Therefore, many courses are a combination with other subjects than the Binde-Dash subject. The courses and locations can be based on the above. Reference to other subject areas can be clearly distinguished.

The study of geoinformatics therefore mostly represents an intersection of informatics , geodesy ( geodesy studies ) or geography studies . As a science, geoinformatics is extremely interdisciplinary and connects u. a. several geosciences, spatial planning or parts of biology and environmental protection. As applied computer science , it combines computer science with geological and technical disciplines. Since the market entry of Google Maps and the development of OpenStreetMap , the focus has been on end users, directly or indirectly via the web and apps. Geoinformatics with its sub-area navigation is a main component of autonomous driving.

Study areas

The course of study occurs in three different areas in the universities:

Geoinformatics module

It mostly occurs in the first or second semester of the geography degree. As different variants. You get to know current software systems that generate, publish, transport, integrate, mobilize, analyze and visualize geodata.

Bachelor courses in geoinformatics

A combination of the subjects of the bachelor's degree in geography and computer science. Standard period of study 6 semesters. It is a combination of modules from geography and computer science.

Master’s courses in geoinformatics

In 4 semesters you learn among other things:

  • GeoIT (LBA, GDI, GIS) and specialized information systems derived therefrom, as well as more recently 3D GIS and mobile navigation
  • Open geospatial and interoperability
  • Development of spatial data infrastructures such as OpenStreetMap and EU INSPIRE
  • Mobile APIs such as Android with location and maps
  • Satellite-based navigation and determination of position coordinates (GPS) and the associated digital data acquisition in the field

Study locations

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, some universities offer Bachelor, Master and z. Some also offered at doctoral level. Important university and college locations in the German-speaking area are:

The Anhalt University of Applied Sciences and the University of Salzburg offer postgraduate distance learning at master’s level .


The main contents of geoinformatics are:

  • Navigation as the most important and best known use.
  • Components for future autonomous navigating vehicles.
  • Technology sub-areas: GeoIT industry (e.g. Google Maps, HERE, Tomtom), GeoIT Community (via OpenStreetMap ) and government services (e.g. land surveying offices)
  • Development and management of spatial data storage components for spatial information ( spatial data management )
  • Acquisition, modeling and analysis of geographic information
  • Visualization and presentation of geographic information
  • (Internet-based) dissemination of geographic information

Sub-areas of geoinformatics are u. a .:

Areas of application of geoinformatics according to Ehlers:

  • Plant management, supply networks
  • Business Geomatics (eMarketing, planning, sales)
  • 3D visualization, augmented reality
  • E-commerce , e- property
  • Spatial data services (web services, SDI)
  • Health Sciences (epidemiological analyzes)
  • Integrated traffic management (traffic navigation, scheduling)
  • Map design and production, cadastre
  • Management of natural resources and land use
  • Mobile Location Based Apps (LBA), Location Based Services
  • Public planning and development
  • Risk assessment (disasters, anthropogenic / natural hazards)
  • Location analysis and planning
  • Telecommunication planning
  • Environmental studies and impact

See also


  • Norbert de Lange: Geoinformatics in theory and practice 3rd edition. Spectrum Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2013 ISBN 978-3-642-34806-8 .
  • Ralf Bill: Basics of geographic information systems . 6th edition. Wichmann, Berlin / Offenbach 2016, ISBN 978-3-87907-489-1 .
  • Ralf Bill, Marco Lydo Zehner: Lexicon of Geoinformatics . Wichmann, Heidelberg 2000, ISBN 3-87907-607-3 .
  • Norbert Bartelme: Geoinformatics: models, structures, functions. 4th edition. Springer, 2005, ISBN 3-540-20254-4
  • Michael Herter, Björn Koos: Java & GIS. Programming - Examples - Solutions , Wichmann, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-87907-379-5 .
  • Klaus Kummer, Josef Frankenberger: The German surveying and geographic information system 2013 Wichmann, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-87907-523-2 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Geoinformatics  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Institutions, organizations, associations and clubs

Individual evidence

  1. Module Handbook Geography, University of Augsburg, page 7, sample curriculum for the Bachelor's degree
  2. B.Sc. Geoinformatics University of Augsburg Under: Structure
  3. Geoinformatics Master of Science, University of Osnabrück under: Subject of the subject
  4. Ehlers, Manfred: "Is it time for a scientific discipline Geoinformatics?", Institute for Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing (IGF) of the University of Osnabrück ( ( Memento of March 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive ))