Geo-information is a rapidly growing industry worldwide. GIS and RS tools can be used for solving real-world problems and complex issues: health, food security, climate, water, and urban planning.
One of humankind’s greatest challenges is to achieve an appropriate balance between developing natural resources and maintaining an optimal environment. To meet this challenge, we need detailed and reliable geo-information and geo-information management tools.
Geo-information science and earth observation consists of a combination of tools and methods for the collection, storage and processing of geo-spatial data. Geo-information science deals also with the dissemination and use of geo-spatial data and managing of services based on these data. In the MSc programme Geo-information Science and Earth Observation considerable attention is paid to the development and application of geographical information systems (GIS) for solving problems. Such problems can range from planning urban infrastructure and implementing land administration systems, to designing a good wildlife management system or detecting environmental pollution. GIS and remote sensing play a role in disaster management, for example in determining the risks of landslides or mapping the extent of forest fires and can support governments and relief agencies in response to disasters.
1) Applied Earth Sciences
The sustainable use of land and earth resources is a key factor in economic development.
In our daily life, we are continuously confronted with things and situations that have a direct link with earth resources and related processes. The buildings in which we live and work are constructed of materials from the earth; the soil produces our daily food; and mineral resources provide fuel for our transport and cooking.
However, the same processes that shape the environment in which we live can also be extremely destructive. Disastrous events such as the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the earthquakes in Peru and Indonesia show that the forces of nature can have a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.
A range of tools and techniques have been developed to make inventories of all the resources at our disposal, and to plan and manage their best possible use in a way that benefits not only the present population but also future generations. These tools and techniques provide adequate spatial and temporal information on resources and processes, and make it possible to use the available resources wisely, foresee risks, and plan accordingly.
Geographical and earth sciences are relying increasingly on digital spatial data acquired from remotely sensed images, analysed by geographical information systems (GIS), distributed through complex infrastructures, and visualised on the computer screen or on paper by an ever-increasing variety of users.
The technologies supporting these processes form the core of geoinformatics. Technological skills alone, however, are not sufficient for organisations involved in the production and management of such geo-information.
Owing to the rapid changes and developments in geo-information acquisition, analysis and dissemination, these organisations require scientific staff that can keep pace with and validate the relevancy of such developments, design new systems and infrastructures, and explore new-edge technology for efficient and effective implementation.
3) Governance and Spatial Information Management
Geo-information has gained importance in societies over the past decades.
The public sector has always been a major spatial data provider and user. Topographic mapping, land use planning, environmental management, land administration and land registration are examples of public sector activities in which geo-information plays a major role.
Public policy development and public management have undergone major shifts because of government reform, decentralisation, market reform and information technologies. Governments have invested in digital registration systems, and many are active in developing service delivery to citizens via internet technology. Nowadays, too, the use of information technology for policy evaluation and policy design is being explored.
4) Land Administration
Land is at the basis of all societies.
Land policy regulates the access to land and the management of land. A sound land policy is a critical success factor in economic growth, food security, nature conservation, the protection of vulnerable groups, poverty reduction and housing. Reports of international agencies such as the World Bank, the European Union, Habitat, FAO and UNDP all devote considerable attention to land issues and land policies.
Land policy and land policy instruments determine how a government can provide access to land, offer tenure security, regulate the land market, implement land reform, protect the environment, and levy land taxes. Such tasks become even more challenging in post-conflict or post-disaster areas, and where government systems are in transition.
As an associated institution of the United Nations University (UNU), ITC contributes to the UNU mission, which is "to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States".
5) Urban Planning and Management
The magnitude and dynamics of urbanisation place an enormous burden on organisations responsible for the planning and management of urban regions.
The core objectives of urban planning and management are seen as understanding dynamic urban processes and developing effective interventions that contribute to the sustainability of urban development. Geo-information and geo-information technology play a vital role in supporting these objectives.
Themes in the urban planning course domain include urban poverty, urban transport, infrastructure and public services, disaster preparedness and mitigation, urban environmental planning, land use and land tenure, participatory GIS, and spatial planning and decision support systems.
6) Natural Resources Management
Increasing population and growing welfare place pressure on the natural environment & result in problems such as deforestation, overgrazing, and the contamination of land and water resources.
In turn, the depletion of natural resources can frequently lead to land scarcity and to widespread changes in land use.
Furthermore, we are increasingly aware that environmental issues may transcend national boundaries. As evidenced by various international agendas & agreements, the management of the Earth’s natural resources is of concern to us all.
Courses in the domain of natural resources are offered by the Department of Natural Resources. The Department of Natural Resources comprises three knowledge clusters: Forestry, Agriculture and Environment.
Scientists from each of these three clusters contribute their specialized knowledge and research experience in forestry, agriculture and environment to the department’s courses. In addition, the department carries out research and offers courses in a number of cross-cutting topics.
These include the adaptation and mitigation of impacts caused by increasing human pressure and economic production, as well as ‘high technology’ applications.
7) Water Resources and Environmental Management
Security and sustainable development of our water resources is one of the key problems of the 21st century.
Improved water management can make a significant contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
Current international initiatives such as the Global Earth Observation System of Systems 10-Year Implementation Plan have identified earth observation as the key to helping to solve the world’s water problems. The availability of spatial information on water resources will enable closure of the water budget at river basin scales to the point where effective water management as requested by the EU Water Framework Directive is possible.
Floods, droughts, water quality, water-ecosystem and soil-water-climate interactions, and the sustainability of water resources are important issues in water resources management and hydrology.
Besides the Geo-information Science and Earth Observation program, University of Twente offers a range of other Geo-Information programs such as the Master Applied Earth Sciences
See which programs are related to the Geo-information Science and Earth Observation Master
Students who would like to register for the Master Geo-information Science and Earth Observation will need to have sufficient funds for tuition and living expenses. Getting a scholarship could be the first step towards obtaining a top master degree at the University of Twente
See which scholarships you can apply for if you want to do the Geo-information Science and Earth Observation master.
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BSc degree from a recognized university in a field related to Geoinformatics.
Preferably working experience in a field related to Geoinformatics.
IELTS overall band: 6.0, TOEFL computer based: 213, TOEFL internet based: 80, TOEFL paper based: 550, CAE: C1, CPE: C2
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