“GeoForAll” Lab of the Month – Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic

Dear GeoForAll Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to introduce our colleagues at Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic as our “GeoForAll” lab of the month. I thank Dr Rostislav Netek for providing all the background information and photos of the activities of the lab which is summarized in this article.

“The Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic is a leading department in Czech Republic in fields of Cartography nad Geoinformatics. It guarantees the bachelor study, the master study and PhD study. They are the 100th member of GeoForAll. In research, their staff focus their activity on geoinformatics topics, development and application of GIS as well as free and open source solutions.


The Department of Geoinformatics was founded in 2001. Nowadays, the Department of Geoinformatics is a separate academic department that offers high quality education and research. It is renowned both nationally and internationally.  The main fields are geoinformatics and geoinformation technologies in education and research, and their promotion, both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Its activities encompass teaching in the field of geoinformatics with special emphasis on geographical aspects, research projects that follow international trends and promotion of modern geoinformation technologies in all spheres of the Czech society. The Department owns two specialised laboratories for geoinformation systems and remote sensing and one research laboratory for the eye-tracking technique in cartography. It uses state-of-the-art equipment and software. Its teaching activities are accompanied by cooperation with prominent national commercial companies in the field as well as renowned foreign universities. The teachers do their best to react to the individual needs of students of bachelor, master and doctoral programmes enabling them to take part in research projects, work and gain experience in commercial companies and excel in national specialised student contests.


The Department of Geoinformatics is a  centre of education and research as well as popular activities in the field of geoinformatics and cartography on national and international scale.



  • Cartographical Days in Olomouc – A  yearly event consisting of lectures by top experts in thematic cartography and selected fields of application organised by the Dept. of Geoinformatics in cooperation with cartographic, geographic, GIS&T and other associations
  • Olomouc Geoinformatics Colloquiums (OGiC) – Invited lectures by prominent foreign experts aimed at academics and the professional public that take part in the activities of the Department of Geoinformatics.
  • Cartographical conferences by the Cartographic Societies of the Czech and Slovak Republic
  • GISday – A global educational event held on the third Wednesday of November each year that enables geographic information systems users and vendors to open doors of the Department to schools, businesses and the general public to showcase real-world applications of GIS
  • An autumn Olomouc (Podzimni Olomouc) – week of lectures and workshops made by external experts from both academic and commercial community, especially focused on technologies, new solutions, etc.
  • In February 2014 The CARTOCON Conference took place at thier Department – the biggest carto conference in middle Europe ever, many prominent visitors from all over the world, four ICA commissions meetings, etc.
  • cz –  Czech local (mini)conference for Free and Open source Software for Geoinformatics (foss4g) took place at their Department last week!


In research, the staff focus their activity on general geoinformatics topics, development and application of  geographical information systems, remote sensing, data processing, thematic and digital cartography, landscape spatial modelling, spatial planning in GIS, etc. Currently, the Department‘s  activities concentrate on research fields:  Spatial modelling of geographical phenomena in GIS, Digital cartography, Remote monitoring of landscape, (Open source) GI technologies.

The Department of Geoinformatics cooperates with a number of public institutions and private companies. The cooperation can have the form of a  project, commissioned job or student work.  The longterm partners are primarily the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, the Czech Statistical Office, the Regional Authority of the Olomouc Region, the Olomouc Municipal Authority,the  SmartGIS company, the Forest Management Institute and the Transport Research Centre, local representation of OSGeo Foundation, etc.






Every year, many of their students study abroad at universities all across Europe. There are many contractual partner universities as part of the ERASMUS and CEEPUS programme, e.g. the universities of Bochum, Vienna, Valencia, Salzburg, Belgrade, Krakow, Lublin, Trondheim, Sofia, Budapest and other European cities. Similarly, thier Department receives students and teachers from Poland, Hungary, Spain and Serbia. Recently, they have been able to host among others Richard LeGates, Carsten Jürgens, Lászlo Zentai, Tamas Janczo, Maik Netzband, Ranka Stanković, Dagmara Kociuba, Branislav Bajat, Krzystov Kalamucki, Monika Michálková or Bela Markus, who give lectures as part of the Olomouc Geoinformatics Colloquium (OGiC).


Especially Assoc. Prof. Vilem Pechanec and Dr. Rostislav Netek are deeply focused in their research into FOSS solutions and technologies. Both of thier lectures and research take benefit from many open source solutions – thier server runs on Apache, webpages are powered by WordPress, for GIT/GIS on server-side they use UMN Mapserver, Geoserver, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, SpatiaLite. They also offer every academic year specialized courses such as Scripting in GIS (Python) , GIS online and Web Cartography (Leaflet, OpenLayers, Geoserver), Statistices (R-project), Dynamic web (HTTP Apache, PHP), Freeware a Open Source (GDAL/OGR, FWTools, …), most courses are supported by QGIS software and OSM datasources. Thier staff are involved in membership or open source groups (OSGEO at international level, GeoForAll, OSGEO/FOSS4G at local level ,FOSS expert group within Czech Association for Geoinformation, Open data activities).

Department of Geoinformatics is a  collective member of the Czech Association for Geoinformation (http://www.cagi.cz), co-organises its events and participates in its development. The Department of Geoinformatics is one of the most important bodies in the Czech Republic. Major cartographic activities in the Czech Republic (http://www.czechmaps.cz), the competition provides an organizational map of Children‘s Drawing Contest and Barbara Petchenik. It holds its annual Day of Cartography and in 2009 hosted the 18th cartographic conference.  The Department of Geoinformatics works closely with the Czech Geographic Society (http://www.geography.cz) and is the seat of the Section of Cartography and GIS.  The Department of Geoinformatics works closely with the Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (http://www.sfdp.upol.cz). The Department of Geoinformatics is actively involved in a number of international cartographic associations (http://cartography.tuwien.ac.at/ica/) and is represented in the Commission for National and Regional Atlases. The Department of Geoinformatics supports activities of the  International Geographical Union (http://www.igu-net.org) and is represented in the Commission for Geographical Information Systems. The Department of Geoinformatics is in close contact with the Slovak Association for Geoinformatics (http://www.sagi.sk).”


More details are at their web page at http://www.geoinformatics.upol.cz (English version currently under construction :-);

Brochure in English at http://www.geoinformatics.upol.cz/wp-content/uploads/Geoinformatika_brozura_eng.pdf


University in Olomouc welcomes collaborations from all interested. Please email Rostislav at rostislav.netek@upol.cz

We thank Rostislav and all colleagues and students at the Department of Geoinformatics, Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic for their contributions to the GeoForAll initiative and look forward to working and building more collaborations with all interested on this education mission.

Happy GIS Day greetings to all.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *