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GITTA/CartouCHe news:

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GITTA News-Archive 2004-2013

New case study and two lessons online

(12 June 2013) The lessons "Continuous spatial variables" and "Accessibility" (on basic level) are now available in English! And we have a new case study, the "Mountain goats and bighorn sheep in Yellowstone NP"

ESRI ArcGIS licenses for students

(14 January 2013) ESRI simplified the procedure to get a free 1-year full license "ArcGIS for Desktop Student Trial". How to get it is described here (for students in Switzerland only).

ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 licences available for GITTA users

(December 07th 2009) Student licenses of ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 are now available. More information on conditions and ordering can be found here.

GITTA project on 2nd place at Medida Prix

(September 18th 2008) GITTA has finished on second place at this year's MedidaPrix, a prestigious award for projects implementing the use of new learning technologies in higher education in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The prize money of Euro 100,000 was split into three parts: The winner MatheVital receives Euro 50,000, and us as well as third place receive Euro 25,000 each. The award is the result of the work of many people. We'd like to thank all of you who contributed to the project in one way or the other.
The prize money will be invested in setting up a network with other interested groups in emerging nations and developing countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe, to help with translation to other languages (content is now in German, English, French). Award ceremony (click on image to enlarge)Award ceremony (click on image to enlarge)

Additional access to CartouCHe content

(August 11th 2008) From now on, subscribing to the GITTA newsletter gives you full access to the contents of the CartouCHe project as well. Find an overview of the available content here.

GITTA in the final round of MedidaPrix 2008

(July 3rd 2008) We are happy to announce that GITTA has reached the final round of MedidaPrix 2008. This means that we are one of 19 finalists of a total number of 77 candidates that all achieved the formal criteria.

OLAT accepted at the Google Summer of Code students program

(March 18th 2008) OLAT, an open source learning management system founded by the University of Zurich, has been accepted at the Google Summer of Code program. The GSoC initiative offers students the possibility to work for open source projects and be paid by Google (around $5000 for a summer job). The aim of GSoC is to foster open source projects, to recruit talented programmers for the project ant probably also for themselves. Students interested in receiving such a grant should apply until March 31st, 2008. For interested students a free visit of the first int. OLAT conference 2008 in March 27th/28th could be organized. More information here:

Workshop: Exchange of Experiences in e-Learning and Curriculum Integration

(October 24th 2007) The GITTA association would like to proceed a workshop with focus on "Exchange of Experiences in e-Learning and Curriculum Integration". In order to help us with the organization of the logistics, we would appreciate if you could indicate your interest in attending this workshop by casting your vote on the following Doodle poll.

New ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 9.2 one year site licences available for students

(July 18th 2007) ESRI offers one year site licences of ArcGIS Desktop 9.2. The order form can be downloaded here.

First steering committee meeting on January 17th 2007

(January 3rd 2007) The first meeting of the steering committee responsible for the new GITTA Association will take place on January 17th 2007 at the University of Zurich. The GITTA newsletter will inform about outcomes and news as soon as possible.

GITTA Association founded

(November 21st 2006) On November 16th 2006 the association for promoting GITTA (in German "Föderverein") was founded at the Institute of Geography of the University of Bern. This new GITTA Association is open to every active member or sponsor interested in using, updating and/or promoting GITTA materials. The statutes, membership fee, contact person etc. can be found on the GITTA Association page. A redesign of the GITTA website in 2007 will hold extensive information about this new association and about how the project members will work together in future.

New GITTA lessons online: Basic level complete

(November 3rd 2006) We are very happy to announce that with the release of the "Spatial Modeling Module" (containing 5 lessons in French) the GITTA basic level is fully online and available without any limitations. Furthermore, intermediate lesson 1 and 2 (both in English) of the "Spatial Analysis Module" have been put online today. Please register to our newsletter to get our "Full Access Link" and have a look at the new lessons.

GITTA lessons available as IMS CP or SCORM Module

(May 30th 2006) All GITTA lessons available as open content can now be downloaded as ZIP archives in both the termIMS Content Packages and the termSCORM format. These content packages can directly be imported into any termlearning management system (LMS) supporting one of these popular standards. On the content package download page you can find the zip files and an installation tutorial movie for both termOLAT and WebCT, two widely used LMS. The layout used is kept plain, no chapter numeration and navigation elements are used, since these parts will be provided by the LMS. If you tried out one of our content packages, we kindly request to provide us a short feedback including the LMS you are using, version and experiences. Thank you very much.

Older GITTA news can be found in our archive.

Foundation of GITTA Association

(October 18th 2006) In 2006 we opened the project to the public and released our lessons under the termCreative Commons license freely for non-commercial purposes. Now we continue our "opening strategy" and change the legal form: The existing consortium of ten partner institutes will be dissolved and a new "GITTA Association", accessible to every interested person or organisation, will be established. We would like to invite interested circles to take part in the future growth of the GITTA project both with respect to content and quality.

The new GITTA Association will be open to interested persons and organisations and allow them to become an active member or a sustaining member (individual or organisation). Sustaining memberships are directed to persons and organisations, who are using GITTA and/or would like to support the purpose of GITTA.

The founders meeting will be held on Thursday November 16th, 2006 at 7pm at the University of Berne: Department of Geography of the University of Berne, Hallerstrasse 12, CH-3012 Bern, Room 302.

You can download the statutes draft here (in German only).

AGIT publication about GITTA online

(July 6th 2006) On July 5th GITTA was presented at the AGIT conference in Salzburg (Austria) by the coordinator Joël Fisler. The presented publication (Fisler et al. 2006) and the presentation itself can both be found on the GITTA conferences page. The paper was published by the Wichmann-Verlag in the AGIT Fachtagung "Geoinformation in der Schule" proceedings entitled "Lernen mit Geoinformation".

First Intermediate lessons available

(July 4th 2006) Today the first intermediate and all the basic data capture lessons have been released. Please have a look at the lesson overview page for a complete list of all available lessons.

Conference update

(April 26th 2006) After the release of the first GITTA basic lessons under the termcreative commons license we plan to present our project at various conferences. The GITTA Coordinator Joël Fisler will be in May at the 2nd "GIS-Ausbildungstage" in Potsdam (Germany), in July at the Austrian AGIT in Salzburg and in September at the EUGISES conference in Poland. You can find a list of all conferences including the download-links for the papers and the conference website links on our conferences page. If you are also participating at one of these conferences and would like to meet the coordinator to discuss possible cooperations or have other questions, feel free contact Joël Fisler before the conference.

GITTA lessons released as open content

(February 13th 2006) The GITTA lessons are finally available for free under the termcreative commons license. This means that you can use, copy, distribute, translate or even make derivative works of our lessons under the following conditions: Non-commercial use only, GITTA has to be cited as author of the lesson (Attribution) and derivative works have to distributed under the same license (Share Alike). Please have a look at the legal code and if you agree continue by subscribing our newsletter for full access to all lessons.

GITTA presented at cartography conference in Bulgaria

(January 30th 2006) The GITTA project was presented during a (unfortunately poorly visited) poster session at the first International Conference on Cartography and GIS in Borovets (Bulgaria). Hopefully this presentation will help finding new partners within Europe. You can download the poster on the conference page.

ESRI ArcGIS 9.1 available free for GITTA users

(November 29th 2005) ESRI Switzerland informed us that the ArcGIS 9.1 "GITTA students bundles" boxes have arrived. The boxes include a full version of ArcView 9.1 including Spatial Analyst, 3D Analyst and Geostatical Analyst (with PDF Tutorials etc.) and more. Students and tutors using GITTA can apply for a unlimited one year license, all other GITTA users will receive a two-month try-out version. For more information visit our GIS software page.

ArcAktuell GIS magazine presented GITTA

(October 11th 2005) The German ESRI magazine ArcAktuell published in their "Education" edition an article about GITTA by Joël Fisler. You can download a PDF version of the article "Virtueller Schweizer GIS-Campus" from our website. (Fisler 2005)

GITTA presented at the XII International Cartographic Conference

(August 14th 2005) The International Cartographic Conference (ICC) takes place every 2nd year and at the last one we could present GITTA in Durban (South Africa) and show the development directions and ideas (Werner et al. 2003). At this years ICC conference in A Coruña (Spain) we showed GITTA’s state of affairs and the great development in direction of open content- and open source-development it made. One major focus lays also on the didactic aspects, how the Institute of Cartography of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is going to implement its lessons in a hybrid learning arrangement. (Werner et al. 2005)

GITTA presentation at the International Commission on Education and Training Meeting at ICC 2005

(August 14th 2005) The Commission on Education and Training of the ICA (ICA CET) produces an ICA-sponsored Internet cartography teaching program on modular base. Authors participating are coming from all over the world. Their modules are partly written, but without any unity in length, style and format. GITTA with its eLML structure could provide an uniform developing and presentation opportunity. The GITTA news and way of use were presented at the commission’s meeting, together with the experiences and contributions the Institute of Cartography could make to the ICA CET’s Aims. General future activities will have to be:

  • Spreading information about GITTA and especially the content about the "Data Presentation Module" to the interested author’s community
  • Building up a discussion board that is accessible for ICA CET members world-wide to discuss the future wishes in depth
  • Spreading information and discussing about the use of hybrid learning arrangements and online lectures – the consequences for planning lectures from a pedagogical-didactical point of view
  • In the far future: transferring existing material into eLML-format and using it for lecturing cartography world-wide as online or hybrid learning arrangement (also blended-learning)

The presentation hold at the ICA CET Meeting can be found on the GITTA conference page. Interested? For further information on ICA CET and GITTA in Swiss Cartography, please contact: Marion Werner at the Institute of Cartography of the Swiss Institute of Technology.

Presentations at the GFZ in Potsdam (Germany)

(June 6th 2005) Two conferences took place at the Geoforschungszentrum (GFZ) Potsdam: The ISPRS Workshop about "Tools and Techniques for E-Learning" and the DDGI Tagung about "Innovationen in Aus- und Weiterbildung mit GIS". On Thursday the eLML paper about "Development of sustainable e-learning content with the open source eLesson Markup Language eLML" (Fisler et al. 2005) was presented by Joël Fisler to the ISPRS members, on Friday over 100 conference participants listened to the talk about GITTA and its plans to release lessons under an open license. The paper and both presentations can be found on the GITTA conference page.

GITTA Newsletter available

(May 20th 2005) Today the GITTA Newsletter was introduced. Please use the form on the left (below the Menu) to get subscribed. There is also a detailed information page to login and to access the archive. This is a low traffic list. Subscribers will not get more than one mail per month.

SVC Monitoring: Summer semester questionnaire for students

(May 12th 2005) The new SVC questionnaire for the summer semester 2005 is available in German, French and Italian. Students from any partner institute using GITTA this semester should fill out questionnaire until the end of the semester.

GITTA content free available under Creative Commons license

(April 25th 2005) Last week the GITTA consortium decided to release all 50 lessons and 10 case studies under the termcreative commons license. This means that GITTA content will be available freely for non-commercial use. First lessons are planned to be available in late summer. Before being opened all copyright issues have to be solved. Furthermore we are waiting for the final version of the Swiss Creative Commons license.

eLML is now an official Sourceforge project

(December 1st 2004) eLML, the termeLesson Markup Language, that evolved out of the GITTA project, now became an independent Sourceforge OpenSource Project with its own and eLML Sourceforge website. For interested developers we offer newsletter, forums, bug tracker, CVS- and Binary-downloads etc. Subscribe to the eLML Newsletter here.

GITTA enters the consolidation and maintenance phase

(July 1st 2004) GITTA went through a first phase of e-course development during 07/2001 and 06/2004. Since July 2004, GITTA entered a new phase. For a period of two years (until 06/2006), the termSwiss Virtual Campus program provides additional funding for the consolidation and maintenance of the projects resources. Compared to the funds received during the development phase, the financial contributions will be more limited. However, they will allow us to consolidate the content, the technical infrastructure, and the work processes of GITTA in order to ensure that course offerings will be truly self-sustainable in the time when external funding will come to an end. The focus during the consolidation and maintenance phase will be on the following tasks:

  • Integration of GITTA into curricula of partner institutions
  • Consolidation of content: enhancements in response to student evaluations, enhanced interactivity
  • Migration of GITTA content to new termeLML XMLSchemas
  • Consolidation and enhancement of technical infrastructure
  • Preparation for Open Content strategy: open GITTA content – initially for external users, then external authors
  • General maintenance of GITTA content and services

New GITTA coordinator: Joël Fisler follows Eric Lorup

(June 1st 2004) Since the first phase of the GITTA project officially ended in June 2004, the former GITTA project coordinator Eric Lorup left the project and now works for an eLearning software company. We would like to thank him very much for his work and efforts during the last years. For the maintenance phase (see above) the new GITTA coordinator will be Joël Fisler, former GITTA developer.

GITTA and EduTech present the eLML XML framework

(May 2nd 2004) Based on the GITTA DTD, Susanne Bleisch and Joël Fisler realized the EduTech-financed XML framework eLML, the termeLesson Markup Language. The GITTA DTD itself was created by Susanne Bleisch and Stefan Hofstetter based on the German LMML project. It was then, while in use for creating over 50 lessons, updated and simplified. In late 2003 EduTech proposed to offer a termXML Framework based on the GITTA DTD for all interested SVC projects, which lead to the creation of eLML. In comparison to the old GITTA DTD, eLML is even simpler and lighter and is now based on XML Schema. Also we added extensive tutorials and an example lesson.

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