The steadily growing global interest in spatial information and its presentation in the academic, administrative and managerial sector asks for qualified personnel to cope with GIST in order to form an overall pleasing and beneficial final GIS product, especially in economically challenging times of competition. This reason was decisive to establish the e-learning course GITTA giving better and more coordinated access to educational material covering comprehensive and in-depth information over spatial distances using up-to-date technology.
GITTA was funded by the SVC, a program initiated by the Swiss Confederation. In order to achieve a truly integrated Virtual Campus of relevant players in GIST education in Switzerland, the GITTA consortium, made up of 10 partners spread throughout the country, covers a wide variety of disciplines and specifically integrates partners from universities, federal institutes of technology, and universities of applied sciences with a multilingual distribution (German, French and Italian). The consortium partners offer over 80% of the capacity in academic GIST education in Switzerland.
Out of this initiative, easily accessible teaching modules for basic and intermediate study programs, that are available via the internet, have been created. GITTA, the ambassador for a newly conceived concept teaching GIST and geomedia design combined in one study course, is responding to those needs.
It focuses on supplying an interactively programmed and IT-based, multilingual environment, to cope with increasing numbers of students for both basic and intermediate level and all types of academic curricula. Studies with GITTA are no longer static-, reactive- or text-based learning but a multimedia-enriched course while sticking to a consistent educational structure with large emphasis on flexibility and self-exploration.
The first phase of the project which started in 2001 and ended after a prolongation of half a year in June 2004. In July 2004 GITTA started the two year consolidation and maintenance phase, financially supported by the SVC. This phase will be used to make GITTA even more sustainable and for opening GITTA to the general public. The release of the first GITTA lessons as open content under the creative commons license has started in February 2006.