News Archive

MGIS Fieldtrip in the Southern Alps

Feb 2017

Another year, another successful MGIS fieldtrip. This year's trip moved to the CASS field station in the Southern Alps and saw students from all three universities get to grips with the new location and their GIS studies. For 3620 degree photographs of the fieldtrip see:, and (Thanks to Emir Hartato for the photographs!)

The MGIS students and staff at Geocart 2016 in WellingtonMGIS students present at Geocart

Sept 2016

At the recent biennial Geocart conference in Wellington, Emir Hartato and Andrew Douglas-Clifford presented on their MGIS theses. Both MGIS students are working on VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information) research projects. Also presenting at the conference was MGIS lecturer Dr Mairead de Roiste. Geocart is run by the New Zealand Cartographic Society and the conference is staffed by volunteers, a number of Victoria University's MGIS and PGDipGIS students were on hand to help out and attend the conference. Industry events can be a useful way for students to make connections with their industry colleagues.

Andrew Douglas Clifford's Road Network map of New ZealandMGIS Student reimagines New Zealand Highways

May 2016

Inspired by underground maps of London and other cities in Europe, Andrew Douglas-Clifford, a current MGIS thesis student created a new New Zealand highways map. His cartographic efforts have been featured in the New Zealand Herald, on Checkpoint with John Campbell and on stuff (New Zealand's news website). Andrew originally created a route map for the South Island and after a few requests made one for the North Island too. Looking to get your own copy? He also has them for sale here.

MGIS student Richard Law and Programme Director Mairead de RoisteCongratulations to Mairead, Richard and Hamish for their NZSEA awards in 2015

November 2015

The MGIS programme proudly congratulates three winners of this year's New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards. Dr Mairead de Roiste was presented the award for Education and Professional Development for her work on the MGIS, growing student numbers taking GIS at VUW and for her involvement in developing New Zealand's geospatial capability. Richard Law was awarded the Postgraduate Student of the Year award against some strong PhD candidates for his MGIS thesis on modelling public transport accessiblity with Real Time Information (RTI). Both Mairead and Richard are from Victoria University of Wellington. Hamish Kingsbury won the award for Undergraduate Student of the Year for a summer project with Abley consultants prior to starting his postgraduate on the MGIS programme.

Andrew Clouston and Mairead de RoisteVUW's First Master of GIS crosses the stage

14 May 2015

Victoria University’s first ever Master of Geographic Information Science (GIS) was capped at yesterday’s graduation ceremony. Andrew Clouston, Geospatial Team Manager at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), was the first graduate since the programme’s inception in 2012.

Carrying out his studies part-time was a challenge but well worth the effort, says Andrew. “I was juggling my studies with full-time work, family and a commute from the Wairarapa. I received a great amount of support which enabled me to complete my Master’s in just over three years.”

Programme Director Dr Mairead de Roiste from SGEES says the programme attracts recent graduates and professionals like Andrew already in the workforce looking to upskill. “A number of government departments, such as LINZ, have actively encouraged staff through sponsorship to take part in the programme. The programme benefits from a great richness of student experiences and perspectives, such as surveying in Andrew's case, conservation, education and consulting in others.”

Andrew’s thesis explored the issues of including citizen data collection or crowdsourcing in government datasets with a specific focus on the New Zealand Cadastre (the system responsible for recording land surveys and property boundaries information).

“In addition to being topical and relevant for New Zealand, the conversations generated as a result of his work have advanced New Zealand's thinking on how we can maintain our authoritative databases to a high international standard in light of changing technologies and expectations”, says Dr de Roiste.

The Master of GIS was introduced in response to a national geospatial skills shortage in a collaboration between Victoria University, the University of Canterbury and AUT.

“It’s a unique programme internationally. We make use of innovative technologies to join students and staff based at the three different institutions into the same courses and programme.

“The skills our students gain are invaluable – in fact we've had the unusual problem of a number of our students getting jobs before they've finished.”

ESRI 2015 Young Scholars WinnersMGIS Students Awarded ESRI Young Scholar Prize

May 2015

Two MGIS students (Hamish Kingsbury (right) and Jeremy Severinsen (left)) recently took 1st and 2nd place in the ESRI young scholar awards for 2015. Further details available here.

MGIS now in Auckland Too

Jan 2013

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has officially joined the Masters in Geographical Information Science (MGIS) programme from 2013. The MGIS programme is now run between the University of Canterbury (UC), Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) and AUT. Students thinking of enrolling in the programme can now be resident in the three biggest cities in New Zealand in order to sit in the programme.

Job success

Jun 2012

3 University of Canterbury Geog324 students and 2 University of Canterbury MGIS students have just gained ongoing part time and short term employment contracts at the Christchurch City Council for GIS related employment.

MGIS Launch Event at VUW

Apr 2012

"We would be delighted if you could join us for the launch of the Masters in Geographic Information Science (MGIS) in Victoria University of Wellington.  The MGIS is a unique and ground-breaking postgraduate programme offered by Victoria University with the University of Canterbury. 

The qualification offers a wide variety of topical, relevant courses. With severe shortages in the GIS industry, this programme prepares students for exciting GIS job opportunities.   Participation in the programme is from either location and students learn via a range of innovative and collaborative teaching techniques using the latest technology.  The MGIS launch introduces and celebrates this cross-institution initiative.       

Guest speaker: Kevin Sweeney, National Geospatial Office.

The launch will be held on Thursday, May 3rd at 4.15pm with drinks to follow in AM103, Alan McDiarmid Institute on the Kelburn campus of Victoria University, or via video link in the Jobberns Room, 4th floor of the Geography Building at Canterbury University.  Please see attached map for details.

Please RSVP to by April 25th.

2012 MGIS Field Trip

5 Apr 2012

WalkingThe MGIS programme kicked off the year with a great field trip at UC’s Kaikoura field station.

The field trip included a range of activities, from lectures, advanced indoor navigation techniques, outdoor surveying, a visit to a whale observation research station, and a visit to the Kaikoura Marae that included local history and the latest GIS research from Ngai Tahu.


MGIS field work

4 Nov 2011

MGIS and PGDipGIS students undertake a full aerial photography data capture mission as part of GISC413

UoC becomes CRCSI Essential Participant

3 May 2011

The University of Canterbury has been formally accepted as an Essential Participant in the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information. By joining the CRCSI, the University will strengthen its leadership position in applied spatial science, both nationally and on the international stage...more

MGIS Fieldtrip

13 April 2011


Prof. StroblStudents on the MGIS fieldtrip (rerun locally near Governer's Bay due to the recent earthquake) enjoyed a 3 day intensive learning experience that included guests Dr. Tony Moore from Otago University and Dr. Mairead de Roiste from Victoria University.  Learning involved both lectures and field work, with a range of surveying and GPS equipment, as well as indoor navigation technology provided by the Geospatial Research Centre. 

Prof. Strobl to lecture in 2011 course

22 July 2010

Prof. StroblThe 2011 Cartography and Visualisation MGIS course will be taught by Erskine visitor Prof. Josef Strobl. Prof. Strobl is from the Austrian Academy of Sciences' GIScience Institute and the Centre for Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg (Austria), and has been instrumental in developing and implementing the worldwide UNIGIS postgraduate distance learning programme. He is working with a global network of partner institutions in education, basic and applied research in Geographic Information Science.


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