Visit to Vrije University SPINlab

Visit to Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 10.06.19 – 14.06.19

I visited Vrije Universiteit (VU), Amsterdam as part of ERASMUS+ Staff Exchange Program. SPINlab (The Spatial Information Laboratory) was the name of the center that kindly invited me to visit. While we were in search of development methods for our data services in the library, I’ve made contact with Dr Maurice de Kleijn and Prof Niels van Manen from SPINlab. Thanks to their kind and inclusive attitude, I was able to observe their approach to GIS education.

The main focus of my visit was to participate in the workshop that marks the end of the year for their distance-learning MSc. program, UNIGIS. There were two group of students in the workshop, the one I took part into was assigned to conduct a spatial analysis on “Flood risk & potential flood damage in The Netherlands”. This makes perfect sense regarding the fact that the Netherlands is obliged to calculate the flood risk for its entire territory, %25 of which is below the sea level. Also, %60 of the surface area of the Netherlands is at risk of flooding along canals, rivers and lakes.

After being divided into groups of three people, we were instructed to make analyses on different parts (dikerings) of the Netherlands. Our area was a rural southern district named Goeree-Overflakkee. For four full days, we have worked to make analyses and produce maps on inundation, damage, and risk management for this area.

The workshop was truly intense and also very educating for me. I have learned a lot on mapmaking, raster calculations, and risk analyses. I also had the chance to practice my skills on QGIS software, which was not originally the one that I use. Here are some maps we produced as a group:

Being one of the most vulnerable parts of the world, the Netherlands has managed to secure its land and sustained its growth for centuries within the helps of modern engineering and technology. Without a doubt, this goes hand in hand with the participatory local government and city management mentality. I also admired the opennes and accesibility of the universities as a part of the city. I’ve managed to see some other parts of the country and also travelled abroad to pursue occasions on my other interests, and influenced deeply by the environment and culture. Overall, the time I spent there was both very productive and enjoyable.

Berkay Küçükbaşlar
Anamed Library, Head Librarian

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