History of the Faculty of Geodesy

The evidence about the existence of courses in geodesy at the University of Zagreb more than two centuries ago can be found in the textbook by Martin Sabolović: Exercitationes Gaeodeticae, published in Latin in 1775. In the second half of the 19th Century, geodetic subjects were lectured at the High School for Economy and Forestry (Gospodarsko-šumarsko učilište) in Križevci. The student, and later on a teacher at that High School, Dr. Vjekoslav Köröškénji is the author of the first geodetic textbook published in Croatian in 1874 titled Geodäsija. His successor Franjo Kružić wrote the textbook titled Photogrammetry and Practical Part of Tacheometry published in 1897, and also Practical Geodesy or Land Surveying in 1911.

At the end of the last century, in 1898, the Royal Academy of Forestry (Kraljevsko-šumarska akademija) was founded at the Faculty of Philosophy (Mudroslovni fakultet), at the University of Zagreb. Among other technical subject-matters, there was also geodesy lectured at the Academy. It was lectured by Professor Vinko Hlavinka, the author of the textbook Geodesy published in 1911.

Since the demand for adequately trained experts who would regulate property relationships, land register systems, land consolidation, cadastral survey etc., was increasing constantly, a separate Geodetic Course was introduced at the Royal Academy of Forestry where the lectures were held by professor Pavle Horvat after professor V. Hlavinka had left. The Geodetic Course with the teaching grounds completely identical to the curriculum of the studies of geodesy at high schools in Prague and Vienna, was held at the Royal Academy until 1919, when it was converted into the Geodetic Department at the Technical High School established a year before. Professor Pavle Horvat continued to lecture geodesy.

The teaching of geodesy was held at the High Technical School in Zagreb and embraced eight semesters. Apart from the Geodetic Department, there was also Department for Cultivation and Engineering Survey, and these two departments were joined in 1923 after many discussions in the School itself, as well as in broader professional circles.

The teaching of geodesy went through important changes in 1926 as the High Technical School was integrated into the University of Zagreb as the Technical Faculty with adequate departments. The courses in geodesy were held within the scope of Geodetic Department and Department for Cultivation and Engineering Survey. This Department was named Geodetic and Cultural Technical Department in 1929 and it embraced three chairs: Chair for Geodesy with the subjects Land Surveying and Geodetic Calculation, Chair for Applied Geodesy with the subjects State Survey, Surveying and Regulation of Cities, Geodetic Drawing, Photogrammetry, Topographic Survey, Map Reproduction and Agrarian Operations, and the Chair for Higher Geodesy with the subjects Spherical and Practical Astronomy, Higher Geodesy and Cartography. The classes in general subjects were attended in the chairs of other departments.

This type of teaching was performed until the end of 1946 when two new subject-oriented fields were introduced at the Technical Faculty: the geodetic and land improvement field. According to their curriculum the classes were conducted until 1948. It was the time when things changed, because the economic and political circumstances of that period influenced further development of geodesy. This was the time of after war reconstruction and erection when a great number of engineers in geodetic profession were needed, as well as the application of new geodetic working methods influenced by the rapid development and complexity of construction activities. At the same time, it came to stagnation in solving of agrarian and juridical issues, and solving land improvement works, which resulted in the cancelation of the land improvement subject-oriented field at the Technical Faculty in 1951.

One of the important events in the development of the organization of classes in geodesy was the disintegration of the Technical Faculty in 1956, when the former departments developed into four new faculties. One of them was the Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (AGG) remaining as such until 1962. In that period the teaching activities at the Geodetic Department have been intensified establishing new teaching and scientific units, introducing new courses of lectures, appointing new teachers and providing teaching tools and instruments. The consequence of that was the Faculty of Geodesy at the University of Zagreb was established in 1962. The basic activities of the Faculty of Geodesy are teaching, and scientific and research work in the field of geodesy.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 10 June 2014, 10:40 AM