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From this friday on the first state of the map conference in Tanzania will be held in Dar es Salaam. The members of our GIScience Research Group Heidelberg and the disastermappers heidelberg Marcel Reinmuth and Benjamin Herfort are participating and will organize a workshop on creating maps from OpenStreetMap data.

The state of the map in Tanzania is a unique event that brings together experts in the field of GIS, community mappers from rural tanzania and youthmappers from east Africa. It is organized by the OpenStreetMap community in Tanzania and Dar Ramani Huria.

If you would like to follow the conference have a look at Twitter: #SOTMTZ and @RamaniHuria.

we cordially invite everybody interested to our next open GIScience colloquium talk

Geospatial Visual Analytics Applications for Predictive Analysis

Dr. Alexandra Diehl
University of Konstanz, Department of Computer and Information Science, Data Analysis and Visualization

Time and date: Mon, December 11, 2:15 pm
Venue: INF 348, Room 015, Department of Geography, Heidelberg University

In this talk, the speaker will introduce her work in the area of Visual Analytics and Predictive Analytics with applications in Weather Forecasting and, more recently, in Social Media. When Predictive Analytics reaches its limits, Visual Analytics can help to recalibrate, change, and optimize models, and to validate results. Putting the user in the loop – the main goal of Visual Analytics – allows the analysts to inspect internal parts of predictive algorithms, such as regression models, and optimize them for a better fitting. Dr. Alexandra Diehl will present several design studies and contributions to this research area in the form of Multiple Coordinated View System and Visual Analytics workflows. Her main goal for the ongoing and future projects is to overcome the limitations of automated Predictive Models using the experience and knowledge of the user.

Digital Geoarchaeology can be regarded as an intersection of disciplines that contributes to the consolidation of different academic perspectives. It represents a novel approach in terms of computer scientific methods combined with geoscientific know-how and archaeological expertise to multi-methodically investigate past human-environmental relationships (Siart et al. 2018).

In the new textbook “Digital Geoarchaeology” by Springer, which was edited by our department colleagues, a completely new and comprehensive perspective on this rapidly growing academic field is given.

We contributed two chapters. One chapter describes how LiDAR can be used in Geoarchaeology and the second chapter gives insights into cultural remnants that we identified with LiDAR close to Heidelberg Castle (check it out):

Hämmerle, M. & Höfle, B. (2018): Introduction to LiDAR in Geoarchaeology from a Technological Perspective. In: Siart, C., Forbriger, M. & Bubenzer, O.: Digital Geoarchaeology: New Techniques for Interdisciplinary Human-Environmental Research, pp. 167-182. Springer International Publishing.

Raun, K.H.M., Pfeiffer, M. & Höfle, B. (2018): Visual Detection and Interpretation of Cultural Remnants on the Königstuhl Hillside in Heidelberg Using Airborne and Terrestrial LiDAR Data. In: Siart, C., Forbriger, M. & Bubenzer, O.: Digital Geoarchaeology: New Techniques for Interdisciplinary Human-Environmental Research, pp. 201-212. Springer International Publishing.

This week sees the 18th GEOINFO conference taking part in Salvador. It is the annual conference for exploring ongoing research, development and innovative applications on geographic information science in Brazil. Alexander Zipf is among the keynote speakers. In the special demo session he will highlight some of the OSM related web services for data quality assessment and routing from the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) and related achievements. Examples include a preview on ohsome.org and its forthcoming Rest API for OSM history data analytics, as well as the preview of the parallel pre-processing empowered version of OSMatrix.

Also some examples of the very rich feature set and API of OpenRouteService will be given: these include many specialized routing profiles (from heavy vehicles with many options to several individual bike profiles (e.g. e-Bike, MTB, secure etc with further options.), or even healthyquiet or wheelchair routing - even with crossing open spaces). Further API endpoints and services include fast and highly configurable isochrones for accessibility analysis, geocoder, the Locations API and the brand new Matrix API. Also Landmark based navigation can be supported by OpenRouteService. ORS is open source, based on OpenStreetMap data and is also the routing engine of the German national “Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodesie” (BKG). Together with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) HeiGIT also develops both the MapSwipe Analytics plattform and provides the disaster.openrouteservice.org service. Stay tuned for some forthcoming news about the latter.

If you are eager to play around with these features feel free to browse to OpenRouteService.org and if you can’t wait to use the API directly, please sign up for a key at go.openrouteservice.org and check the details of the openrouteservice API documentation.

Some very recent related papers include e.g.:

Hahamann, S., Miksch, J., Resch, B., Lauer, J., Zipf, A. (2017): Routing Through Open Spaces - A Performance Comparison Of Algorithms. Geo-Spatial information Science, 2017. Taylor & Francis. Geo-Spatial information Science, 2017. Taylor & Francis. https://doi.org/10.1080/10095020.2017.1399675

Schultz, M., Voss, J., Auer, M., Carter, S., and Zipf, A. (2017): Open land cover from OpenStreetMap and remote sensing. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 63, pp. 206-213. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2017.07.014.

Mocnik, F.-B., Zipf, A., Raifer, M. (2017): The OpenStreetMap folksonomy and its evolution. Geo-spatial Information Science. DOI: 10.1080/10095020.2017.1368193.

Rousell A. and Zipf A. (2017): Towards a landmark based pedestrian navigation service using OSM data. International Journal of Geo-Information, ISPRS IJGI, 6(3): 64. doi:10.3390/ijgi603006

Herfort, B., Reinmuth, M., Porto de Albuquerque, J., Zipf, A. (2017): Towards evaluating the mobile crowdsourcing of geographic information about human settlements. 20th AGILE conference 2017, Wageningen, Netherlands.

We are very proud of our graduates 2016/2017 of Bachelor and Master of Science in Geography, and also School Education (Lehramt). On 1 December 2017, we celebrated together in the venue of the Neue Aula of the Heidelberg University. Prof. Hans Gebhardt gave an impressive talk about the essence of long student field trips (Große Exkursionen) as important part of the Geography education. He also critically reflected the current political and humanitarian situations in the countries he visited the last 20 years with students from Heidelberg.

Furthermore, the first Dietrich Barsch Prize for the best Bachelor thesis in Physical Geography was awarded to Vivien Zahs. She wrote about 3D LiDAR observation, geophysical measurements and geomorphology of a rock glacier in the Austrian Alps. Vivien was jointly supervised by Bernhard Höfle and Stefan Hecht.

Congrats to all graduates - we wish you all the best for your future.

Photos above were kindly provided by (c) Thomas Sterr.

disastermappers heidelberg are organizing another workshop related to the use of OpenStreetMap data:

However, this time we would like to spend our time crafting our own and personal OSM data based christmas presents. Together we will create posters, postcards and everything you need to imprint a T-shirt.

When: 06.12.2017, 6 pm
Where: PC-Pool, Berliner Straße 48, Heidelberg, Heidelberg University, Institute of Geography

Christmas is just around the corner and maybe most of you are still looking for gifts for friends and family. When searching the internet we already find many interesting ideas that use geographical datasets. Nevertheless, these products are often expensive. So let’s use our own skills and get something really cool without paying so much money. Have a look at some examples:

Recently we already created a T-shirt:


We will as usual provide snacks, drinks and nice after work sound.

We are looking forward to a large crowd, no previous knowledge needed, just bring your laptop and mouse if available!

Final CALL FOR PAPERS: ISCRAM has extended the Deadline to December 10

15th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2018)
May 20-23, 2018, Rochester, NY, USA

Track: Geospatial Technologies and Geographic Information Science for Crisis Management (GIS)

Deadline for paper submissions: December 10, 2017

Track Description

With disasters and disaster management being an “inherently spatial” problem, geospatial information and technologies have been widely employed for supporting disaster and crisis management. This includes SDSS and GIS architectures, VGI, spatial databases, spatial-temporal methods, as well as geovisual analytics technologies, which have a great potential to build risk map, estimate damaged areas, define evacuation routes, and plan resource distribution. Collaborative platforms like OSM have been also employed to support disaster management (e.g., near real-time mapping). Nevertheless, all these geospatial big data pose new challenges for not only geospatial data visualization, but also data modeling and analysis; existing technologies, methodologies, and approaches now have to deal with data shared in various formats, different velocities, and uncertainties. Furthermore, new issues have been also emerging in urban computing and smart cities for making communities more resilient against disasters. In line with this year’s conference theme, the GIS Track particularly welcomes submissions addressing aspects of geovisualization in disaster risk and crisis research. This includes SDSS, near-real-time mapping, situational awareness, VGI, spatio-temporal modeling, urban computing, and other related aspects. We seek conceptual, theoretical, technological, methodological, empirical contributions, as well as research papers employing different methodologies, e.g., design-oriented research, case studies, and action research. Solid student contributions are welcome.

Track topics are therefore focused on but not limited to the following list.

Geospatial data analytics for crisis management
Location-based services for crisis management
Location-based technologies for crisis management
Geospatial ontology for crisis management
Geospatial big data in the context of disaster and crisis management
Geospatial linked data for crisis management
Urban computing and geospatial aspects of smart cities for crisis management
Spatial Decision Support Systems for crisis management
Remote sensing for crisis management
Geospatial intelligence for crisis management
Spatial data management for crisis management
Spatial data infrastructure for crisis management
Geovisual analytics for crisis management
Spatial-temporal modeling in disaster and crisis context
Crisis mapping and geovisualization
Crowdsourcing and VGI in the context disaster and crisis management
Spatial analysis of OpenStreetMap (OSM) data for crisis management
Spatial analysis of social media messages in the context of crisis management
Interoperability aspects regarding disaster-related geodata

Important Dates

Submission of Completed Research papers (CoRe): December 10, 2017
Acceptances or otherwise of Completed Research papers (CoRe): January 7, 2018
Submission of Work in Progress (WiPe) papers, demos and posters: January 21, 2018.
Acceptances or otherwise of Work in Progress (WiPe) papers, demos and posters: February 18, 2018.
Camera Ready Paper: March 4, 2018.

iscram 2018
Paper submission guidelines


Track Chairs

Dr João Porto de Albuquerque (primary contact)
University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf
University of Heidelberg, Germany

Dr Flávio E. A. Horita
University of São Paulo, Brazil

Software Engineer OSM Routing Services, Backend & Algorithms
Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT)

You genuinely enjoy developing open source Geoinformation Services used by thousands on a daily basis? You are a highly motivated Java Backend Developer? And you love using and enhancing OpenStreetMap for high-performance services for global coverage? Then we actually might have a suitable and interesting job for you.

In order to promote technology transfer and applied research in the area of ​​Geoinformatics, the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT http://www.heigit.org) is currently being established with the support of the Klaus-Tschira Foundation. In the future this endeavour is to be continued in the future as an independent institute. To this end we are looking for a motivated Software Developer in the field of Routing Services (Java Backend). Depending on your experience the tasks are related to at least one of the following areas:

  • Route Planning, Smart Mobility and Navigation Intelligence
  • Development and design of innovative routing services, algorithms and extensions for the well-known open source project http://OpenRouteService.org (Java)
  • Extension of the services infrastructure of various location-based services (LBS) using OpenStreetMap
  • Development of highly performant algorithms, methods and GI web services, especially for the analysis and data enrichment of heterogeneous global geodata sets e.g. from the Social Web, OpenStreetMap, etc., especially in the domain of routing, traffic and navigation etc.

We offer an attractive position in an interdisciplinary team in a highly dynamic and growing market. HeiGIT is and will be related closely to the Department of Geoinformatics, which is member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) and the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE). We offer a stimulating interdisciplinary research environment with many personal development opportunities.

We expect a highly motivated backend developer with solid experience in Java or C++ and an above-average university degree in one of the subjects such as Geoinformatics, Computer Science, Geography, Mathematics or similar.

The position is to be filled as soon as possible and for administrative reasons initially limited to end of June 2019 - with the option of sustainable extension. Please send application documents (CV, certificates, references, etc.) as soon as possible to zipf@uni-heidelberg.de (best before 08.01.2018)




This week the 11th Workshop on Geographic Information Retrieval (GIR’17) will be held at Mathematikon, Heidelberg University, Germany. This workshop will address all aspects of Geographic Information Retrieval - such as the provision of methods to identify geographic scope, retrieve and relevance rank documents or other resources from both unstructured and partially structured collections on the basis of queries specifying both theme and geographic scope.

Christian Jensen gives a keynote talk at the workshop. The full workshop programme is available here GIR’17 is held in cooperation with ACM SIGSPATIAL and organized by Chris Jones and Ross Purves.

Enjoy the Christmas Market ;-)

Today we present the latest version and details on the technical API of OpenRouteService at the 7th GeoIT WhereCamp Conference Berlin. Tim from the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) will talk about

Consuming Open Data for Highly Customizable Route Planning

He will show some examples of the very rich feature set and API of OpenRouteService like many specialized routing profiles (from heavy vehicles with many options to several specialized bike profiles (e-Bike, MTB, secure etc with further options.), or even healthy, quiet or wheelchair routing - even with crossing open spaces). Further API endpoints and services include fast and highly configurable isochrones for accessibility analysis, geocoder, the Locations API and the brand new Matrix API,, as well as navigation features such as Landmark based navigation. ORS is open source, based on OpenStreetMap data and is also the routing engine of the German national “Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodesie” (BKG).

If you are eager to play around with these features feel free to browse to OpenRouteService.org and if you can’t wait to use the API directly, please sign up for a key at go.openrouteservice.org

Openrouteservice API documentation

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