Feed on
Posts
Comments

User-generated map data is increasingly used by the technology industry for background mapping, navigation and beyond. An example is the integration of OpenStreetMap (OSM) data in widely-used smartphone and web applications, such as Pokémon GO (PGO), a popular augmented reality smartphone game. As a result of OSM’s increased popularity, the worldwide audience that uses OSM through external applications is directly exposed to malicious edits which represent cartographic vandalism. Multiple reports of obscene and anti-semitic vandalism in OSM have surfaced in popular media over the years. These negative news related to cartographic vandalism undermine the credibility of collaboratively generated maps. Similarly, commercial map providers (e.g., Google Maps and Waze) are also prone to carto-vandalism through their crowdsourcing mechanism that they may use to keep their map products up-to-date. Using PGO as an example, this research analyzes harmful edits in OSM that originate from PGO players. More specifically, a recently published paper analyzes the spatial, temporal and semantic characteristics of PGO carto-vandalism and discusses how the mapping community handles it. Our findings indicate that most harmful edits are quickly discovered and that the community becomes faster at detecting and fixing these harmful edits over time. Gaming related carto-vandalism in OSM was found to be a short-term, sporadic activity by individuals, whereas the task of fixing vandalism is persistently pursued by a dedicated user group within the OSM community. The characteristics of carto-vandalism identified in this research can be used to improve vandalism detection systems in the future.

Juhász, L.; Novack, T.; Hochmair, H.H.; Qiao, S. Cartographic Vandalism in the Era of Location-Based Games—The Case of OpenStreetMap and Pokémon GO. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 197.

Earlier work:

Neis, P., Goetz, M. & Zipf, A. (2012): Towards Automatic Vandalism Detection in OpenStreetMap. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. Vol.1(3), pp.315-332. DOI:10.3390/ijgi1030315.

Neis, P. & Zipf, A. (2012): Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project – The Case of OpenStreetMap. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. Vol.1(2), pp.146-165. MDPI. DOI:10.3390/ijgi1020146 .

Barron, C., Neis, P. & Zipf, A. (2013): A Comprehensive Framework for Intrinsic OpenStreetMap Quality Analysis. Transactions in GIS, DOI: 10.1111/tgis.12073.

General Overview

Yan, Y., C. Feng, W. Huang, H. Fan, Y. Wang & A. Zipf (2020): Volunteered geographic information research in the first decade: a narrative review of selected journal articles in GIScience. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2020.1730848

Degrossi L.C., J. Porto de Albuquerque, R. dos Santos Rocha, A. Zipf (2018): A taxonomy of quality assessment methods for volunteered and crowdsourced geographic information. Transactions in GIS (TGIS). Wiley. DOI:10.1111/tgis.12329.

Jokar Arsanjani, J., Zipf, A., Mooney, P., Helbich, M. (Eds.)(2015): OpenStreetMap in GIScience: Experiences, Research, and Applications. Series: Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. 2015, VII, 373 p. Sringer Science. Heidelberg, Berlin. ISBN 978-3-319-14279-1

Many informative maps are available to follow the spread of COVID-19. This is important information but only part of the story. The global scientific and medical communities have immediately responded to the outbreak with focused research activities. This has led to clinical trials and scientific publications worldwide. The Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) at Heidelberg University developed together with Markus Ries from the Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg a Map of COVID-19 Clinical Trials.


Fig: Map of Clinical Trials related to Covid-19 available at: https://covid-19.heigit.org/

Take a look at the “Map of Hope” and get a geographical overview on planned, ongoing and finished clinical trials related to COVID-19. The map shows the location of clinical trials differentiated by study type. The time slider allows to analyze when studies were registered at the different (national) registries. The location of the studies is accurate to the city level.

The information on clinical trials is based on data from the WHO Clinical Trials Search Portal about COVID-19 related clinical trials. The Clinical Trials Search Portal provides access to a central database containing the trial registration data sets provided by important international registries. The WHO portal gets updated every Friday by six important registries and every 4 weeks by additional registries. We aim at updating our maps without too much delay.

Medical know-how comes from Markus Ries, data pre-processing and the service deployment is performed by the HeiGIT team members. Geocoding was done using the openrouteservice API. This is a free to use service by HeiGIT for many geographical applications such as geocoding, routing and accessibility analysis. Please contact us if you are interested in using it for your research, especially if it is related to health and disaster management.

This is a first draft prototype and work in progress, we are looking forward to your comments and ideas. Any assistance welcome. Stay tuned and check again for updates soon.

https://covid-19.heigit.org/

25 Jahre Klaus Tschira Stiftung: KTS fördert zum Jubiläum zahlreiche 25er Aktionen - HeiGIT mit 25 Mapathons dabei

In diesem Jahr wird die Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS) 25 Jahre alt. Zu ihrem Jubiläum hat sich die Stiftung eine ganze Reihe von Aktionen überlegt, die der Gesellschaft zugutekommen sollen. Die Vorhaben drehen sich überwiegend um die Zahl 25 und finden – sofern möglich – im Jubiläumsjahr statt oder beginnen in diesem.

Alle Aktionen werden von der Stiftung gefördert und von ihr selbst sowie von den Instituten, die die KTS gegründet hat oder die sie unterstützt, veranlasst. Sie konzentrieren sich auf die Bereiche Wissenschaftskommunikation, Forschung und Bildung, also auf die Felder, in denen die Klaus Tschira Stiftung vor allem tätig ist.

Die Stiftung denkt in diesen Tagen auch zurück an das Jahr 2015. Im 20. Gründungsjahr war am 31. März unerwartet der Stifter Klaus Tschira gestorben. Der Physiker und SAP-Gründer hatte seine Stiftung Ende 1995 als gemeinnützige GmbH gegründet und mit dem größeren Teil seines privaten Vermögens ausgestattet. Gefördert werden seither Naturwissenschaften, Mathematik und Informatik sowie die Wertschätzung für diese Fächer. Heute gehört die Klaus Tschira Stiftung zu den großen gemeinnützigen Stiftungen Europas.

Die Aktionen zum 25-jährigen KTS-Jubiläum

Die Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS) fördert im Jubiläumsjahr vier besondere Aktionen:

In der Corona-Krise verbreiten sich Halbwahrheiten und Fake News besonders schnell. Seit Auftreten der ersten Corona-Fälle ist das Science Media Center Germany für Journalistinnen und Journalisten zu einer unersetzlichen Quelle evidenzbasierter Informationen geworden, das heißt von Informationen, die auf gesicherten wissenschaftlichen Ergebnissen beruhen. Zudem vermittelt das SMC-Team Einschätzungen ausgewiesener Expertinnen und Experten an die Medien. Alle Informationen sollen so schnell wie möglich zu den Medienschaffenden gelangen und ihnen eine fundierte Berichterstattung erleichtern.

Damit das SMC seiner enormen Verantwortung gerade in der aktuellen Lage gerecht werden kann, entwickelt es neue, der Situation angepasste, Webinare und weitere Formate. In einem Forschungsprojekt erstellt es eine Website, die Umfragedaten zur Risikowahrnehmung der Bevölkerung darstellt und aktuelle evidenzbasierte Kommunikationsstrategien erprobt. Die Klaus Tschira Stiftung, die das SMC gegründet hat und maßgeblich fördert, hat für diese erweiterten Aufgaben in Zeiten der Corona-Krise eine sofortige Sonderförderung in beträchtlicher Höhe zugesagt. www.sciencemediacenter.de

Mit einem Film erinnert die KTS an den Physiker, SAP-Mitgründer und Stifter Klaus Tschira (1940 –2015). Der Journalist Eberhard Reuß erstellte das Porträt dieses außergewöhnlichen Menschen, der das zurzeit wertvollste Unternehmen Deutschlands mitgründete und privat eine der großen gemeinnützigen Stiftungen Europas ins Leben rief: https://www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de/ueber-uns/stifter/

Mit dem KlarText-Preis für Wissenschaftskommunikation zeichnet die Klaus Tschira Stiftung jährlich Forschende aus, die einen anschaulichen und allgemein verständlichen Beitrag über ihre Doktorarbeit verfasst haben. Das Preisgeld pro Preisträger wird ab 2020 um je 2.500 Euro auf dann 7.500 Euro erhöht. www.klartext-preis.de

In ihrer ersten Podcast-Serie bringt die Klaus Tschira Stiftung Menschen aus unterschiedlichen Bereichen der Gesellschaft miteinander ins Gespräch. Im Podcast „Treffen sich Welten“ werden sich bekannte Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler mit Prominenten aus Politik, Wirtschaft, Kultur und Sport austauschen. Wie sehr unterscheiden sich diese Welten tatsächlich? Welche Gedanken werden bei diesen Treffen ausgesprochen, und welche neuen Ideen werden geboren?  Die Podcast-Serie soll im Herbst starten. www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de

Bereich Wissenschaftskommunikation

Wenn Forschung Schlagzeilen macht, wenn die Gesellschaft Themen wie den Klimawandel diskutiert, oder wenn Großereignisse zeitnah nach wissenschaftlicher Einordnung verlangen, dann setzt die Arbeit des Science Media Center Germany (SMC) in Köln ein: Schnell und fundiert liefert es zuverlässige Fakten und Einschätzungen von anerkannten Fachleuten aus der Wissenschaft an die Medien. Damit trägt es zu einer aufgeklärten Diskussion von kontroversen, komplexen oder ambivalenten Themen bei, die große gesellschaftliche Relevanz haben.

Die Kampagne „Together for Fact News“ soll das SMC – als Garant von Kompetenz, Unabhängigkeit und Glaubwürdigkeit – in seinen Zielgruppen Forschende und Medienschaffende bekannter machen. Dazu schafft das SMC zum KTS-Jubiläumsjahr 25 Anlässe. In Interviews, Filmen oder Veranstaltungen sucht das SMC-Team gemeinsam mit Forschenden und Journalisten nach tragfähigen Konzepten für den aufgeklärten Diskurs über Themen mit Wissenschaftsbezug – auch jenseits der Corona-Krise.

25 Kommunikationstipps veröffentlicht das Nationale Institut für Wissenschaftskommunikation (NaWik) auf verschiedenen Social-Media-Kanälen (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube). Die Tipps kommen aus den fünf Bereichen: Grundlagen der Wissenschaftskommunikation, Schreibtipps, Visuelle Kommunikation, Soziale Medien sowie Dialog. Es geht beispielsweise um die Kommunikation mit verschiedenen Zielgruppen, Storytelling, Illustration, neue Formate in Sozialen Medien, Präsentationen von Forschungsinhalten, Krisenkommunikation, Vertrauen und vieles mehr. Alle 25 Kommunikationstipps werden schrittweise auch auf www.nawik.de festgehalten.

Bereich Forschung

Weil in vielen Regionen der Welt genaue und öffentlich zugängliche Landkarten fehlen, will das Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) 25 Mapathons in ganz Deutschland ermöglichen. Bei einem „Mapathon“ treffen sich Freiwillige für einige Stunden, um gemeinsam Geo-Daten für Landkarten zu erfassen – es ist quasi ein „Hackathon“ zur Erstellung einer „Map“ (Karte). Die Daten, etwa Luft- oder Satellitenbilder, werden in „OpenStreetMap“ eingefügt, einem Projekt, das eine umfassende kostenfreie Weltkarte im Internet erstellen möchte. Bedeutsam ist die Erstellung von Karten in unterentwickelten Gebieten, weil sie dort die Einsätze internationaler Hilfsorganisationen ermöglichen oder erleichtern. Bei den 25 Mapathons arbeitet HeiGIT daher mit dem Deutschen Roten Kreuz zusammen. https://heigit.org/

Die Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) lädt jährlich Preisträgerinnen und Preisträger der höchsten Auszeichnungen der Mathematik und Informatik zu einem Netzwerktreffen mit ausgewählten jungen Forschenden aus aller Welt ein. Bei der sechstägigen Tagung und dem umfangreichen Begleitprogramm steht der Austausch zwischen den Laureaten und den Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen und -wissenschaftlern im Mittelpunkt. Zudem vergibt die HLFF jedes Jahr Travel Grants, um Wissenschaftsjournalistinnen und -journalisten aus der ganzen Welt eine Teilnahme am Heidelberg Laureate Forum zu ermöglichen. Jährlich dürfen je 100 junge Forschende aus der Mathematik und der Informatik am HLF teilnehmen. Im KTS-Jubiläumsjahr sind 25 weitere Teilnehmende aus der Mathematik, Informatik und den Medien eingeladen.

https://www.heidelberg-laureate-forum.org

Im Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien (HITS) forschen rund 120 Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aus 20 Ländern. Sie analysieren und strukturieren komplexe Datenmengen in den Naturwissenschaften. Darüber hinaus engagieren sie sich im Dialog mit der Öffentlichkeit über ihre Forschung. Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter des HITS möchten erneut am Spendenlauf des Nationalen Centrums für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT) in Heidelberg teilnehmen. Die Startgebühr der HITS-Läuferinnen und -Läufer wird mit 25 multipliziert und geht als Spende an das NCT. www.h-its.org

Bereich Bildung

Die Forscherstation – das Klaus-Tschira-Kompetenzzentrum für frühe naturwissenschaftliche Bildung – qualifiziert pädagogische Fach- und Lehrkräfte in Kindertagesstätten und Grundschulen. Mit einem Patenschaftsprogramm hat sie darüber hinaus bereits über 50 dieser Einrichtungen mit ihrer eigenen „Forscherstation“ ausgestattet. Dort stehen Kindern und ihren Betreuern Ideen und Materialien zur Verfügung, mit denen sie jederzeit Naturphänomene im Alltag erforschen können. Zum 25-jährigen Jubiläum der KTS richtet das Kompetenzzentrum 25 weitere Forscherstationen ein. www.forscherstation.info

Das Carl Bosch Museum bringt seinen Besuchern Leben und Wirken des Chemie-Nobelpreisträgers Carl Bosch nahe. Im früheren Wohnhaus von Carl Bosch sitzt heute die Klaus Tschira Stiftung, in seinem ehemaligen Garagenhaus das Carl Bosch Museum. Mit zahlreichen Sonderausstellungen, museumspädagogischen Programmen sowie Veranstaltungen bietet das Museum für alle Altersgruppen abwechslungsreiche Einblicke in naturwissenschaftlich-technische Themen. Zum Jubiläumsjahr der KTS wird es zu 25 besonderen Objekten des Museums den wissenschaftlichen Hintergrund verständlich erläutern. www.carl-bosch-museum.de

Die Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS) fördert Naturwissenschaften, Mathematik und Informatik und möchte zur Wertschätzung dieser Fächer beitragen. Sie wurde 1995 von dem Physiker und SAP-Mitgründer Klaus Tschira (1940–2015) mit privaten Mitteln ins Leben gerufen. Ihre drei Förderschwerpunkte sind: Bildung, Forschung und Wissenschaftskommunikation. Das bundesweite Engagement beginnt im Kindergarten und setzt sich in Schulen, Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen fort. Die Stiftung setzt sich für den Dialog zwischen Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft ein. Weitere Informationen unter:

www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de

Foto: © Klaus Tschira Stiftung

As noted in a previous blogpost, the scientific committee of the Academic Track of State of the Map 2019 -  Dr. Yair Grinberger, until recently a member of the GIScience research group, Dr. Marco Minghini, Dr. Levente Juhász, Dr. Peter Mooney, and Dr. Godwin Yeboah - is organizing a special issue of the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information dedicated solely to OpenStreetMap research.

The deadline of the call for papers for this special issue has now been extended to 31 August 2020.

The aim of the “OpenStreetMap as  a Multi-Disciplinary Nexus: Perspectives, Practices, and Procedures” Special Issue is to showcase both the ongoing innovation and the maturity of scientific investigations and research into OpenStreetMap. We expect empirical, methodological, or conceptual contributions addressing any scientific aspect related to OpenStreetMap, in particular, but not limited, to the following:

  • Extrinsic and intrinsic quality assessment of OpenStreetMap data
  • Analysis of contribution patterns in OpenStreetMap
  • Interactions between OpenStreetMap and other data sources
  • Analysis/comparison of available software for scientific purposes related to OpenStreetMap
  • New approaches to facilitate or improve data collection in OpenStreetMap (e.g., through gamification or citizen science approaches)
  • Bridging the communities: Creating better connections and collaborations between the scientific community and the OpenStreetMap community
  • Open research problems in OpenStreetMap and challenges for the scientific community
  • Cultural, political, and organizational aspects of data production and usage practices in OpenStreetMap
  • Literature reviews and theoretical papers on any of the listed topics or topics related to the scope of the Special Issue
For more details, see the Special Issue’s webpage.

We are pleased to share that because of the response to our work, ISPRS IJGI selected our paper on Detecting Graffiti with Street View Images and Deep Learning to be highlighted as a title story through some graphics on the journals main page.

Novack T, Vorbeck L, Lorei H, Zipf A. (2020): Towards Detecting Building Facades with Graffiti Artwork Based on Street View Images. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2020; 9(2):98.

As a recognized type of art, graffiti is a cultural asset and an important aspect of a city’s aesthetics. As such, graffiti is associated with social and commercial vibrancy and is known to attract tourists. However, positional uncertainty and incompleteness are current issues of open geo-datasets containing graffiti data. In a recently published paper, we present an deep learning approach towards detecting building facades with graffiti artwork based on the automatic interpretation of images from Google Street View (GSV).
It starts with the identification of geo-tagged photos of graffiti artwork posted on the photo sharing media Flickr. GSV images are then extracted from the surroundings of these photos and interpreted by a customized, i.e. transfer learned, convolutional neural network (CNN). The compass heading of the GSV images classified as containing graffiti artwork and the possible positions of their acquisition are considered for scoring building facades according to their potential of containing the artwork observable in the GSV images. More than 36,000 GSV images and 5,000 facades from buildings represented in OpenStreetMap were processed and evaluated for a case study in London (UK).

Precision and recall rates were computed for different facade score thresholds. False-positive errors are caused mostly by advertisements and scribblings on the building facades as well as by movable objects containing graffiti artwork and obstructing the facades. However, considering higher scores as threshold for detecting facades containing graffiti leads to the perfect precision rate.
Our approach can be applied for identifying previously unmapped graffiti artwork and for assisting map contributors interested in the topic. Furthermore, researchers interested on the spatial correlations between graffiti artwork and socio-economic factors can profit from our open-access code and results.

Last week, members of GIScience Heidelberg participated in the 40th annual meeting of the DGPF (German association for photogrammetry and remote sensing) in Stuttgart, Germany.

Presentations were contributed by PhD students Lukas Winiwarter and Katharina Anders (3DGeo Research Group), as well as former GIScience fellow Jun-Prof. Dr. René Westerholt. Read up on the presented topics in the DGPF proceedings (in German):

Anders, K., Winiwarter, L., Mara, H., Lindenbergh, R.C., Vos, S.E. & Höfle, B. (2020): Einfluss der zeitlichen Auflösung auf die raumzeitliche Segmentierung geomorphologischer Änderungsprozesse in 3D-Punktwolken. In: 40. Wissenschaftlich-Technische Jahrestagung der DGPF. Vol. 29, pp. 312-316.

Lorei, H., Höfle, B. & Westerholt, R. (2020): Spatial Structure as an Element of Motivation in Location-Based Games. In: 40. Wissenschaftlich-Technische Jahrestagung der DGPF. Vol. 29, pp. 290-298.

Winiwarter, L., Anders, K. & Höfle, B. (2020): Herausforderungen in der Fehlerfortpflanzung von Laserscandaten für multitemporale Analysen zur verbesserten Quantifizierung des Level of Detection. In: 40. Wissenschaftlich-Technische Jahrestagung der DGPF. Vol. 29, pp. 373-380.

Further big news: In the frame of the meeting, the lead of the working group Geoinformatics (AK Methodik Geoinformatik) was handed over from Prof. Dr. Bernhard Höfle and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jan-Henrik Haunert to the new chairs Jun-Prof. Dr. René Westerholt and Dr. Franz-Benjamin Mocnik - congratulations!

If you’re interested in meeting and discussing with colleagues of the community, the next opportunity will be the PhD colloquium on “Methods for analysing spatiotemporal data, in October 2020 in Dortmund, Germany. The call is open: https://www.geoinfo.uni-bonn.de/publikationen/2020/gimethods2020/

This week, at the prestigious GSMA MWC series (formally known as Mobile World Congress) MapSwipe was awarded the top prize in the Global Mobile Awards’ category for the Best Mobile Innovation Supporting Emergency or Humanitarian Situations. The award recognizes how mobile connectivity can provide a lifeline in major humanitarian disasters, providing access to critical information and communication. The judges prized MapSwipe as  “an exceptionally important project with clear results and impact across multiple geographies – definitely a stand-out winner showing clear innovation and potential”.

The team at the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) and the GIScience Research Group at Heidelberg University has shaped MapSwipe’s development from the very beginning by designing the crowdsourcing approach behind MapSwipe, providing the tools needed to manage such a global project and make use of the data in timely manner. As part of the Missing Maps project, MapSwipe is a mobile app that was created to crowdsource map data from a network of global volunteers - just one swipe at a time. Individuals, volunteers from communities all over the world, can swipe through the app and tap areas where they find crucial infrastructure such as buildings and roads, identify changes in areas.

Through the research at HeiGIT and GIScience Research Group Heidelberg University it will soon be able to use machine-learning technologies to improve the open mapping. HeiGIT provides an API for enriched data sets based on MapSwipe results for humanitarian organization, develops and researches new project types such as for change detection or improving data completeness and also develops tutorials to help users contribute better data, to name a few Heidelberg contributions since the initial concept development.

MapSwipe is an open source project built and maintained by volunteers, with the support of the British Red Cross, HeiGIT and the GIScience Research Group, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and Medecins Sans Frontieres. The projects have supported a range of missions and global organizations, such as the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and Medecins Sans Frontieres, as well as local NGOs like the Tanzania Development Trust and MapPH.

Once a project has been requested by a community, the MapSwipe team creates it in the app, using imagery from a variety of sources and creating instructions that help the user to understand what to look for and the resulting action they should take. Each set of imagery is viewed by at least 3 individuals to improve data-quality. Users can track their impact, receiving badges for the distance swiped.

MapSwipe has engaged more than 29,000 volunteers around the world to map vulnerable communities across 29 different countries, with projects ranging from supporting the refugee response in Colombia, identifying populations for vaccination campaigns in Chad, and identifying buildings in the Democratic Republic of Congo to support ongoing response to the Ebola outbreak. The data can be used to identify population size and needs, address critical health challenges and prevent the spread of disease, and create resilience for communities in the midst of climate change. To date, volunteers have swiped over 850,000 sq.km of imagery, nearly the size of Pakistan.

The team behind MapSwipe wants to send a big “Thank You” to all our passionate volunteers that keep on swiping day to day and help us filling the missing maps.

The objective of HeiGIT gGmbH is to improve knowledge and technology transfer from fundamental research in geoinformatics to practical applications. This includes developing open geoinformation technology related to disaster, health and environmental topics. A focus is on generating open geoinformation data products, routing and navigation based on OpenStreetMap data, improving mobile crowdsourcing apps, and research on analysing and improving open geodata or effective combination of crowdsourcing and machine learning. HeiGIT receives core funding from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS).

Selected related references from HeiGIT/GIScience:

Links:

More than 10 years have passed since the coining of the term volunteered geographic information (VGI) in 2007. A recently published article presents the results of a review of the literature concerning VGI.
A total of 346 articles published in 24 international refereed journals in GIScience between 2007 and 2017 have been reviewed. The review has uncovered varying levels of popularity of VGI research over space and time, and varying interests in various sources of VGI (e.g. OpenStreetMap) and VGI-related terms (e.g. user-generated content) that point to the multi-perspective nature of VGI.

Content-wise, using latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), this study has extracted 50 specific research topics pertinent to VGI. The 50 topics have been subsequently clustered into 13 intermediate topics and three overarching themes to allow a hierarchical topic review. The overarching VGI research themes include

(1) VGI contributions and contributors,

(2) main fields applying VGI, and

(3) conceptions and envisions.

The review of the articles under the three themes has revealed the progress and the points that demand attention regarding the individual topics. This article also discusses the areas that the existing research has not yet adequately explored and proposes an agenda for potential future research endeavors.

Several main points for further research discussed in the review include the strengthening of VGI quality assurance, streamlined large-scale, multiple-source, and multiple-purpose VGI handling and integration, VGI contributor studies, privacy protection, tools and methods for geospatial big data processing and analysis, applied VGI studies, sustainability of VGI applications, conceptual and theoretical underpinnings, and user empowerment.

Yan, Y., C. Feng, W. Huang, H. Fan, Y. Wang & A. Zipf (2020) Volunteered geographic information research in the first decade: a narrative review of selected journal articles in GIScience, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2020.1730848

On Tuesday, 25.02.2020, the 3DGeo group and the SYSSIFOSS project partner from KIT organised a collaborative data processing event. 24 participants spent 6 hours (10:00-16:00) extracting individual trees from airborne LiDAR forest point clouds.

Participants at work in the virtual forest

Participants at work in the virtual forest

In the SYSSIFOSS project, the segmented 3D tree models are required to simulate 3D forest stands when combined with a forest growth simulator (find further information about the project below). Tree extraction from airborne LiDAR data is a very time-expensive task, which is also a lot more fun when many people are working on it together.

During the mapathon the number of extracted trees was projected to the screen in the front and kept everyone motivated. Tasty food and drinks were provided by the organisers and after reaching the 200-tree mark, the music started playing, which contributed to a great atmosphere. Since it was the last day of carnival, 3DGeo members also dressed in costumes. Even though extracting trees was tricky at times as we were struggling to see the wood for the trees, we had a lot of fun…

…and in the end we were happy to end the day with exactly 333 trees segmented.

In the end, 333 trees were segmented

In the end, 333 trees were segmented

Segmented trees

Segmented trees

Thanks again to all participants!

About SYSSIFOSS

In SYSSIFOSS we are using 3D LiDAR forest data to create a database of diverse model trees (different species and characteristics). Using tree positions and parameters provided by a forest growth simulator, 3D forest scenes will be assembled from these model trees. They serve as input for the Heidelberg LiDAR Operations Simulator (HELIOS). Based on the resulting simulations, we will conduct a sensitivity analysis to identify the most important factors (field inventory design, field plot size, statistical model, LiDAR acquisition settings, etc.) influencing LiDAR based forest inventories. Furthermore, we will investigate the potential of synthetic data to minimize the amount of field data collection.

Schäfer, J., Faßnacht, F., Höfle, B. & Weiser, H.(2019): Das SYSSIFOSS-Projekt: Synthetische 3D-Fernerkundungsdaten für verbesserte Waldinventurmodelle. In: 2. Symposium zur angewandten Satellitenerdbeoachtung, Cologne, Germany, pp.1-1.

Find further details about the SYSSIFOSS project on the project website, in recent blogposts, or on Twitter (#SYSSIFOSS).

SYSSIFOSS is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) - project number: 411263134.

The last days of field work in Erg Chebbi continued at the star dune to wrap up final tasks: filling gaps in the data, adding some dune arms to the ground penetrating radar data, … All data acquisition at the star dune was concluded successfully, although the group was off to a late start. The car that tranports the equipment near the dune field got a few meters too close into the sand, and had to be dug and pushed out in a joint effort.

Digging the institute's car out of sand

Digging the institute's car out of sand

On the positive side, this was a good training for the final day of field work at Erg Ziz, a newly explored dune field North-West of Hassilabied. In addition to ERT and GPR profiles, a 1.8 m whole was dug to expose a ground profile. The profile was discusses on site and samples taken from the eleven identified layers for lab analysis back in Heidelberg. The stratification showed alternating layers of aeolian deposits, playa, and included visible influences of water-driven processes.

Ground profile in playa

Ground profile in playa

Laying out an ERT over the playa

Laying out an ERT over the playa

Ground penetrating radar along ERT profile

Ground penetrating radar along ERT profile

Borehole drilling between dune arms

Borehole drilling between dune arms

For the remainder, the group will sort out samples and clean the equipment, so that everything is in order for the journey back. On Thursday, it’s time to say goodbye to the beautiful Erg Chebbi region once again. We are very happy to take so much cool data with us, which will help to find out more about the history of the desert!

This was it from this year’s field course in Erg Chebbi, Morocco. Catch up on all blog posts here and check out our tweets under #HeidelErg.

Older Posts »