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Recently the new portal for GeoNet.MRN - the “Network Geoinformation of the Metropole Region Rhine-Neckar e.V.” has been published at http://www.geonet-mrn.de. It is based on the Enterprise Portal technology of the GeoNet.MRN member Fasihi GmbH Ludwigshafen. Thanks to Fasihi for this kind support! The portal includes news and events by GeoNet.MRN e.V itself and also those of its members. It also allows to join the network by becoming member or getting informed about latest acticities or events. Further we again want to make you aware of the open job position for the cluster manager of the network, which could be realized through the generous support of the Klaus-Tschira Foundation (KTS) in Heidelberg.


The semester proceeds quickly and another talk is already approaching: We are happy to announce the next presentation in our Heidelberg University GIS colloquium which will be given by Ahmed Loai Ali from Bremen University (Cognitive Systems Research Group). Ahmed will talk about accuracy issues when classifying volunteered geographic information (VGI). See a full description here.
He will be working with us in the near future in the course of a research visit, which is about to start soon. Save date and venue of his talk:

Tackling the Classification Accuracy in Volunteered Geographic Information

Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University
Seminar Room, BST 48, Tuesday, 26th of May, 04pm ct

GIScience HD

In the scope of the CAP4ACCESS project, we announce a bachelor thesis (PDF, description in German) on the topic of wheelchair accessibility using the example of the Heidelberg castle gardens. The main scientific research question deals with the suitability of VGI data (e.g. OpenStreetMap, Wheelmap) for mapping the accessibility of points and ways for people with limited mobility. A potential practical outcome would be either a printed or a web map indicating places/ways according to their respective wheelchair accessibility in the castle garden. Furthermore, we seek to fuse existing plans with VGI.

Interested candidates are invited to contact Dr. Stefan Hahmann.

Das Netzwerk GeoNet.MRN e.V. ist ein Verbund von Firmen, Verbänden, Hochschulen und Verwaltung in der Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar. Es hat sich unter anderem zum Ziel gesetzt, lokale Akteure zu vernetzen und den Wissenstransfer zu Geoinformation zwischen Praxis und Forschung zu verbessern, die Sichtbarkeit der Geoinformationsbranche zu verbessern und das Bewusstsein der Bedeutung von Geoinformation über die Grenzen der Geoinformationsbranche hinweg zu erhöhen. Zur Umsetzung dieser Ziele ist im Rahmen der Einrichtung einer Geschäftsstelle des Verein Netzwerk Geoinformation der Metropol Region Rhein-Neckar – GeoNet.MRN e.V - https://www.geonet-mrn.de/ die Stelle eines

Clustermanagers (m/w)

für den Zeitraum vom 01.07.2015 bis zum 31.07.2018, in Teilzeit (80 %), zu besetzen.

Ihr Aufgaben umfassen:

  • Führung der Vereinsgeschäfte und administrative Tätigkeiten zur Pflege des GeoNet.MRN e.V.
  • Konzeption und Umsetzung einer nachhaltigen Vereins- und Wachstumsstrategie.
  • Koordination der Zusammenarbeit mit internen und externen Ansprechpartnern aus Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft, Politik und Verwaltung.
  • Inhaltliche Konzeption und Redaktion von Marketing-, Informations- und Presseunterlagen, online sowie offline, bis zur Druckreife bzw. Veröffentlichung.
  • Gewinnung neuer Mitstreiter und Mitglieder für den Verein.
  • Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Planung sowie Durchführung regionaler und überregionaler Initiativen.
  • Pflege und Aktualisierung einer Webseite für das GeoNet.MRN e.V.
  • Planung von Informations- und Fortbildungsseminaren bzw. Workshops
  • Initiierung von Kooperationsprojekten zwischen Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft und Verwaltung.
  • Hilfestellung für Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft und Verwaltung für den Zugang zu Förderprogrammen auf EU-, Bundes- und Landesebene

Folgende Anforderungen werden an den Bewerber / die Bewerberin gestellt:

  • Abgeschlossenes Hochschulstudium im Bereich der Geowissenschaften oder fundierte Branchenkenntnisse
  • Mehrjährige Berufserfahrungen in leitender Funktion, idealerweise im Bereich der Geowissenschaften oder ähnlicher Branchen bzw. im Netzwerkmanagement
  • Erfahrungen im Marketing und Projektmanagement
  • Betriebswirtschaftliche / kaufmännische Kenntnisse
  • Ausgezeichnete Sprachkompetenz und Textsicherheit in Deutsch und Englisch in Wort und Schrift
  • Profundes IT-Verständnis (MS-Office etc.) und ausgeprägte Internet-Affinität
  • Kreativität und Talent für die redaktionelle Erstellung von Marketing-, Informations- und Pressedokumenten online sowie offline
  • Freude am selbstständigen und verantwortungsbewussten Arbeiten, Eigeninitiative und ausgeprägte Kommunikations- und Teamfähigkeit
  • Analytische und strukturierte Arbeitsweise
  • Organisationstalent, Verantwortungsbewusstsein und Flexibilität

Es handelt sich um einen Teilzeitarbeitsplatz mit 31,2 Stunden/Woche. Die Vergütung erfolgt in Anlehnung an den TVöD. Arbeitsort ist Mannheim. Hinzukommen ggfls. auch mehrtägige Dienstreisen in und außerhalb der Region.

Ihre Bewerbung in elektronischer Form richten Sie bitte unter Angabe Ihrer Verfügbarkeit und Gehaltsvorstellung bis zum 15.06.2015 an:



The disastermappers Heidelberg invite to a talk by Oliver Rack within the ‘disastermappers Heidelberg’ colloquium series at the Institute of Geography Heidelberg University. Oliver Rack is the founder of the Open Data Initiative Rhein-Neckar and will report about the situation of the Open Data Movement in the region and discuss recent projects.

The presentation will start at 16.00 (Hörsaal, BSt 48, Geog. Inst. HD) on Wednesday 20.5.2015.

Also members of GIScience Heidelberg and disastermappers Heidelberg participated actively in the last Open Data day through developing some open tools and got acknowledged for this. Here the disastermappers Heidelberg report on their many activities within the last two weeks.

Consider also the dates of our future GIScience Colloqium talks this semester!

open data rn

A Study on the Twitter usage in the River Elbe Flood of June 2013

In recent years, social media emerged as a potential resource to improve the management of crisis situations such as disasters triggered by natural hazards. Although there is a growing research body concerned with the analysis of the usage of social media during disasters, most previous work has concentrated on using social media as a stand-alone information source, whereas its combination with other information sources holds a still underexplored potential. A recent article presents an approach to enhance the identification of relevant messages from social media that relies upon the relations between georeferenced social media messages as Volunteered Geographic Information and geographic features of flood phenomena as derived from authoritative data (sensor data, hydrological data and digital elevation models).
We apply this approach to examine the micro-blogging text messages of the Twitter platform (tweets) produced during the River Elbe Flood of June 2013 in Germany. This is performed by means of a statistical analysis aimed at identifying general spatial patterns in the occurrence of flood-related tweets that may be associated with proximity to and severity of flood events. The results show that messages near (up to 10 km) to severely flooded areas have a much higher probability of being related to floods. In this manner, it can be concluded that the geographic approach proposed here provides a reliable quantitative indicator of the usefulness of messages from social media by leveraging the existing knowledge about natural hazards such as floods, thus being valuable for disaster management in both crisis response and preventive monitoring.

More Info:
Porto de Albuquerque, J., B. Herfort, A. Brenning, A. Zipf (2015): A Geographic Approach for Combining Social Media and Authoritative Data towards Improving Information Extraction for Disaster Management. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, volume and issue pending, pp. pending. Taylor & Francis. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2014.996567.

After the earthquake in Nepal just over two weeks ago, the country has been hit again by a serious earthquake. Many places have so far not received any assistance due to a lack of maps.
After earlier Disaster Mapping events at the Institute of Geography at Heidelberg University and continuous activities in between, the “disastermappers Heidelberg” want to share their experiences also with interested people outside the Heidelberg area and thus grow the community of volunteers contributing the needed geographic information to OpenStreetMap. Therefore they will give introductions and advice on crisis mapping during an event to students today (Wednesday Mai 13) at Hochschule Karlsruhe, Hoffstraße 3 starting at 11:30. (Contact).

In addition to further teaching activities GIScience Heidelberg has also set up relevant map layers and a new disaster routing based on OpenRouteService immediately after the earthquake at http://OpenRouteService.org/disaster-nepal. This is used for planning logistics and navigation and uses the latest relevant information from OSM (updated every 30min).

disaster mappers heidelberg

The lecture program of Heidelberg Geographical Society (Heidelberger Geographische Gesellschaft, HGG) begins next Tuesday, Mai 19 2015, with the Student Lecture.
The students Caroline Esser, Fabian Heßlinger and Christian Berberich will report on the large field trip to Ladakh in north-western India.
After the presentation the HGG invites you to the opening of the event series with a little drink.

The further dates and topics are:

  • June 9, 2015 “Die Rückkehr der Geopolitik? Alte Leitbilder und neue Risikoszenarien?” Prof. Dr. Paul Reuber ( Münster University).
  • June 23, 2015 “Kein Ende in Sicht: Der Kaschmir-Konflikt zwischen Indien und
    ” Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser (Heidelberg University).
  • July 7,2015, “Der „Islamische Staat“ - Ursachen, Entwicklungen und
    Perspektiven einer globalen Bedrohung
    ” - Prof. Dr. Günther Meyer (University of Mainz)
  • 14 July 2015 “Neue Bruchlinien in der Eurozone: zum geoökonomischen Verhältnis zwischen Deutschland und Griechenland” Prof. Dr. Bernd Belina (University of Frankfurt)

All presentations will be in German and start at 7pm.

The location of all lectures is:
Kleiner Hörsaal (HS2) Kirchhoff-Institut für Physik (KIP)
Im Neuenheimer Feld, Building INF 227

More information can be found in the HGG programme flyer SoSe 2015 (in German).


Independent from that you can find further information about our GIScience Colloquium Series this semester and our further GIS events here.

The next talk in our GIScience colloquium will be given by a well-travelled researcher. Mr Alan Kwok Lun Cheung from the School of Environment, University of Auckland in New Zealand will talk about how to spatiotemporally analyse landscape structures with methods from graph theory. We are pleased to invite you to this interesting talk:

Topological Analysis of Landscape Structure using Graph Theory

Lecture Hall, BST 48, Wednesday, 13th of May, 02pm

Please note the slightly deviating appointment (time and day of week).

On the occasion of the European protest day for equal rights of people with disabilities the Heidelberg advisory board of people with disabilities organised an event at Heidelberg castle. Every year on these specific days, particular organizations plan relevant activities in order to raise awareness of the needs of disabled people including those with limited mobility. This year, the CAP4access team from GIScience group of Heidelberg university contributed by leading a mapping event at Heidelberg Castle garden.

For the mapping event, a total number of 10 participants performed mapping of accessibility related information for certain objects such as footways, stairs and their conditions, including surface, smoothness and incline. For this purpose, the participants were taught how to use data collection applications such as Mapillary and Vespucci (OSM editor for Android devices). The participants were divided into 4 groups in the different time slots. Overall, a total length of ways of 1600m has been covered with images for Mapillary and a number of 15 ways got new tags for incline, smoothness and surface on OpenStreetMap (cf. Figures below). Information like this is directly or indirectly valuable input for OpenRouteService.org.

Besides the statistics of mapping, it is important to note that several participants were not aware of the needs of geospatial data, as well as what options they could use in order to assist in mapping their cities. Therefore, raising the awareness is a key point that was done during this event as well as previous events done before.

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