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A new research paper entitled “An assessment of a collaborative mapping approach for exploring land use patterns for several European metropolises” has been published in International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation.

Abstract: Until recently, land surveys and digital interpretation of remotely sensed imagery have been used to generate land use inventories. These techniques however, are often cumbersome and costly, allocating large amounts of technical and temporal costs. The technological advances of web 2.0 have brought a wide array of technological achievements, stimulating the participatory role in collaborative and crowd sourced mapping products. This has been fostered by GPS-enabled devices, and accessible tools that enable visual interpretation of high resolution satellite images/air photos provided in collaborative mapping projects. Such technologies offer an integrative approach to geography by means of promoting public participation and allowing accurate assessment and classification of land use as well as geographical features. OpenStreetMap (OSM) has supported the evolution of such techniques, contributing to the existence of a large inventory of spatial land use information. This paper explores the introduction of this novel participatory phenomenon for land use classification in Europe’s metropolitan regions. We adopt a positivistic approach to assess comparatively the accuracy of these contributions of OSM for land use classifications in seven large European metropolitan regions. Thematic accuracy and degree of completeness of OSM data was compared to available Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Urban Atlas (GMESUA) datasets for the chosen metropolises. We further extend our findings of land use within a novel framework for geography, justifying that volunteered geographic information (VGI) sources are of great benefit for land use mapping depending on location and degree of VGI dynamism and offer a great alternative to traditional mapping techniques for metropolitan regions throughout Europe. Evaluation of several land use types at the local level suggests that a number of OSM classes are viable alternatives for land use classification. These classes are highly accurate and can be integrated into planning decisions for stakeholders and policymakers.

Further reading: Jokar Arsanjani, J. & Vaz, E. (2015): An assessment of a collaborative mapping approach for exploring land use patterns for several European metropolises. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. Vol(35), Part B, p.p. 329–337. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2014.09.009

On 29 October 2014 the 6th Fachaustausch Geoinformation took place at the fantastic venue of the Print Media Academy.

The event brings together people and institutions from industry, administration and science, to exchange and discuss most recent advances in the broad field of geoinformation. The organization of the Fachaustausch is led by the GeoNet.MRN, a network to bundle various geoinformation activities in the Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar (MRN).

After stimulating key talks on e.g. indoor routing, there was ample time for in-depth discussions at the booths where companies as well as our GIScience Research Group could present their portfolios and brand-new achievements.

The afternoon was dedicated to interactive workshops on three main topics: i) energy, ii) big data and iii) virtual rooms.

Concluding: it is a great event, as the years before, and provides valuable input and networking possibilities for all attendees, as you can see in our visual impressions:

Many thanks to Tobias, Hongchao and Carolin for being hosts at our booth.

The second talk of the semester is approaching quickly. We cordially invite you to the colloquium talk, 30.10.14, “Pelagios – Linking Data about the Past through Geography” which will be held by Dr. Rainer Simon, AIT, Vienna and Leif Isaksen and Pau de Soto Canamares, University Southampton. Feel free to find more detailed information under http://www.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/gis/veranstaltungen.html

And there will be a Pelagios workshop on Friday, 31.10.14 held by the above mentioned team, http://pelagios.org/recogito. For further information please contact our colleague Lukas Loss http://www.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/personen/gis_loos.html

Starting this winter semester the disastermappers heidelberg initiative is organizing a colloquium to provide a platform for all interested volunteers, students and lecturers to share ideas, experience and knowledge on disaster mapping. The events will consist of guest lectures, in which researchers and practitioners of humanitarian aid organizations will present their work and show ways on how to engage and work in the field of disaster management and humanitarian aid. Moreover, the extracurricular events will be accompanied by hands on workshops and mapping events.

At the latest since the remote disaster mapping efforts to support humanitarian operations after Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines last year, organized by students and lecturers of the GIScience research group, Heidelberg has become a hub for disastermapping.

Since then, members of the GIScience research group contributed in several ways to the field of disaster mapping in research, education and practice, for example:

- Research articles that were discussed within the disastermapping community

- Short movie about disastermapping activities and research at Heidelberg University, which is a part of an exhibition at Reis-Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim

- A new research project: OpenFloodRiskMap

- Regular courses and fieldtrips on the topic

The field of disaster mapping offers diverse opportunities for all groups present at our university.

In research, for example, disaster mapping is an ideal testbed to develop new applications and test them in the applied field of disaster management. In lectures and education, disaster mapping can serve as an example to educate students in the field of GIS and mapping.

We see a huge potential in this and we want use this new colloquium as a basis to go on, to find new and innovative ways on how to combine research, education and practice in an exciting and highly dynamic environment.

And we need you! So come over to our Kickoff event on October 29th, 2014: – “Maps can save lives!” – “Really?!”, we look forward to see many of you in the lecture room of BST 48.

Together with colleagues from all over Europe we are organizing a Summer School of Alpine Research, which takes place from 5.7.2015-11.7.2015 in Obergurgl, Tyrol, Austria.

Motivated students from geosciences/Earth sciences, environmental sciences, geomatics, GIScience, remote sensing, computer science, etc. will be working together in multidisciplinary teams to address challenges in Alpine Research using state of the art  close range sensing technologies and analysis methods.

By the way: the venue is fantastic!

Further information, criteria of acceptance and procedure to enroll (Deadline: December 30, 2014) can be found here: http://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/summerschool/

The first talk of the semester is approaching quickly. Thus, we cordially invite you to our first colloquium talk of the semester which will be held by Dr. Stefan Hahmann. He recently joined our group for conducting postdoc research. His presentation will provide insight into his previously done research, which took place at the Technical University of Dresden. Feel free to find more detailed information in the corresponding abstract.

On the relationship of space and content of volunteered geographic information
Dr. Stefan Hahmann, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University

Thursday, 23rd of October, 04.15 pm, Lecture Hall at Berliner Str. 48.

Themen für Abschlussarbeiten (Master, Bachelor, Lehramt) // pot. Hiwi-Arbeit
Wissen schafft Stadt /// Wissensorte in der Stadt

Erleben der Wissensorte der Stadt in Raum & Zeit

In der Abteilung Geoinformatik werden mehrere Themen für Abschlussarbeiten im Rahmen des IBA-Kandidaten-Projektes „Wissensorte in der Stadt“ vergeben. Diese können an verschiedene Niveaus (Bachelor, Master, Diplom, Lehramt) angepasst werden und können ausgewählte Teilaspekte der im Folgenden skizzierten Projektidee umfassen:

Das Motto der IBA Heidelberg „Wissen schafft Stadt“ betont die Bedeutung von Wissen, Wissenschaft und Forschung als prägende Einflussmerkmale für Städte, sowohl in der Geschichte als auch in der heutigen Wissensgesellschaft. Diese vielschichtigen Beziehungen zwischen Stadtbild & Stadtleben, in Geschichte und Gegenwart aufzuzeigen und sowohl für die Besucher als auch die Bürger der Stadt erlebbar zu machen, ist Ziel dieses Vorhabens.

Zunächst sind ausgewählte Wissensorte Heidelbergs (Hochschulen, Forschungseinrichtungen, Schulen etc.) in ihrer Vielschichtigkeit zu repräsentieren und hierzu je nach Vorkentnissen und Interessen ausgesuchte relevante Teile für ein entsprechendes Informationssystem zu konzipieren. Erste weitere Informationen finden Sie hier bzw. bei Herrn Prof Alexander Zipf. Die Konkretisierung und weitere Details für die Konzeption einer Abschlussarbeit oder evtl. auch alternativ als Hiwi-Aufgabe wird mit interessierten Studierenden direkt besprochen. Bei Interesse melden Sie sich bitte bei Prof. A. Zipf per email zur Terminvereinbarung.

hd 3D


“Crowdsourced Mapping”

To be published as a Special Content Issue of the International Journal “Cartography and Geographic Information Science” (CaGIS)

Edited by

Dr. Jamal Jokar Arsanjani 1 & Prof. Michael Leitner 2 & Prof. Alexander Zipf 1

1 GIScience Research Group, Department of Geography, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

2 Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Manuscript Proposal Submission Deadline: Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Guest Editors invite submissions of manuscript proposals that can be considered for inclusion in this Special Content Issue of CaGIS, which is scheduled to be published by Taylor and Francis (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tcag20/current) in the June 2016 Issue.

Submissions are welcome from the academic, public, and private sectors. All manuscript proposals will be evaluated by a committee of experts before author(s) are being invited to submit the full manuscript. Manuscripts must not have been published elsewhere. Unpublished conference presentations are acceptable. Published conference presentations (e.g., in a proceedings volume) may be acceptable if the full copyright can be transferred.

Cartography and Geographic Information Science is an international journal and one of the three official journals of the International Cartographic Association (ICA). It is abstracted and indexed in EBSCOhost; Elsevier BV; Compendex; GEOBASE; Scopue; Gale; National Library of Medicine; PubMed; OCLC; Ovid; ProQuest; The Engineering Index Monthly; Thomson Reuters; Social Sciences Citation Index; and the Web of Science.  More information about CaGIS can be found under http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tcag20/current.

Appropriate topics to be included in this Special Issue are, but not limited to

* Collaborative mapping

* Volunteered Geographic information (VGI)

* Citizen Science

* Human as sensors (Sensor-enabled Humans)

* Mapping user generated geographic information from the crowd e.g., social media (Flickr, Instagram, Panoramio, …), telecommunication services, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, …), sensor networks

* Uncertainty mapping

* Data/information quality visualization

* Spatial/temporal visualization of crowd analysis

* Indicators for Volunteered Geographic Information and citizen science

* (Re)Mapping unmapped features from the crowd

* Collaborative mapping and governments

* Data mining and fusion of crowd-based data/information with authoritative data

* Metadata production

* Mapping costs and benefits

* Crowd-based data/information for diverse applications e.g., cities/environmental monitoring, disaster management, landscape analysis, land use/cover monitoring, social science, ecology, …

* Emerging topics and datasets generated from/by the crowd

* Big geo(data)

* OpenStreetMap

* Geospatial analysis and internet of things (IoT)

* Digital divide and (geo)information dissemination


October 7, 2014: First solicitation of manuscript proposal submission

November 30, 2014: Manuscript proposal submission deadline

December 31, 2014: Invitation notification to submit full manuscript

September 30, 2015: Final manuscript submission deadline

November 30, 2015: Acceptance / rejection notification sent to author(s)

February 28, 2016: Final revised manuscript submission deadline

April 2016: Publication in Taylor and Francis Online (http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tcag20#.VCut5PldVIE)

September 2016: Publication of CaGIS Special Content Issue (hard-copy)

Inquiries should be directed to

Dr. Jamal Jokar Arsanjani

GIScience Research Group, Heidelberg University

Berliner Strasse 48, D-69120, Heidelberg


Tel: +49-6221-54-5572


Dr. Michael Leitner

Full Professor

Department of Geography and Anthropology

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803


(225) 578-2963 office, (225) 773-7862 cell

Submission Procedure for the Manuscript Proposal

Length:  1-3 pages

Format:  Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF

Figures/Tables:  Must be legible

General:  Submissions must include the author’s name, affiliation, mailing address and e-mail address. In the case of multiple authors, all names, addresses, etc., must accompany the submission and a single individual must be identified as the primary point of contact. If submitting a published conference presentation (e.g., one that has appeared in a proceedings volume), the author(s) must provide proof that the article’s full copyright can be transferred. Submissions must be sent as an e-mail attachment to the editor using the e-mail address listed above.

Submission Deadline: Manuscript proposals must be received by midnight US Central Standard Time on or before November 30, 2014.

Notification: Notification regarding the status of each proposal will be sent by December 31, 2014 to all those who submitted a manuscript proposal. At that time, authors whose manuscript proposals have been accepted will also be e-mailed guidelines regarding manuscript preparation.

Post-Acceptance Information: The full manuscript deadline is September 30, 2015. Following receipt, full manuscripts will be sent out for double-blind review. The Editors will make the final decision regarding final acceptance of manuscripts. All manuscripts with revisions (if necessary) need to be completed by February 28, 2016.

As has been announced earlier in our blog, there are open thesis topics within the EU-project CAP4ACCESS. Heidelberg University’s GIScience Research Group is a project partner of CAP4ACCESS. Other project partners include UCL, Fraunhofer and sozialhelden.de with their wheelmap.org project.

The goal of CAP4ACCESS is to improve the accessibility of mobility-restricted people, in particular those who are wheelchair users. One of the tasks of the work packages pursued in Heidelberg is improving existing routing and navigation applications for the target user group. As all developed applications shall be openly accessible by the public, only free geodata, such as OpenStreetMap, is eligible.

However, the data completeness in OSM regarding features that are of importance for locomotion of wheelchair users, such as information on sidewalks, curbs and incline of surfaces is still poor in many regions.

We therefore aim to conduct two theses with the goal to improve this situation. Both topics may be adapted to the level of Bachelor, Master, Diploma, Teacher, etc.

The first topic is about using crowdsourced image interpretation to derive information on sidewalks (document in German).

The second topic is about automated derivation of road incline from GPS tracks collected by OpenStreetMap contributors (document in German).

Both topics are highly relevant from both a practical and a scientific point of view. If you are a student interested in these topics (Bachelor, Master, Teacher etc.) please contact Dr. Stefan Hahmann.

Geography BBQ at the beach

Geography Matters! We all know that and in becomes even more obvious when a university has direct beach access which makes it easy to have BBQ directly by the sea. Also the GIScience Heidelberg BBQs are lots of fun in the garden as documented here, but last weekends BBQ of the Department of Geography at UCSB was also a very nice event at a compelling location. (UCSB sabbatical)

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