Feed on

We invite anybody interested to the following open talk in our GIScience colloquium series this Monday:

Volunteered geographic (mis)information? Measuring quality in crowdsourced maps

Dr. Andrea Ballatore
Dept of Geography, Environment and Development Studies Birkbeck, University of London
Lecturer in GIS and Big Data Analytics
Mon, June 27, 2016, 2.15 pm,
Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University, INF 348, Lecture Hall (Room 015)

The assessment of the quality of volunteered geographic information (VGI) is cor­nerstone to understand the fitness for purpose of data in many application do­mains. While most analyses focus on geometric and positional quality, little atten­tion has been devoted to the interpretation of the data, i.e., the communication pro­cess through which consumers try to reconstruct the meaning of information inten­ded by its producers. Interpretability is a notoriously ephemeral, culturally rooted, and context-dependent property of the data that concerns the conceptual quality of the vocabularies, schemas, ontologies, and documentation used to describe and annotate the geographic features of interest. To operationalize this dimension of quality in VGI and provide useful indicators to users and contributors, it is ne­cessary to devise and test measures for conceptual accuracy, granularity, comple­teness, consistency, compliance, and richness. This framework is currently being implemented on OpenStreetMap, with plans for extension on Wikimapia.

Related Work:

Ballatore, A. and Zipf, A. (2015): A Conceptual Quality Framework for Volunteered Geographic Information. COSIT - CONFERENCE ON SPATIAL INFORMATION THEORY XII. October 12-16, 2015. Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 89–107.


This Friday - the hottest day of the year so far - Lucy Waruguru Mburu from the GIScience Research Group Heidelberg University successfully defended her PhD thesis on Criminal Geographic Profiling methods.
Her thesis is entitled: “ A Framework for Prediciting Criminal Behavior and Area-Specific Crime Risk through Retrospective Analysis of Geographic Data“. Complemented by an extended summary and synopsis the PhD is based on five Journal Papers published in high quality journals.
The research adds significantly to the body of knowledge in geographic criminal profiling.

Congratularions Lucy!!!

Mburu, L. W. and Helbich, M. (2015): Evaluating the Accuracy and Effectiveness of Criminal Geographic Profiling Methods: The Case of Dandora, Kenya. The Professional Geographer, 67(1), 110-120.

Mburu, L. W. and Helbich, M. (2016a): Analysis of Crime Risk Using a Commuter Harmonized Ambient Population and Spatially Filtered Negative Binomial Regression. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. (Online first) doi: 10.1080/24694452.2016.1163252.

Mburu, L. W. and Helbich, M. (2016b): Communities as Guardians: A
Spatio-temporal Analysis of Community Policing in Nairobi’s Suburbs. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy. 1-22 (Online first). doi: 10/1007/s12061-015-9178-7.

Mburu, L. W. and Bakillah, M. (2016): Modeling Spatial Interactions between Areas to Assess the Burglary Risk. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-information. 5(4), 47; doi:10.3390/ijgi5040047

Mburu, L. W. and Helbich, M.: Environmental Factors Influencing Bicycle Theft. (In Revision).

Further she has published several other papers on the topic.

Dr. Enrico Steiger (GIScience Heidelberg) will give a invited presentation about
“Utilising social media data for transport planning and traffic management”

on 4pm - 5:30pm, Thu, 23 Jun ‘16
at Room CS101, Department of Computer Science, Warwick University UK

Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority

The overall aim of the talk is to demonstrate how information from social media has the potential to add further geographic information and how it can be utilized as a proxy indicator for the inference of real world geographic phenomena in order to provide further insights into complex human mobility processes.

Dr Steiger will present novel concepts, techniques and analysis methods for the exploration of human social activities from user-generated social media data. He will investigate the possibilities of characterizing spatial structures and underlying human mobility patterns in order to assess the reliability of social media information and the given spatial, temporal and semantic characteristics.

The WeGovNow Towards #WeGovernment: Collective and participative approaches for addressing local policy challenges
Establishing citizens as partners in the delivery of public services. A new type of citizen engagement platform, expanding the viability of and capacity for citizen coproduction in the public sector.

WeGovNow and its 12 partner organisations are building upon earlier research and development by further developing existing solutions and integrating them within a single community engagement platform. This platform will allow people to report problems and suggest improvements, to discuss their relevance, explore ways to fix problems through collective action, find solutions to compensate for resource shortages affecting the quality of publicly provided services, debate topics of strategic nature, and develop and vote upon concrete suggestions for local policy action.

The WeGovNow platform shall:

  • Display all user activities and issues on a user-friendly, OpenStreetMap (OSM) based map interface in ways which boost awareness community interest issues according to user preferences and location in time and space
  • Allow users to interact with each other using social network features
  • Enable the integration and presentation of any relevant open public sector information (PSI) in ways which help raise awareness and trigger discussion about how to address issues of community interest
  • Quality-check the data submitted to the platform as well as the related data on the underlying base map (OpenStreetMap)
  • Effectively support collective formation of opinions
  • Automatically match users and their concrete requests and offers (e.g. concerning participation in collective action and peer-to-peer exchange of neighbourhood support), according to user interests, their time-space preferences and the characteristics of their requests and offers

Underlying this platform is the use of VGI and PSI datasets and the accommodation of different user perspectives and experience. Therefore, it is important to address aspects such as the quality of the data used and the best methods for conveying this quality information to the different end users.

At GIScience in Heidelberg, the focus of the research will be on:

  • Methods for deriving quality metrics for VGI and PSI data to enable the determination of fitness-for-use
  • Identify and implement suitable methods for portraying data quality information to different types of users
  • Derive techniques for importing PSI data into the WeGovNow platform (and OSM where applicable) including the georeferencing of data lacking geographic coordinates.


ESNC-Kick-off Meeting
Satellitennavigation in Baden-Württemberg und Polen

am 21. Juni 2016 von 10 bis 12 Uhr in Heidelberg

bei Heidelberg Mobil International GmbH, Mathematikon
mittlerer Bauteil, Berliner Str. 41, 69120 Heidelberg

More Info and Registration: http://www.esnc-bw.de/de/anmeldung-2

Die wirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Satellitennavigation ist enorm.* Unsere Infrastruktur ist auf die Helfer aus dem All angewiesen und vor allem der Boom bei den LBS, den Location Based Services, wäre ohne diese einfach verfügbare Verortung nicht möglich. Das Potenzial,dass sich aus der Verbindung von Information mit Position ergibt, ist aber bei weitem noch nicht ausgeschöpft.

Bei der Auftaktveranstaltung zur ESNC-Baden-Württemberg Challenge geben wir Ihnen einen Einblick in die dynamische IT-Industrie Polens. Kreative Startups und die rege Beteiligung an internationalen Wettbewerben, wie den ESNC zeichnen die IT-Szene rund um die technischen Hochschulen aus. Ein Halsband für die Hauskatze, um deren nächtliche Streifzüge zu verfolgen, ist eines dieser Projekte, die in unternehmerischen Erfolg mündeten. Ferner informieren wir Sie kompakt über die neuen Möglichkeiten, die sich durch das eigenständige europäische Satellitennavigationssystem Galileo ergeben. Das neue attraktive Förderprogramm dazu wird vorgestellt. Auch gibt die Veranstaltung ESNC-Teilnehmern der vergangenen Jahre kurz und mit nur einer Folie die Gelegenheit, über den Stand ihres Projekts zu berichten.

vgl. http://openrouteservice.org

mathematikon heidelberg

From 14.6.-16.6. our research group was represented by Stefan Hahmann at geoinfo.potsdam.2016 (aka 64. Deutscher Kartographentag, aka Geoinformatik 2016). The conference has seen ~150 participants from the sectors universities, administration, industry and research institutes. The programme had a strong focus on recent developments in various geo applications with sessions on visualisation methods, geoinformatics and ongoing projects. Beside that also legal aspects in map production, empirical methods in cartographic science and trends in education of geomatics in Germany have been discussed. The conference was accomplished by an exhibition of companies that are active in the geo domain.

Stefan gave two talks about current work in progress stemming from OpenRouteService development and the CAP4Access project, entitled “Ableitung von Gehwegdaten mit Hilfe georeferenzierter Bilder und Interpretation der Crowd” (english: Deriving sidewalk data using crowdsourced images and interpretation) and “Algorithmen für die Routenplanung durch Flächen in globalen Datensätzen” (english: algorithms for route planning through areas in global datasets).

A highlight of the conference was the inspiring keynote presentation of Jürgen Döllner from Hasso-Plattner-Institut Potsdam on the topic of mobility analytics that presented relevant and also some unexpected usecases for todays routing and accessibility algorithms. The conference was finalised with a visit of the GeoForschungszentrum on Potsdams Telegrafenberg.

We cordially invite anybody interested to join our open GIScience colloquium talk on Monday
Forest change monitoring

Michael Schultz
Remote Sensing group of Wageningen University
Mon, June 20, 2016, 2.00 pm,
Heidelberg University, Institute of Geography, INF 348, Lecture Hall (Room 015)

Forest are the lungs of the earth, many species including our own rely on their services. To diagnose forest changes and forest condition remote sensing provides information of great value. Among others, most remarkable performance is achieved when using Landsat time series to describe historic, current and future forest change processes. Because climate change and its mitigation policies effect societies at large, the status and ongoing research of remote sensing support towards Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is presented.

In addition to the two earlier presentations (No 1, No 2), today there are two additional presentations (No 3 & 4) by GIScience Heidelberg at AGILE 2016 conference in Helsinki:

Rousell, A., Hahmann, S., Mobasheri, A. (2016): A Two-Tiered Approach to OSM Data collection for Novice Users. 19th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science. Helsinki, Finnland.

It explains some results of the CAP4Access project implemented in the MyAccessibility tools for improving and using Accessibility information in OpenStreetMap, in particular for mobility impaired users such as wheelchair riders.

Although OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a widely used crowd generated spatial dataset, it can be difficult for novice users to enter data in a way that conforms to those data already present. It is often the case however that it is these novice users who have a more invested need for relevant data to be present within OSM, such as is the case with users with reduced mobility. In this paper is presented an approach which allows novice users to contribute information which can then be used to enrich the OSM dataset. This is done via a two-tiered approach whereby one user (the Observer) contributes a textual description via an Android app developed as part of a server-client web service. This text is used to create OSM Notes which are then used by experienced OSM users (Editors) to update the information in the OSM. Using such a method means that the collection and entering of information are the responsibility of the people who are more suited for the task – collection for people who know what creates obstacles in the environment, and entering for those people who know how to update the OSM dataset.

Further our former colleague David Jonitz will present his earlier work on Personalizing Walkability:

Jonietz, D. (2016): Personalizing Walkability - A Concept for Pedestrian Needs Profiling Based on Movement Trajectories. 19th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science. Helsinki, Finnland.

As a direct follow_up of the successfull Mapathon in support of Sokode/Togo last week we invite any interested person to an additional MISSING MAPS mapping event THIS THURSDAY June 16th.

time: 18.00 - 20:00 p.m. (before the soccer game ;-)
location: Berliner Straße 48, PC-Pool/ Hörsaal (Lecture Hall), Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University.

A short tutorial will be given initially, which explains the relevant practical basics of OpenStreetMap, usage of tools like overpass-turbo and the specifics of the region and the mapping task.
You can bring your own laptop if you prefer and we recommend to bring a mouse.

Sokodé, the third largest city in Togo is in need of digital maps for urban and regional planning. We have collaborations with the end users of that data that also will add further local data and knowledge.
The event is organized by students, the disastermappers HD and GIScience Heidelberg.

Today Enrico Steiger is presenting the following paper at AGILE 2016 conference Helsinki:

Lee, M., Steiger, E. Zipf, A. (2016): Clustering and Analyzing Air Pollution Data using Self-Organizing Maps. 19th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science. Helsinki, Finnland.

In Geographic Information Science the rise in the availability of spatial data paved ways for increased research in different spatial data mining techniques. This paper presents a Spatial Self-Organizing Map (Spatial SOM) for analysing high-dimensional and complex spatial datasets. The results of the selected case study with air pollution data for the US has demonstrated that Spatial SOMs are an effective and efficient analysis tool with the ability to explore, detect, and visualize latent spatial structures and characteristics within large datasets.
In this study, we set out the objective to contribute and provide insights in overcoming the challenges with spatial big data. Specifically, we aimed to study ways in which we can apply and assess spatial SOM algorithms for handling large datasets, and how we can uncover latent structures in big data with spatial dependence.
The detailed analysis of the Spatial SOM result demonstrates that Spatial SOM is an effective tool in detecting cluster with spatial dependence in the data. It is able to detect chemical species variation across continental United States. In conclusion, the case study validates the effectiveness of Spatial SOM as an analysis tool for discovering not only hidden relationships in general attribute features but also for spatial features as well.
We demonstrated that Spatial SOMs can detect underlying latent spatial and chemical structures and covariates from pollution data collected from sensors using a case study with air pollution data. In other SOM variants, usually spatial attributes are treated as any other attributes given equal weights. However, in a Spatial SOM, more weight is given to the spatial attribute, so that input vectors or observations are largely aggregated based on their geographical proximity first, and then fine tuned by other chemical features.

Older Posts »