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today Dr. Ahmed Loai Ali successfully defended his Phd on “Enhancing Data Classification Quality of Volunteered Geographic Information” at Bremen Spatial Cognition Center with Prof. Freksa (Bremen) as first and Prof. Zipf (Heidelberg) as second reviewer. We congratulate Ahmed to his good results!
The groups collaborated also earlier (see ref. below) and Ahmed Loai Ali visited the GIScience Research Group Heidelbrg as a visiting scientist earlier.

Later today, Prof. Alexander Zipf will give a presentation about “Mapping the Urban Crowd” at the Spatial Cognition Colloquium at Bremen University.

Ali A.L., Sirilertworakul, N. , Zipf, A., Mobasheri, A. (2016). Guided Classification System for Conceptual Overlapping Classes in OpenStreetMap. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(6), 87; doi:10.3390/ijgi5060087

Do you want to learn a lot about geodata acquisition and sensing, in a beautiful and challenging high mountain environment, enjoy the evenings with colleagues and professors above 2000m altitude?

If yes, here you can find the answer: Join our summer school in 2017 (16-22 July)!

https://www.uibk.ac.at/geographie/summerschool (Flyer)

This summer school is designed for any well-motivated PhD student, post-docs and young researchers from any field, provided they have interest in these type of techniques.

Here you can find some impressions from 2015.

The Call-for-Papers is available for the Annual Meeting 2017 of the German Society for Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation (DGPF) in Würzburg-Schweinfurt, 8-10 March 2017.

Featured topic of the conference is Cultural Heritage.

Deadline of submission is 31 October 2016!

Capturing and quantifying the world in three dimensions (x,y,z) using light detection and ranging (lidar) technology drives fundamental advances in the Earth and Ecological Sciences (EES). However, additional lidar dimensions offer the possibility to transcend basic 3-D mapping capabilities, including i) the physical time (t) dimension from repeat lidar acquisition and ii) laser return intensity (LRIλ) data dimension based on the brightness of single- or multi-wavelength (λ) laser returns. The additional dimensions thus add to the x,y, and z dimensions to constitute the five dimensions of lidar (x,y,z, t, LRIλ1… λn). This broader spectrum of lidar dimensionality has already revealed new insights across multiple EES topics, and will enable a wide range of new research and applications. Here, we review recent advances based on repeat lidar collections and analysis of LRI data to highlight novel applications of lidar remote sensing beyond 3-D. Our review outlines the potential and current challenges of time and LRI information from lidar sensors to expand the scope of research applications and insights across the full range of EES applications.

Eitel, J.U., Höfle, B., Vierling, L.A., Abellán, A., Asner, G.P., Deems, J.S., Glennie, C.L., Joerg, P.C., LeWinter, A.L., Magney, T.S., Mandlburger, G., Morton, D.C., Müller, J. & Vierling, K.T. (2016): Beyond 3-D: The New Spectrum of LiDAR Applications for Earth and Ecological Sciences. Remote Sensing of Environment. Vol. 186, pp. 372-392.

The publication was created within the project 4DEMON - 4D Near Real-Time Environmental Monitoring, which is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts, Baden-Wuerttemberg.

On the occasion of the Freiwilligentag 2016 (September 17th), organised by the MRN GmbH to realize charitable projects based on volunteer engagement, the CAP4Access team from GIScience group of Heidelberg university contributed by leading a Wheelmap mapping event at Heidelberg. Wheelmap.org is a map for finding wheelchair accessible places and it is run by one of our CAP4Access project parnters, the nonprofit organization Sozialhelden e.V.. The map is based on OpenStreetMap and works similar to Wikipedia which means that anyone can contribute and mark public places around the world according to their wheelchair accessibility.

For the mapping event, a total number of 32 volunteers, including the whole under-17 soccer team of SG Heidelberg-Kirchheim, performed mobile mapping using the Wheelmap App on their smartphones. Before the mapping started, the participiants were taught the Wheelmap traffic light system, a simple and easy to understand way to rate the accessibility of public places („green“ = fully, „orange“ = partially, „red“ = not and „grey“ = unknown wheelchair accessible). After that, the volunteers where divided into groups of 2-4 and chose parts of town that had many unmarked places.

Overall, a total number of 150 public places were marked by volunteers during the mapping event (cf. figures below). Additionally more than 100 already marked places were checked for their up-to-dateness.

In sum, this mapping event was a great success! We would like to thank all of the volunteers for their social engagement and the team of the FreiwilligenAgentur Heidelberg for supporting our project within the framework of the Freiwilligentag 2016. Furthermore we would like to thank the nonprofit organisation Anpfiff ins Leben e.V. for connecting the CAP4Access team with the SG Heidelberg-Kircheim.

The 7th PCC meeting for CAP4Access project took place on September 8th in Bonn. The meeting was focused on presentations and discussions regarding the works that have been progressed since the last meeting and more importantly, clarifying and planning on what remains to be done for the final deliverables by end of the year. From GIScience Heidelberg, Adam Rousell and Amin Mobasheri attended the meeting and presented the works on routing & navigation and data quality assessment, respectively.

Furthermore, on the next day (Sep 9th), the 2nd expert workshop for the project was hosted by Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) in the beautiful venue of Schloss Birlingoven.

Presentations from all project partners were given for the advisory board members. The list of attendees of the advisory board included:  Dr. David Banes (UK), Ms. Emilie Goffin (European Network for Accessible Tourism), Ms. Tatiana Alemán Selva (Confederación PREDIF, Spain), Prof. Antonio Luis Martínez Pujalte (University Miguel Hernández of Elche, Spain), Ms. Stephanie Schwarz (Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria) and Mr. Michiel Desmet (On Wheels, Flanders, Belgium).

GeoNet.MRN beteiligt sich an der Konferenz „Deutschland intelligent vernetzt“ am 12. Oktober im Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen.

Das regionale Geoinformations-Netzwerk ist in die Vorbereitung und Durchführung der Session „Digitalisierung in der Wirtschaft“ und „Daten als gemeinsame Ressource“ eingebunden. In der Session „Digitalisierung in der Wirtschaft“ stellen wir das Konzept des „Atlas der digitalen Region Rhein-Neckar“ vor. In diesem Atlas sollen Netzwerke, Verbünde, Akteure und Leuchtturmprojekte der Digitalisierung und deren Vernetzung innerhalb der Region vorgestellt werden. Wir freuen uns, dass dieses Vorhaben schon jetzt überregionale Aufmerksamkeit erhalten hat.

Im Rahmen der Begleitausstellung im Foyer des Pfalzbaus wird sich GeoNet.MRN e.V. als regionales Fach- und Kompetenznetzwerk im Bereich Digitalisierung und intelligente Vernetzung den Teilnehmern der Konferenz zu präsentieren. Bitte melden Sie sich bis 22. September 2016 unter http://div-konferenz.de/events/div-konferenz-2016/?ep=3 zur Teilnahme an der Konferenz an.

Weitere Infos (Einladungstext und Programm):


Infos zur Konferenz und Ausstellung erhalten Sie von Herrn Hartmut Gündra.


DIV16 Programm (pdf, 2,66 MB)

The third arctic expedition to Trail Valley, located about 50 km north of Inuvik, NWT, Canada, concludes the field work within the PermaSAR project. Sabrina Marx, Katharina Anders (both: LiDAR Research Group, Heidelberg University) and Julia Boike (Alfred Wegener Institute, Potsdam) stayed a week in the research camp. We were not only able to acquire various kinds of current data, but also to gain valuable insights into connected research work by the teams of Phil Marsh, Jennifer Baltzer (both: Wilfrid Laurier University) and Aaron Berg (University of Guelph).

The in-situ data capturing by LiDAR and GNSS was repeated for the study sites of the previous Arctic expeditions. These multi-temporal datasets serve for the development of a method for detecting vertical movements of the topography by means of differential interferometry (D-InSAR) and support comprehensive analyses of permafrost characteristics of this region.

Data of the subsidence and soil temperature stations was successfully gathered – and the data loggers were equipped with renewed batteries for another period of hourly capturing subsurface temperature information. With the installation of three corner reflectors, our research based on TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data for monitoring permafrost-related subsidence processes enters the next round!

The PermaSAR project is funded by the BMWi/DLR in the framework “Entwicklung von innovativen wissenschaftlichen Methoden und Produkten im Rahmen der TanDEM-X Science Phase”.

As part of the practical field training “3D Geodatenerfassung im Hochgebirge (Ötztal), 31 July - 06 August”, the rock glacier “Äußeres Hochebenenkar” (42 ha), located in the Ötztal Alps in an elevation of 2,630-2,800 m a.s.l., was explored  by 16 students under the direction of Bernhard Höfle, Stefan Hecht and Martin Hämmerle.

With the help of several sensor systems (LiDAR, GNSS), close range photogrammetry and the geophysical method of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) a huge amount of data was captured to analyse the geomorphology, the sub-surface (e.g. permafrost) and the behaviour or change to the last year’s summer school project of the fondly called “Monster of Rock”. In three groups (“LiDAR”, “Photogrammetry” and “ERT”) specific sub-topics ranging from change detection over volume calculations all the way to the comparison of methods were chosen and already pre-processed in the on-site “sky-lab” at our base station, the Universitätszentrum Obergurgl. It provided us with a great accommodation to be ready for the daily hikes to the field and provided an excellent working environment.

A small part of the tip (of the utmost spur…) of the examined rock glacier aka. Monsterbaby aka. Moster of Rock

A small part of the tip (of the utmost spur…) of the examined rock glacier aka. Monsterbaby aka. Monster of Rock

Operating the Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS)

Operating the Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS)

probably one of the highest data processing centres in the world

Regular evening in the sky-lab: probably one of the highest data processing centres in the world

Additionally, presentations of researches of the University of Innsbruck extended our knowledge of the surrounding we were working in. Field trips e.g. to the Köfels Bergsturz or the museum of local history gave further insights into recent fields of study and the local environment which has been highly influenced by anthropogenic factors for centuries.

All in all we had a very interesting and enjoyable time in Obergurgl which we can only thank our Heidelberg and Innsbruck lecturers for.

Well, did this scan work?

Well, did this scan work?

Course participants

Course participants

Bernhard meets Bernhard

Bernhard meets Bernhard


Text: Tobias Brunk, Moritz Schott


From 5-7 September 2016 the GIScience Heidelberg Group hosted a summer school within the collaboration and exchange project 3D-TAIGER (’Multi-Source 3D Geoinformation Extraction for Improved Management of Forest and Natural Hazards – Collaboration between TAIwan and GERmany’).

Participants of the 3D-TAIGER summer school 2016

Participants of the 3D-TAIGER summer school 2016

The summer school is a follow-up of the kickoff meeting in Tainan in April this year. The first day consisted of a workshop with public presentations by high-ranking speakers working on 3D geodata analysis in science and industry. After the well-attended session was opened by Bernhard Höfle and Dean Prof. Linti, Prof. Wu and Prof. Wang from National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan gave insights into the multiple and overlapping hazards in Taiwan deriving from its complex geology and geographical conditions as well as the contributions of 3D geodata analysis to tackle challenges especially regarding interlinked landslide and forest systems. Bernhard Höfle continued with a talk outlining new approaches and visions in 3D geodata analysis with a focus on 3D laser scanning (LiDAR) point clouds.

Christian Seitz (IWR, MAVinci) gave an overview on unmanned aerial photogrammetry and applications, followed by presentations of highly efficient 3D point cloud registration algorithms and mobile mapping systems by Prof. Nüchter. The last talk of the day was given by Dr. Pfennigbauer, introducing the latest developments of sensors and platforms at Riegl Laser Measurements Systems GmbH, Austria.

Prof. Wu (NCKU) giving his talk about the general geology and natural hazards of Taiwan

Prof. Wu (NCKU) giving his talk about the general geology and natural hazards of Taiwan

Prof. Nüchter (University of Würzburg) presenting his backpack-mounted 3D mobile scanning system (permission granted)

Prof. Nüchter (University of Würzburg) presenting his backpack-mounted 3D mobile scanning system (permission granted)

Dr. Pfennigbauer (Riegl Laser Measurement Systems GmbH) giving an introduction to the latest sensor and platform developments (permission granted)

Dr. Pfennigbauer (Riegl Laser Measurement Systems GmbH) giving an introduction to the latest sensor and platform developments (permission granted)

On the second day, PhD students associated with the 3D-TAIGER project (Kuei-Chia Chen, Kristina Koenig, Martin Hämmerle) presented their research progress regarding forest structure and vegetation feature analysis based on 3D geodata. With the presented results as a starting point, future work was discussed and follow-up ideas were developed.

The last and closing highlight of the summer school was a hands-on workshop introducing the multi-purpose LiDAR simulation framework for research, planning and training of laser scanning operations with airborne, ground-based mobile and stationary platforms ‘HELIOS’ developed and presented by Sebastian Bechtold.

Kuei-Chia Chen introducing her work on forest structure parameters derived from 3D point clouds

Kuei-Chia Chen introducing her work on forest structure parameters derived from 3D point clouds

Scanning virtually everything

HELIOS hands-on workshop: Scanning virtually everything

The project 3D-TAIGER is sponsored by DAAD with funding from BMBF.

Furthermore, support is provided by the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).

Many thanks to the Mathematikon administration (esp. Anne Paulski) for supporting the summer school with a perfect venue, and also to the helping hands in the background (Evelyn Schmitz, Ann-Kathrin Mannherz)!

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