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In this workshop, we want to tie two threads of research together: human computation is an important factor in both geoscience and computer vision research. In geosciences, OpenStreetMap is one of the major projects , but this is only one of numerous recent advances. In environmental sciences huge amounts of data are collected, such as high-speed recordings of fluids, thousands of meters of glacier ice drilling cores or satellite data depicting e.g. sand transport in the Sahara desert. In computer vision everything started out with the ESP Game, Peekaboom and the LabelMe tools. Today, crowdsourcing is used in almost every discipline dealing with image data. However, these communities rarely talk with each other. Publications are mainly focused at the disciplines’ top journals with little to no overlap.

Heidelberg University has been an international leader in the usage, analysis and improvement of OpenStreetMap in many domains and applications, reflected e.g. by its graduate school CrowdAnalyser dedicated to this topic. The Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) connects a wide array of research fields ranging from natural sciences to social and cultural sciences. The Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing is one of the largest institutes for computer vision in Germany with more than 80 researchers working in all subfields ranging from machine learning over early vision to scene parsing.

Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 @ Heidelberg University

More information on the Workshop and participation can be found here


Daniel Kondermann

Jamal Jokar

Bernd Jähne

Alexander Zipf

Werner Aeschbach-Hertig

Here you find a report on the last Mapping Party at Heidelberg University organized by the Heidelberg Crisis Mappers with Kate Chapman, the Executive Director of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) giving a lecture and then there is an invitation to join the upcoming

Crisis Mapping Colloquium

on Wednesday (26 Nov 2014, 16-18 clock,

Dep. of Geography, Heidelberg, Berliner Strasse 48, Big PC pool).

This time you get the chance at a workshop 10000000000000 know the different ways you can use OpenStreetMap. This is the ideal opportunity to deepen your knowledge of GIS or to venture an introduction to GIS in a casual atmosphere.

There is something for everyone:

In a beginner-workshop one learns the basics in using OSM with GIS .

In an intermediate-workshop you can learn how to extract OSM data in various ways, how to process and integrate it with other spatial data and how typical pitfalls can be avoided.

In a profi-workshop we look forward to welcoming a Geography Alumni as lecturer who tells us how to prepare and analyze OSM data with spatial databases.

drinks and meals will be available ;-)

To help us in preparing the workshops, we ask you to register (with the desired workshop) by email to disastermappers@posteo.de.

one map one love

disastermappers heidelberg

mapping party

Location and Dates
The field course will take place from 21-29 April 2015 in Kalavrita in the central/south Gulf of Corinth, Greece. See location here: http://tinyurl.com/k59j7wu
Costs for the field trip will mainly comprise the travel costs to Greece. Further financial support will be organized to lower these costs as much as possible.

Bernhard Höfle and Martin Hämmerle

The availability and coverage of high-resolution and highly accurate 3D point clouds of the Earth surface, including the terrain surface as well as raised objects on the bare earth (e.g. trees and debris), has been increasing tremendously within the last decade. This trend can be attributed to decreasing costs of e.g. ground-based laser sensor systems, which have evolved into standard field equipment in environmental sciences and geography. Knowledge about how to use the 3D technology in the field, process the datasets and interpret the results becomes an invaluable skill for geographers and students in related fields. Recent research examples (videos) of the LiDAR Research Group can be found on our video channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheLRGHeidelberg

1) Field Course to Greece (Übung):
In this field course you will learn to acquire 3D data of the landscape, particularly including mountain environments (i.e. outcrops, geomorphology, and archaeologic remains). We will apply the most recent laser scanning technology and also unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), i.e. small drones, for data capturing. The field campaign will be performed together with the University of Stavanger (UiS), Norway. The UiS will provide input in the field about the geomorphologic and geologic settings of the study area.
Students participating in the field course only are expected to perform supervised field data capturing and the compilation of a group report, including limited amount of 3D data analysis and interpretation in a post processing step in Heidelberg.

2) Research Group (Kl. Forschergruppe Geoinformatik), includes the field course to Greece:
For Master students participating in the Research Group GIScience (Kleine Forschergruppe Geoinformatik) this field trip is an obligatory and integral part of the entire course. The research group course will mainly include the development of an own research question, methodology and interpretaton of 3D landscape datasets acquired in Greece as well as the compilation of a final research paper summarizing the single research steps and outcomes.

Credits can be gained for the
- Kl. Forschergruppe Geoinformatik (Master), which will preferred in the selection process.

For participants of the field course (Übung) only credits can be assigned to:
- Fachinhalte Physische Geographie (Master)
- Fachinhalte Geoinformatik (Master)
- Angewandte Physiogeographie (Bachelor)
- Angewandte Geoinformatik (Bachelor)

How to apply
Applications for both courses shall be directed to Bernhard Höfle directly via email latest until 11 December 2014. Please state your semester, student ID and the course you want to get credits for (e.g. Kleine Forschergruppe). Obligatory preliminary meeting will take place on Friday, 12 December 2014, 10:15h, seminar room, Berliner Str. 48. Only people attending this meeting can be considered.

Course language
If international students attend the course, it will be held in English.

Limited number of participants
Max. 12 students.

In our new paper we present a systematic literature review on geographic information analysis and web-based geoportals to explore malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa.

563 articles are identified from the searches, from which a total of nine articles and eight geoportals meet inclusion criteria. The review suggests that the spatial dimension of malnutrition is analyzed most often at the regional and national level using geostatistical analysis methods. Therefore, heterogeneous geographic information at different spatial scales and from multiple sources is combined by applying geoinformation analysis methods such as spatial interpolation, aggregation and downscaling techniques. Geocoded malnutrition data from the Demographic and Health Survey Program are the most common information source to quantify the prevalence of malnutrition on a local scale and are frequently combined with regional data on climate, population, agriculture and/or infrastructure. Only aggregated geoinformation about malnutrition prevalence is freely accessible, mostly displayed via web map visualizations or downloadable map images. The lack of detailed geographic data at household and local level is a major limitation for an in-depth assessment of malnutrition and links to potential impact factors.

We propose that the combination of malnutrition-related studies with most recent GIScience developments such as crowd-sourced geodata collection, (web-based) interoperable spatial health data infrastructures as well as (dynamic) information fusion approaches are beneficial to deepen the understanding of this complex phenomenon.

Further reading
Marx, S., Phalkey, R., Aranda, C., Profe, J., Sauerborn, R. & Höfle, B. (2014): Geographic information analysis and web-based geoportals to explore malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of approaches. BMC Public Health. Vol. 14(1), DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1189

This research was funded by the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE) of the Heidelberg University, www.hce.uni-heidelberg.de. We acknowledge the financial support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and Heidelberg University within the funding program Open Access Publishing.


Last week members of the GIScience Research Group were attending the International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems in Dallas. Beside the interesting welcome note given by Luc Vincent talking about the Google Street View project and further follow-up keynote talks, the first conference day was opened up for full day workshops covering various topics of GIScience.

GeoCrowd Workshop & Main Conference

In conjunction with the GIScience conference Johannes Lauer presented results from the Tele Agro+ Project introducing the analysis framework at the transportation workshop. Enrico Steiger was presenting a talk about his past research on detecting public transport flow from social media at the GEOCROWD workshop which was followed by an opening discussion around the emerging topic of volunteered geographic information (VGI) and its future scientific impacts and challenges.

Germany is the leading country when it comes to OpenStreetMap (OSM), and here this online map as well as the OSM data are well recognized. But what about other parts of the world? What kind of possibilities can OSM offer for fostering development and building resilience against disasters?

Last Friday the students attending of the course “Disaster Mapping 2.0: Volunteered Geographic Information in Disaster Risk Management and in Humanitarian Aid” had the chance to get first-hand information about the importance and use of OSM data in disaster prone and vulnerable regions by one of the leading international practitioners in the field: Dr. Nama Raj Budhathoki, Director of Kathmandu Living Labs and Consultant at the World Bank.

As an innovative feature of the course, which is offered by Prof. Dr. João Porto de Albuquerque together with Svend-Jonas Schellhorn since the summer semester 2013, in addition to the theoretical  exploration of the topic, students engage in practical work in the area of VGI for Disaster Risk Management, as well as contribute to real-world projects and get in contact with practitioners in the field of humanitarian aid.

Thus, last Friday, after interesting presentations in which the students got first insights in OSM and VGI, the second part of the day started with a webinar by Nama. He informed the students about the importance and need of open data in Kathmandu, and Nepal in general. Not only data, and particularly basemap data, are very rare and not readily available in Nepal, but also the country can be hit anytime by an -in fact overdue- earthquake that could cause catastrophic consequences. The objective of Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL), a small organization located in the city center of Kathmandu, is to harness human potential and creativity by leveraging open data and civic technology. That way, they want to solve Nepal’s most difficult problems- in a collaborative manner.

Nama explained the students about their projects, which include mapping in OpenStreetMap all health and educational facilities within the Kathmandu Valley for disaster risk reduction and preparedness. All the information about the mapped facilities is now openly available for everyone in OSM and can be used for risk assessment and planning. Above that, the KLL team conducts numerous sensitization presentations and Mapping Parties in universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the Kathmandu Valley and beyond, to build a stable OSM community in Nepal and to make people aware about the advantages of open data and the possibilities open data offers- with great success. Not only did they manage to establish a stable OSM community in Nepal, the collected data also helps to improve the risk assessment and is of crucial importance for the disaster management in Nepal. Other interesting projects involve developing tools that make use of the collected OSM data, such as the Taxi Meter App and the Public Transport App. These applications clearly show the possibilities open data can unleash, not only for disaster management, but also for development and urban planning purposes.

After the webinar, the students became active themselves in a Remote Mapping Exercise. The given task was to map an area outside of Kathmandu and thereby support the work of KLL and the local OSM community in Nepal. Additionally, the mapping exercise was combined with research that is conducted by Melanie Eckle, undergraduate research assistant of the GIScience group and former intern at KLL, in cooperation with the Nepalese organization. The objective of the research is to improve the data quality of remote mapping by volunteers, such that of the Missing Maps project.
The seminar day was completed with a discussion in which in the students presented their experiences, and discussed the potential and problems in the use of VGI and remote mapping again with Nama, who joined the conversation via live stream.

We thank Nama again for sharing his experience with us and are very looking forward to taking the interesting cooperation with the KLL team further!

The project MayaArch3D presents itself in the “60-seconds-science-countdown” in the context of the “Wissenschaftsjahr 2014″ (Year of Sciences 2014) of the german Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The Year of Sciences 2014 is a series of events and projects dealing with impact of the digitisation on our society.

Check out the video at:

mayaarch3d in60 seconds

MayaArch3D in 60 seconds

Wir möchten Sie herzlich zu unserer Fachsitzung “Räumliche Analyse und Modellierung in geographischer Forschung” im Rahmen des Deutschen Kongress für Geographie einladen, der von 1. bis 6. Oktober 2015 in Berlin stattfinden wird.

Beiträge zu unserer Sitzung können bis 11. Januar 2015 online hier eingereicht werden: https://www.congressa.de/dkg-2015/CallForAbstracts/?session_id=120

Sitzungsleiter_innen: Alexander Brenning, Bernhard Höfle

Inhalt der Fachsitzung (ER-FS-21)
Quantitative Methoden und GIS als Werkzeuge für die räumliche Analyse von Geodaten werden beleuchtet hinsichtlich neuer Methodenentwicklungen und ihrer physio- und anthropogeographischen Anwendungen sowie ihres Praxisnutzens.
Mit der stets wachsenden Flut von Geoinformationen haben sich quantitative Methoden, computergestützte räumliche Modelle und Geographische Informationssysteme (GIS) als Werkzeuge etabliert, die aus vielen Bereichen der geographischen Wissenschaft und Praxis nicht mehr wegzudenken sind. Beispiele reichen von der Erkennung raumzeitlicher Klima- und Vegetationstrends über die Suche nach „Hot Spots“ der Kriminalität bis hin zur Analyse von Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). Die dabei eingesetzten Werkzeuge, etwa räumliche Regressionsmodelle, Clustererkennungsalgorithmen und agentenbasierte Modelle sind dabei in den letzten Jahren zunehmend um Techniken des Data Mining bereichert worden und an die Besonderheiten großer räumlicher Datenmengen („Big GeoData“) angepasst worden. Insbesondere auch die Entwicklung neuer Methoden zur Kombination und Fusion heterogener Geodaten aus mehreren Datenquellen (z.B. Fernerkundung, GeoWeb) für die geographisch-räumlichen Analysen stellt hierbei ein Forschungs- und Anwendungsfeld dar, das in den letzten Jahren rasch an Bedeutung gewonnen hat.
Diese Vielfalt neuerer und auch bereits etablierter Methoden der räumlichen Analyse und Modellierung steht im Zentrum dieser Fachsitzung, die gemeinsam durch den Arbeitskreis Theorie und Quantitative Methoden in der Geographie (AK TQMG) und die Gesellschaft für Geoinformatik (GfGI) ausgerichtet wird. Vorgestellt und diskutiert werden Modellierungsansätze mir ihren Vor- und Nachteilen, wie auch Beispiele ihrer Anwendung in verschiedenen Teilbereichen der Geographie und ihrer praktischen Anwendung in Privatwirtschaft und Verwaltung. Ziel ist es dabei, die methodische Diskussionen und den Methodentransfer über die einzelnen Teilgebiete der Geographie hinweg zu stimulieren, und Anwender/-innen dieser Methoden mit Methodenspezialisten/-innen ins Gespräch zu bringen.

Die Sitzung wird als klassische Vortragssitzung durchgeführt und besteht aus vier Fachvorträgen (ca. 20 Minuten) mit jeweils anschließender Diskussion (5-10 Minuten).

Watch out”

New video tutorials of “how to use our LVISA system” are available at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheLRGHeidelberg

The videos give an introduction of the general usage of LVISA as well as an introduction of the visualization, exploration and analysis of LVISA reference data as well as of own (external) data.

LVISA is a novel system for analyzing point clouds of vegetation. This system constitutes a web-based Laser Scanning (LS) database for the management and analysis of reference signatures. It combines the techniques and methods of LiDAR and 3D GIScience. LVISA is embedded in the LS-VISA project of the Lidar Research Group Heidelberg.

Dear colleagues,

​The Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) and GIScience Research Group are organizing a workshop for joining the crowdsourcing research communities of GIScience and computer vision. The workshop will take place on Tuesday Dec 9, 2014 and it is going to be a very inspiring event for both parties. It is also very interesting to learn about the long-term goals of the respective communities and understanding how each is approaching the issue.

A number of international scholars expert in the field are invited and will present their experiences. Inquiries should be directed to jokar.arsanjani@geog.uni-heidelberg.de or daniel.kondermann@iwr.uni-heidelberg.de. The workshop’s agenda will be released shortly.

We are looking forward to your participation!

More information can be found at:

1) http://pposc.org/workshop-visual-crowds-for-geo-and-environmental-sciences/

2) visual-crowds-for-geo-and-environmental-sciences

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