Feed on

The results of an analysis of migration data and of the Brexit referendum votes are among only four selected finalists of this year’s data challenge associated with the GISRUK conference. The research was conducted by a team advised by Professor João Porto de Albququerque (University of Warwick) including our colleague René Westerholt. The idea of the data challenge is to identify novel ways of approaching the Brexit referendum results. This helps to understand better the dynamics of referenda and will enhance our preparedness with respect to future large-scale societal movements. All finalists are invited to present their work at the conference. The winner of the challenge will additionally receive a recognition worth £500.

The ohsome OpenStreetMap history analytics platform, which is currently developed at HeiGIT, will make OSM’s full-history data more easily accessible. We are pleased to announce that we are coming closer to reaching our objectives, hereby sharing a preview of the first ohsome web dashboard. Our dashboards will allow you to explore OSM full-history data using an intuitive user interface, enabling everyone to easily operate on the rather complex and computationally intensive data.

The ohsome Nepal dashboard was sketched in consultation with our partners Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL). In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake in April/May 2015, the KLL team coordinated the global OSM community in collaboration with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. The Nepal dashboard visualizes these efforts and shows the evolution of OSM building and OSM highway data that were contributed in scope of the disaster activation and beyond. As damaged housing areas were tagged as landuse=brownfield during the earthquake response, it also allows you to explore the history of OSM landuse data.

Additionally, we provide an OSM tag filter, which can give you first insights regarding data quality. For example, the OSM tag highway=road is considered to be temporary and is used for unknown or unverified roads. During the direct Nepal earthquake response the percentage of OSM highways tagged as roads increased. This indicates possible semantic inaccuracies in the post-disaster dataset, however, was further validated by the OSM community. Have a look at the Nepal dashboard to learn about more details.

This first prototype will be extended with support of the KLL team to develop an ohsome KLL dashboard that also considers further information of OSM’s full-history, e.g., about OSM user activity in Nepal.

We are very looking forward to hearing your ideas for our awesome ohsome dashboards as we are planning to address many further use cases in the future!

This work is supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg. It builds upon earlier and current research on extrinsic and intrinsic OSM data quality analytics of the HeiGIT and GIScience Research Group and the growing international body of literature.

VGI-ALIVE - AnaLysis, Integration, Vision, Engagement

Tuesday 12th June 2018, Lund, Sweden, Workshop at AGILE 2018

Introduction to the VGI-ALIVE Workshop

The steady rise of data volume shared on already established and new Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) and social media platforms calls for advanced analysis methods of user contribution patterns, leads to continued challenges in data fusion, and provides also new opportunities for rapid data analysis for event detection and VGI data quality assessment. Questions regarding the future of VGI and social media platforms include the prospect of continued user growth, engagement of new user groups, further expansion of VGI to educational activities, or closing data gaps in geographically underrepresented areas.

This one-day pre-conference workshop covers a wide range of VGI and social/media research topics and provides an opportunity for workshop participants to share ideas and findings on cross-platform data contributions, innovative analysis approaches, current data fusion methods, real-world applications, and the use of VGI and social media use in education. The event offers also a platform to discuss future challenges of VGI and social media, may it be on the legal or technical side, to formulate a vision for VGI and social media usage and analysis for the near future, and to live demonstrate analysis workflows and VGI applications.

One portion of the workshop is dedicated to a collaborative session, where break-out groups will discuss various timely VGI/social media research topics, such as VGI and mobility, data fusion, interoperability, and education, potentially leading to a joint paper contribution for a special issue of the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information journal.

VGI-ALIVE Workshop Topics

The principal topics for consideration in the workshop are outlined as follows:

  • Activity patterns and collaboration across multiple VGI and social media platforms
  • (Quasi) real-time analysis of VGI and social media content
  • Technical and legal aspects of crowd-sourced data fusion
  • Opportunities, challenges, and limitations for the future of VGI
  • VGI/social media analysis in geographic areas with sparse data coverage
  • Novel methods of VGI data quality assessment
  • Mobility patterns and VGI/social media
  • User engagement and VGI education
  • Closing the gaps in VGI data coverage

VGI-ALIVE Paper Submission

Submission format is a workshop short paper (2000 to 3000-word manuscript).
Authors are requested to follow the formatting guidelines for short paper submissions on the AGILE 2018 call for papers page and use the Word .doc template or the Word .docx templateprovided. Short papers should be submitted directly via e-mail to Dr. Peter Mooney at Peter.Mooney@mu.ie. Accepted short papers will be published on the workshop Website. Authors are asked to provide their paper in PDF also during the submission.

Authors of accepted workshop papers will be invited to submit full papers (maximum 20 pages) to a special issue of the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information journal with a submission deadline of 30 Nov 2018. To submit a full paper please follow the manuscript preparation and submission guidelines of the Special Issue Call for Papers.

After the conclusion of the VGI-ALIVE workshop all presentations, short papers and other presented materials will be openly accessible from this webpage. This increases the dissemination value of the workshop and follows the spirit of previous workshops in this series.

VGI-ALIVE Important Dates

  • 30 March 2018: Submission deadline for workshop papers 
  • 09 April 2018: Notification of acceptance for workshop papers
  • 15 April 2018: Early registration ends
  • 30 April 2018: Camera ready copies of workshop papers due
  • 12 June 2018: VGI-ALIVE Workshop at AGILE 2018
  • 10 November 2018: Submission deadline for extended workshop papers to special issue:

VGI-ALIVE Workshop Registration

All participants (both authors with or without workshop papers) must register for the workshop. For the VGI-ALIVE workshop registration will be handled directly with your registration for the AGILE 2018 conference. There will be a fee to attend the workshop, which can be found on the conference Web site.
Please note that the VGI-ALIVE workshop organisers are not involved with the registration process or structure for the AGILE 2018. Subsequently all questions regarding registration fees, registation terms and conditions etc should be directed to the AGILE 2018 conference organisers.

VGI-ALIVE Workshop Organisers

The VGI-ALIVE 2018 workshop will be organised and co-chaired by:

  • Peter Mooney: Maynooth University, Ireland; Email: Peter.Mooney@nuim.ie
  • Alexander Zipf: University of Heidelberg, Germany; Email: zipf@uni-heidelberg.de
  • Jamal Jokar: Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark; Email: jja@plan.aau.dk
  • Hartwig H. Hochmair: University of Florida, United States; Email: hhhochmair@ufl.edu
  • Kiran Zahra : University of Zurich, Switzerland; Email: kiran.zahra@geo.uzh.ch
  • Franz-Benjamin Mocnik : University of Heidelberg, Germany; Email: mocnik@uni-heidelberg.de

Any of the organisers will be happy to answer any queries or questions you have regarding the workshop.

VGI-ALIVE - Part of an AGILE pre-conference workshop series

We are proud to organise VGI-ALIVE as another AGILE pre-conference workshop which is part of number of successful previous workshops.
VGI-ALIVE follows on from the VGI-Analytics 2017 workshop in Wageningen University, The Netherlands in May 2017. Indeed the workshop organisers have been working together in this general research areas for several years now. VGI-Analytics followed on from a very successful pre-AGILE conference workshop in Helsinki in June 2016 with 30 attendees registered called Link-VGI: LINKing and analyzing Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) across different platforms. Please see the workshop web-page for LinkVGI 2016. In 2015 the RICH-VGI workshop (enRICHment of volunteered geographic information (VGI): Techniques, practices and current state of knowledge) was organised before AGILE 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal. An earlier pre-AGILE conference workshop ACTIVITY (Action and Interaction in Volunteered Geographic Information) was held in Leuven in May 2013 before AGILE 2013.

Further information: http://www.cs.nuim.ie/~pmooney/vgi-alive2018/

Currently Heidelberg University is establishing a PhD Research Training Group (RTG)
on “Big Data Research
together with several Indian Universities and Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) in the context of the HGS MathComp at the IWR (Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing). Partners from India include Allhabad University, Delhi University (MoU pending), Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras.
While the main focus is on big data research in the biosciences, also the GIScience Research Group Heidelberg is participating, because of the similarity of methods and technologies that are being used.
The program just started with a Winter School on Big Data Research at Heidelberg University. Currently several participants from India visit Heidelberg University for a 2 months period. During that time several half day compact courses are given for the students from India. On Tuesday March 13 it is the turn for GIScience HD with Prof. Alexander Zipf presenting an overview of Big Data Research at GIScience Heidelberg and René Westerholt giving a Primer on Spatial Analysis “Geographic thinking in computing”. The different participants are hosted by the participating principal investigators of the RTG Big Data Research. We are looking forward to fruitful results from that Winter School and further collaboration with the partner institutions from India.
HGS MathComp

Geographic Information has become big in recent years as the spatial and temporal resolution of data increases considerably and global coverage is the goal. Vast amounts of unstructured and spatially attributed data are continuously generated and available on the web, from technical sensors on the earth, remote sensing and produced by humans. Prominent examples include Volunteered Geographic Information like OpenStreetMap (OSM) or from Social Media.

With our background in GIScience and using methods such as geocomputation, data mining and machine learning, we extract precious knowledge from such datasets, e.g. by finding latent patterns and regularities to answer research questions on geographical phenomena relevant for society or environment. In combination with official geographical information from public administrations these have become an important asset e.g. for disaster management purposes. Processing, analyzing and aggregating these different kind of data sources enables e.g. humanitarian aid organizations and emergency responders to obtain a comprehensive view of the specific catastrophe on site to name one application. Our overall goal is to integrate, improve and enrich geographic information such as OSM or to derive new information layers e.g. through data fusion and machine learning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
9:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Im Neuenheimer Feld 205
Seminar room 10
69120 Heidelberg


Our colleague René Westerholt was recently invited to deliver a Masterclass on ‘Spatial Analysis’ at the University of Warwick (UK) on Tuesday, 6th of March. The one-day-event was hosted by the Q-Step Centre, an initiative to strengthen quantiative skills of students enrolled at the Social Science Faculty. The workshop was attended by students from various fields of study, such as applied mathematics, sociology and economics. Masterclasses are held at Warwick to cover topics which are usually not covered exhaustively by the university’s own programmes.

Later this week, on Thursday, René conducted a WISC Workshop at the ‘Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities’. This event was held at the invitation of Prof. João Porto de Albuquerque (CIM, Warwick) and focussed on ‘Spatial Heterogeneity’. It comprised a talk, an R-code-demonstration, and break-out sessions followed by an interactive discussion.

The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) is funding scientific and other initiatives, which will further improve its international status in the field of the photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information sciences, and will therefore benefit all ISPRS members. For 2018, seven Education and Capacity Building Initiatives projects were selected. GIScience Heidelberg is part of the initiative:

Spreading out the Knowledge from ISPRS Educational Events using a Dissemination Internet Platform

PI: Marco Scaioni, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Co-Is: Roderik Lindenbergh, Francesco Pirotti, Martin Rutzinger, Bernhard Höfle

ISPRS organizes under its umbrella several educational events like tutorials and notably summer schools. Unfortunately, many young scholars around the world may not be able to participate, due to limitations in budget or event capacity. Therefore, this project aims at making the contents of such events available through e-learning techniques implemented in a Dissemination Internet Platform (DIP). The e-learning system will be organized on topics and subtopics on the basis of an expandable architecture following a list of well-defined guidelines. Each topic will host teaching material such as lectures, practical exercises, software, and data. In addition, the DIP will host a forum to promote discussion among users and lecturers. An implementation of a prototype DIP on the basis of the material coming from notably two editions of the Summer School on ’Close Range Sensing Techniques in Alpine Terrain‘ (2015 and 2017, Obergurgl, Tyrol, Austria) will be provided. Past and future participants to this Summer School as well as the ISPRS community as a whole will be invited to use the prototype DIP and give feedback. Final goal is to establish a user friendly and stimulating ISPRS Dissemination Internet Platform.

We will provide updates regarding the development of the DIP on this blog. Stay tuned.

The LandSense Team is thrilled to announce the first LandSense Innovation Challenge, which targets individuals, web-entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs coming from all participating H2020 countries, to present innovative IT solutions in addressing one of the three LandSense domains: Urban Landscape Dynamics, Agricultural Land Use, and Forest & Habitat Monitoring (learn more here).

The focus of this challenge is on using data streams coming from the LandSense Engagement Platform, the Sentinel Hub Service or other relevant EO data sources to design novel LULC solutions for a range of applications within the selected domains. The LandSense Challenge finalists will have the opportunity to present their ideas at the Second International ECSA Conference 2018 on 3 June 2018, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The call details and the application form can be found here.

Find more Info about GIScience Heidelberg in LandSense: http://www.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/gis/land_sense.html

See also: http://osmlanduse.org

Schultz, M.; Auer, A.; Voss, J. Carter,S.; Zipf, A. (2017): Open land cover from OpenStreetMap and remote sensing. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. Volume 63, December 2017, Pages 206-213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2017.07.014

Related work:

Degrossi L.C., J. Porto de Albuquerque, R. dos Santos Rocha, A. Zipf (2018 accepted): A taxonomy of quality assessment methods for volunteered and crowdsourced geographic information. Transactions in GIS (TGIS). Wiley. DOI:10.1111/tgis.12329. To appear

Jokar Arsanjani, J., Mooney, P., Zipf, A., Schauss, A., (2015): Quality assessment of the contributed land use information from OpenStreetMap versus authoritative datasets. In: Jokar Arsanjani, J., Zipf, A., Mooney, P., Helbich, M., OpenStreetMap in GIScience: experiences, research, applications. ISBN:978-3-319-14279-1, PP. 37-58, Springer Press.

Jokar Arsanjani, J., Helbich, M., Bakillah, M., Hagenauer, J., & Zipf, A. (2013). Toward mapping land-use patterns from volunteered geographic information. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 2264-2278. DOI:10.1080/13658816.2013.800871.

Dorn, H., Törnros, T. & Zipf, A. (2015): Quality Evaluation of VGI using Authoritative Data – A Comparison with Land Use Data in Southern Germany. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. Vol 4(3), pp. 1657-1671, doi: 10.3390/ijgi4031657

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. 1-20.

Törnros, T., Dorn, H., Hahmann, S., and Zipf, A. (2015): Uncertainties of completeness measures in OpenStreetMap - A Case Study for buildings in a medium-sized German city, ISPRS Ann. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., II-3/W5, 353-357, doi:10.5194/isprsannals-II-3-W5-353-2015.

Fan H., Zipf A., Fu Q. and Neis P. 2014. Quality assessment for building footprints data on OpenStreetMap. In: International Journal of Geographical Information Science. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2013.867495

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) provides immediate support for disaster or humanitarian responses by coordinating and activating a global network of mappers that contribute up-to-date geodata to the OSM database. For example, after the Nepal earthquake 2015 volunteers added up to 800 km to the OSM street network per hour! This information could successfully support post-disaster humanitarian logistics on the ground.

To consider always the latest OSM data available, the Openrouteservice for Disaster Management by HeiGIT now provides updates more frequently. The entire African continent, South America and South Asia are available as stable instances with hourly update intervals. Papua New Guinea, which was recently hit by a severe earthquake, is furthermore currently integrated with an even higher update interval of 15 minutes to support the direct disaster response. In case of major disasters which affect regions not covered by our service, new areas can be added by our team on request.

The Real-time OSM we introduced recently, is used to access up-to-date OSM extracts on which basis the routing graphs are recalculated. Have a look at the github repo to get more insights on real-time OSM and test our service at disaster.openrouteservice.org.

HeiGIT is supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg.

Selected Related Work:

Our colleague Wei Huang was invited to give a talk at the Institute of Remote Sensing & Geographical Information System, Peking University, Beijing, China, on Mach 5, 2018. He presented his recent research on human activity pattern study at city scale based on geospatial data analytics. The researchers in the institute at Peking University also showed their interesting research projects on urban study using UAV technologies.

Heidelberg University invites applications for one full-time PhD student and one Senior Researcher (Postdoc) for “Geographic 3D Point Cloud Analysis” in the 3D Geospatial Data Processing Group (Prof. B. Höfle) at the Department of Geography. The 3DGeo group is also affiliated with two research centers – the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) and the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE).

PhD students will be hired initially for three years and the Senior Researcher for initially two years, both positions with the option of extension. The gross salary ranges from ca. 44k EUR to 67k EUR (according to TV-L 13) depending on proven qualification and experience, plus social benefits including health insurance and family supplement. The starting date for the positions is spring/summer 2018 – a later start is negotiable.

We are looking for candidates with an excellent university degree in a relevant area, e.g., Computer Science, Geoinformatics, Geography, Geodesy/Geomatics, (Environmental) Physics, or similar. We expect research experience (BSc/MSc or PhD thesis) in at least one of the fields of geoinformatics, remote sensing, computer vision, robotics/AI or scientific computing. Additionally, the senior researcher must have a proven record in teaching, high-ranked journal publications, supervision of students and experience in writing grant proposals.

We expect the prospective candidates to have advanced programming skills in C++ or Java and also Python. Furthermore, the candidate must have already worked with 3D point clouds, e.g. from LiDAR/laser scanning or images. You are highly interested in the development of novel automatic methods to process and analyze large geographic 3D point clouds and time series in order to address real-world geographic applications (e.g. natural hazard analysis, climate change phenomena, geomorphology, agriculture, forestry, bathymetry, etc.).

Applications should include a research motivation letter (max. one page), complete CV, list of publications (incl. link to MSc/PhD thesis), links to own source code and software, and two references (incl. contact details). Submit all documents in a single PDF-file via email to hoefle@uni-heidelberg.de (subject: 3DGeo position). Review of applications will begin April 1, 2018, and will continue until the positions are filled.

For more background information about the research group and current projects, please visit us on http://uni-heidelberg.de/3dgeo.

Heidelberg University aims at a general increase in the proportion of women in all areas and positions where women are underrepresented. Qualified women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. People with disabilities are given priority with the same suitability. Full-time positions are, in principle, divisible insofar as there are no official or legal grounds.

Download PDF of job posting: http://k1z.blog.uni-heidelberg.de/files/2018/03/vacancy_heidelberg_university_3d_geospatial_data_processing_group.pdf

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