Feed on

We have finally developed a pretty handy python API for all of you pythoniasts out there. This library makes requests to the openrouteservice API extremely simple. With this you will be able to query the following services with a couple of lines of python code.

  • directions
  • matrix
  • geocoding
  • isochrones

To provide a quick and dirty example::

import openrouteservice

coords = ((8.34234,48.23424),(8.34423,48.26424))

client = openrouteservice.Client(key='') # Specify your personal API key

routes = client.directions(coords)

print routes


That’s it. Enjoy!

Find the sources on GitHub and install it via pip.

disastermappers heidelberg want to invite you to our last mapathon in this winter term!

This time, we will be mapping the rural areas of Tanzania in eastern Africa.

There will be a Skype interview with Janet Chapman of the Tanzania Development Trust, who will give us an overview on the mapping activities in this area.


“Tanzania has a high incidence of extreme poverty, early marriage and Gender Based Violence. NGOs on the ground need better road and residential area data to facilitate their outreach work. [...]. This base map will assist with this field mapping.”  Janet Chapman


Furthermore, we will have an open group meeting after the Mapathon in the Botanik Café. If you are interested in helping us planning our events, have ideas for the next semester or just want to drink a beer with us – join us :)

When? 08.02.2018, 6 pm

Where? Geographisches Institut, Berliner Straße 48, Heidelberg University

Group Meeting afterwards: around 9pm in the Café Botanik

We will moreover give an introduction into OpenStreetMap mapping, therefore there is no previous knowledge necessary. Just bring your own laptop and mouse if available.

Snacks and drinks will for sure be provided!

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Die Veranstaltung “Physiogeographische Geodatenerfassung im Hochgebirge (Ötztal)” wird im Sommersemester 2018 zwischen 29.07.2018 und 04.08.2018 in Obergurgl, Tirol, Österreich, durchgeführt. Die verpflichtende Vorbesprechung findet am Fr. 02.02.2018, 11:30., R132/INF348, statt.

Die Veranstaltung ist eine Zusammenarbeit zwischen Geoinformatik (Prof. Höfle, K. Anders) und Physiogeographie (Dr. Hecht) und bietet die einzigartige Möglichkeit verschiedenste Methoden der Geodatenerfassung an einem der schönsten und geographisch interessantesten Ort in den Alpen durchzuführen. Die Unterkunft, das Universitätszentrum der Uni Innsbruck, liegt auf ca. 2000 m in Gehdistanz zu Gletschern, Blockgletschern, Rutschungen, uvm.

Der Geländekurs verbindet die hochgenaue 3D-Aufnahme mittels Laserscanning, Photogrammetrie und die physiogeographische Geländeaufnahme (z.B. mit Geoelektrik, Refraktionsseismik) des geomorphologischen Formenschatzes im Hochgebirge. Ausgangsort der Geländeaufnahmen ist Obergurgl, die höchstgelegene Dauersiedlung Österreichs im Ötztal, Tirol. Im Fokus stehen Formen und Prozesse wie Hangrutschungen, sowie der periglaziale und glaziale Formenschatz. Das Untersuchungsgebiet im hintersten Ötztal bietet neben einer der spannendsten Glazial- und Periglaziallandschaften der Ostalpen, auch einen Einblick in aktuelle Mensch-Umwelt-Interaktionen und Herausforderungen im Hochgebirge.

- Grundkenntnisse in Geoinformatik und Physiogeographie
- Interesse für die Bewegung im Hochgebirge: teilweise müssen die Untersuchungsgebiete über ausgedehnte Distanzen und mit Gepäck/Equipment begangen werden.

- Bachelor: MG3, FPG (GP Physiogeographie)
- Master: FP01, FG01, GM

Impressionen für Unentschlossene

- Blog-Bericht des GP 2016 in Obergurgl “Monster of Rock”

- In einer internationalen Sommerschule in 2015 und 2017 konnten bereits 3D-Daten rundum Obergurgl erfasst werden, die eine tolle Basis für die aktuelle Veranstaltung bieten (z.B. Veränderungsdetektion über die Jahre)

- Heidelberger Studis erklären Laserscanning

Today you have the choice to select between two interesting GIS related events @Heidelberg with contributions by GIScience Group Heidelberg University:

It’s your choice. Enjoy!



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 template provided. 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 10 July 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 July 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/

1. Februar 2018 - 14:00 Uhr

Im Neuenheimer Feld 205
Konferenzraum 5. Etage
69120 Heidelberg

Der Modellierungstag Rhein-Neckar eröffnet Praktikern und Wissenschaftlern die Gelegenheit, Innovationen zur Diskussion zu stellen, Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede der verwendeten Modellierungsansätze herauszuarbeiten und den gegenseitigen Erfahrungsaustausch zu pflegen.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier: http://www.modellierungstag.de/



Michael Winckler (IWR, Universität Heidelberg)

Begrüßung & Einführung


Bernhard Höfle (Geographisches Institut / HCE / IWR, Universität Heidelberg)

Geobasierte Methoden und Modelle der 3D-Geoinformatik: Beispiele aus der Geo-, Klima-, Agrar- und Umweltforschung


Sanam Vardag (Heidelberg Center for the Environment, Universität Heidelberg)

Geobasierte Daten in der Heidelberger Umweltforschung - von der Idee bis zum Modell


André Assmann (geomer GmbH)

Modellierung von Abflussprozessen. Anforderungen und Möglichkeiten




Till Bärnighausen (Heidelberg Institute for Public Health)

Geobasierte Modelle in der Global Health Forschung


Ottmar Gehring (Daimler AG, Stuttgart)

Enabling Fuel Efficiency Improvements for Heavy Duty Trucks using Applied Optimal Control


Hartmut Gündra (GeoNet.MRN)

Geoinformation als Teil innovativer Regionaldateninfrastrukturen




Networking & Imbiss

Join the next ECSA webinar on “Citizen Science for monitoring urban landscape dynamics”!

The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) will host a webinar on the topic of “Citizen Science for monitoring urban landscape dynamics”. The webinar will include two talks:

There will also be time for a Q&A session/discussion, following the presentations.


1st of February, 16:30-17:30 CET


The webinar is free of charge, but requires registration. You will receive the login details after you have registered. Click here to register!


This webinar benefits from the work being developed under the EU H2020 LandSense project, which aims at developing a citizen observatory and marketplace for land use and land cover monitoring.

Any inquiries related to the ECSA Webinar should be directed to andre.mascarenhas@mfn-berlin.de


Related Literature

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

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.

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.

Barron, C., Neis, P. & Zipf, A. (2013): A Comprehensive Framework for Intrinsic OpenStreetMap Quality Analysis. , Transactions in GIS, 18(6), 877–895. DOI: 10.1111/tgis.12073.

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

Point clouds and our 3DGeo research in Heidelberg are going beyond 3D, such as the new research project Auto3Dscapes.

A detailed analysis of this research frontier has been published in Eitel, Höfle et al. (2016): Beyond 3-D: The new spectrum of lidar applications for earth and ecological sciences. The paper has just become a highly cited paper according to Web of Science. Furthermore, the “classic” paper about LiDAR intensity by Höfle & Pfeifer (2007) still remains a highly cited paper. BTW: LiDAR backscatter is one or more further dimensions of point clouds.

It belongs to the top 1% of its academic field of “Geosciences”. The selection is based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year [Clarivate Analytics].

we cordially invite everybody interested to our next open GIScience colloquium talk

Delineating and describing landscapes and landform elements: challenges and novel methodological approaches

Prof. Dr. Ross Purves
Head of Geocomputation Unit, Department of Geography, University of Zurich

Time and date: Mon, January 29, 2:15 pm
Venue: INF 348, Room 015, Department of Geography, Heidelberg University

Representation of landscape in information systems, enabling their analysis and integration in decision making processes, is a basic requirement if political and legal tools such as the European Landscape Convention are to be effective. However, landscape is not directly measureable, and has multiple properties which make its representation challenging. In my talk I will describe some of the limitations of current representations, and compare these to some theoretical notions about landscape drawn from GIScience and linguistics. I will illustrate a number of methods aimed at both delineating and describing landscapes in ways which consider spatial and semantic vagueness, and suggest possible applications of such methods.

Open Position:

Software Developer (Web) Geoinformation Technology
Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) and GIScience Research Group

In the context of research projects at HeiGIT and the GIScience Research Group we offer the position of a Software Developer Geoinformation Technology in Heidelberg (full-time or part-time).
Depending on your experience the tasks are related to at least one of the following areas:

• Development and maintaining of Web-Mapping Applications (e.g. HeiMap for historians; different thematic OSM map apps; routing & navigation use cases; in domains from disaster management to logistics)
• Support developing a OpenStreetMap Full History Analytics Plattform (ohsome.org) using Big Data Frameworks (Apache Ignite, Spark, Hadoop, etc.)
• Development of methods, tools, case studies and GI web services, especially for the analysis and data enrichment of heterogeneous geodata, especially from the social web, OpenStreetMap, remote sensing etc. in different domains (e.g. Humanitarian Aid, Transportation, Health etc.)
• Collaboration in the development of Web-based services for quality assessment and improvement of OpenStreetMap by data mining in OSM Full History data

We offer an attractive position in an interdisciplinary dynamic team in a highly dynamic growth market. In order to promote technology transfer and applied research in the area of ​​Geoinformatics, the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) is currently being established with the support of the Klaus-Tschira Foundation. http://www.heigit.org. This is to be continued in the future as an independent institute. HeiGIT is and will be related closely to the Department of Geoinformatics which is Member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) and the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE). We offer a stimulating interdisciplinary research environment with many personal development opportunities.

We expect an above-average university degree in one of the subjects of Geoinformatics, Computer Science, Geography, Mathematics or similar. Apart from a strong team spirit, independence and high motivation, as well as excellent abilities for internal and external communication and presentation in (if possible) German and English this includes excellent competency in methodology and technology, and geoinformatics experience, especially in Web Development (e.g. Angular, php etc.), ​​Big Spatial Data Analytics (Java) or Data Mining & Machine Learning.

The position is to be filled as soon as possible and initially limited to two years with the option of sustainable extension. Please send application documents (CV, certificates, references, etc.) as soon as possible to zipf at uni-heidelberg.de.

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