Institute of Geography
Berliner Straße 48
D-69120 Heidelberg
Bettina Knorr
Phone: +49 (0) 6221 54-5560
Fax: +49 (0) 6221 54-4529
Opening Hours
Mon–Thu, 8.30 am–12 noon
HCE – Heidelberg Center for the Environment
IWR – Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing
HCCH – Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage
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GIScience / Geoinformatics Research Group


Essential parts of the research focus of the GIScience research group (Geoinformatics) http://giscience.uni-hd.de are reflected by the PhD graduate school (Research Training Group, RTG) (CrowdAnalyser) (Speaker: Prof. A. Zipf). This group consists of several PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, who investigate the quality and usage potential of user-generated content (UGC). The main focus is on Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). We develop new methods for spatio-temporal analysis of data sources such as OpenStreetMap or Social Media and other Web 2.0 projects, ranging across Twitter, Flickr to all kinds of geo-social networks. Several projects and services built on these evolving data sources demonstrate the feasability of their usage in different domains. Additionally, new methods for crowdsourced 3D geoinformation are being developed. Further research topics and domains of interest see below

Crowd Analyser Logo

Some realized services can be discovered online (e.g. OpenRouteService.org, OSM-3D.org, OSMatrix.uni-hd.de, OSM-WMS.de, OpenMapSurfer.uni-hd.de, HistOSM.org etc.).

Latest News

Further news can be found at giscienceblog.uni-hd.de (also as RSS-Feed). You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Our publikations e.g. in Journals or Conferences can be found on dedicated pages.

05.03.2015 10:01
Call for Abstracts and Special Sessions - 9th Symposium of the International Society for Digital Earth

We would like to draw your attention to the second call for abstracts and special sessions for the 9th Symposium of the International Society for Digital Earth, October 5-9, in Halifax, Canada. The overarching theme of the symposium is “Towards a One-World Vision for the Blue Planet”. See here for further events (co-)organized by the GIScience [...]

02.03.2015 17:38
FH Professorship for Geoinformatics for our team member Dr. Günther Sagl

We cordially congratulate Dr. Günther Sagl for his new position at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, Engineering and IT in Villach Austria, where he holds a FH Professorship for Geoinformatics starting today! He is teaching there in the programs Geoinformation and Environmental Technologies (Bachelor) as well as Spatial Information Management (Master). Prof. Sagl is a [...]

01.03.2015 14:13
2nd. Call for Papers: RICH-VGI Workshop @ AGILE 2015, Lisboa

2nd Call for Papers: Enriching VGI @ AGILE 2015 Workshop We call for papers for the Workshop: RICH-VGI: enRICHment of volunteered geographic information (VGI): Techniques, practices and current state of knowledge Workshop @ the 18th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science Lisboa, Portugal. Tuesday 9 June 2015 In recent years we have witnessed the rapid emergence of olunteered Geographical Information (VGI) projects. [...]

28.02.2015 19:15
Geographic Feature Mining from VGI - a framework for Geographic Knowledge Discovery

This friday Dipl. Geographer Christian Sengstock successfully defended his PhD thesis in the combined faculty for the natural sciences and mathematics of Heidelberg University. He developed a framework for Geographic Knowledge Discovery from User-Generated data. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Michael Gertz (co-PI at our CrowdAnalyser Graduate School) from the database research group at [...]

26.02.2015 16:07
Special Issue “Earth Observation and Geoinformation Technologies for Sustainable Development”

Dear Colleagues, Earth observation devices and geoinformation technologies, including remote sensing data, platforms, algorithms, geographic information science (GISc), and spatial analysis techniques have played a major role in monitoring the dynamics of our environment and landscape. Additionally, emerging active and passive sensing approaches, such as crowdsourcing, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), citizen science (CS), participatory sensing, humans-as-sensors, [...]

26.02.2015 10:52
Major Update for OpenRouteService Backend

Last few months, we have been working hard on a new backend for OpenRouteService.org. The new implementation is much more flexible and faster than before and supports more sophisticated routing profiles. The services are deployed on a new and more powerful server that makes it possible to update routing graphs based on OpenStreetMap data more [...]

25.02.2015 18:14
GIScience group participated in Open Data Day Mannheim

Last Saturday (21/2) the GIScience group Heidelberg was part of the International Open Data Day. Open data enthusiasts all over the world teamed up to create new applications derived from open (not only governmental) data. The local open data day in Mannheim has seen 7 finished projects including Wikipedia edit wars analyses, public transport visualisations, [...]

25.02.2015 09:10
AGILE 2015 Workshop:::”VALID-LAND: assessing the fitness of citizens observatories for LAND cover/use mapping & VALIDation purposes”

Dear colleagues, In addition to our RICHVGI workshop in AGILE 2015, which will be held on June 9, 2015 in Lisbon, we are organizing a hands-on session called “VALID-LAND: Assessing the fitness of citizens observatories for land cover/land use mapping and validation purposes“. We would be delighted to see you joining along with spreading the word. Topics: This workshop [...]

24.02.2015 19:48
GIScience HD @ CEBIT 2015: Specialized Routing Services with IBM and HDM-I

Tour-Optimization in the Cloud in cooperation with IBM and Heidelberg Mobil International HDM-I the GIScience Research Group of Heidelberg University presents new approaches and solutions for specialized tour-optimization based on free and open geodata from OpenStreetMap and Cloud-based services in the in the “Cloud Area” at the CEBIT computer fair. These services enable software developers to [...]

Structure and Research Focus

Beside of investigating VGI, the research group has a strong focus on 3D geo-information. Corresponding research areas comprise data acquisition and retrieval using state-of-the-art 3D remote sensors such as laser scanning (i.e. topographic LiDAR) enriched by other potential sources such as crowdsourced data provided by human sensors. The primary focus here is the development of GIS-based algorithms for 3D data processing and analysis in order to improve the understanding of geographical phenomena. Applications cover the natural environment (e.g. geomorphology, precision farming and forestry) and the man-made landscape (e.g. Archeology and digital cultural heritage, solar potential assessment for buildings and hedonic price modeling using 3D laser data).

Bernhard Höfle leads the work on 3D processing and LiDAR research. In addition to the 2 professors, two Klaus-Tschira Incubator Research Groups Advancing GIScience have been established: Dr. Mohamed Bakillah leads the Klaus-Tschira Incubator Group on Smart Simulation and Dr. Hongchao Fan leads the Klaus-Tschira Incubator Group on 3D SDI and Urban Modelling.

The research of the group also deals with the investigation and development of new web-based geographic Information Services (GIS) in different application domains such as disaster management, eHumanities, agriculture, traffic, energy and environment. The research extends conventional spatial data infrastructures (SDI) by adding the third dimension (3D city models and 3D landscape models, GDI-3D.de), location based services (LBS, in particular specialized applications in routing- , navigation and traffic management), dynamic sensor data and of course web-based geoprocessing and geographic analysis functionalities.

Pictures of the Group

GIScience Team

GIScience-Team (Jour-Fix-Meeting 2014)

GIScience Team

GIScience Team at GIScience Retreat (Trifels-Annweiler) in February 2013

GIScience Team

GIScience Team at Jour-Fix-Meeting in June 2012

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Latest Revision: 2015-02-09
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