Scientific Report

Press release online

Press release RNZ online

Presentations and Pictures online

Final list of participants online

Final programme online.

Dr. Bernhard Höfle
University of Heidelberg
Institute of Geography
Chair of GIScience
Berliner Str. 48
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Phone: +49 6221 54-5594
Fax: +49 6221 54-4996

Hengstberger Symposium

Towards Digital Earth - 3D Spatial Data Infrastructures

Heidelberg, September 7-8, 2011

General Information

The yearly awarded Hengstberger Prize is intended to enable the recipients to present a scientific symposium at the Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH).

The international Hengstberger Symposium - Towards Digital Earth - 3D Spatial Data Infrastructures - has a clear interdisciplinary character and is aiming at bringing together young scientists and experienced experts in the research areas of

  • volunteered geographic information (VGI) and
  • remote sensing with particular focus on the third dimension (3D).

Symposium Objectives

Three-dimensional (3D) mapping and characterization of the Earth using sensor technology is increasingly gaining importance. Detailed 3D topographic information is essential in a great variety of research fields aiming at mapping, modeling, exploiting and increasing the understanding of phenomena located on the Earth surface, such as for modeling natural hazards and environmental change monitoring. New remote sensors allow highly detailed 3D topographic mapping with sub-meter accuracy such as the Laser Scanning technology.

In contrast to these high quality but costly sensor data, the last years have witnessed a compelling advent of collaborative Web 2.0 projects (e.g. wikis and social networks) collecting freely available user-generated geographic content such as the OpenStreetMap (OSM). Each contributor in these communities represents a "human sensor" in a world-wide network adding new geographic observations.

Therefore, it is essential to integrate aspects from engineering and natural science (sensor technology) with Human and Social aspects of Web communities.

This interdisciplinary symposium aims at identifying possibilities and limitations of combining the best of both worlds by fusing 3D remote and (2D) human sensor data. Furthermore, new research impulses for the extension of 3D Spatial Data Infrastructures (3D-SDIs) and next steps towards the 3D Digital Earth "by and for people" are expected.

Fusion of remote and human sensor data resulting in a new hybrid 3D geographic data source exemplified by using OSM and ALS data.

The Hengstberger Symposium is convened and organized by Bernhard Höfle (contact person) together with Alexander Zipf, Marco Helbich and Kristina König. The official symposium flyer can be downloaded here.

Symposium Program

The Hengstberger Symposium should have an innovative character with extensive space for interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and scientific discussion. Therefore, ample time for discussion will be allocated in the final workshop program, which will be specified after the response of the invited participants. Keynote presentations by the respective scientific fields followed by intensive discussion will provide an effective interdisciplinary workshop setting for fruitful scientific exchange.

The symposium was held from Wednesday to Thursday, September 7-8, 2011.The final program can be downloaded here.

The Hengstberger Symposium was followed by a scientifically related European Science Foundation (ESF) Exploratory Workshop with particular focus on LiDAR remote sensing and 3D-SDIs, and has taken place from Sep 9-10, 2011.

Presentations and Pictures

Workshop dinner

The participants were cordially invited to a dinner at the restaurant Oskar at 7pm on Wednesday, 7th. Find route to the restaurant.

Restaurant Oskar
Haspelgasse 5
D-69117 Heidelberg


The list of participants can be downloaded here.

Scientific Report and Publications

The abstracts of the presentations and a scientific report on the outcome of the symposium will be released here after the symposium was held in September, 2011. Furthermore, a Special Issue on the symposium theme will be prepared.

Meeting Venue

Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH)
Hauptstrasse 242, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany

The IWH is located very close to the impressing Heidelberg Castle, which can be visited within a few minutes of walking. To get a better impression of Heidelberg our Heidelberg3D as well as OpenStreetMap OSM-3D for Europe 3D Web Services can be accessed.


Accommodation will be provided by the IWH directly as well as by hotels nearby and will be organized by the conveners. All participants will be accommodated in the following hotels. Traveling should be organized by the participants themselves. If you have any queries concerning the arrangements made for you, please contact the local organiser.

IWH - Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg
Hauptstrasse 242
69117 Heidelberg
Phone: ++49 6221 54 36 90
Fax: ++49 6221 54 161 3691

Hotel „Zum Goldenen Falken“
Hauptstrasse 204
69117 Heidelberg
Phone: ++49 6221 14 33 0
Fax: ++49 6221 14 33 66

Hotel „BoardingHouse“
Rohrbacher Strasse 32
69115 Heidelberg
Phone: ++49 6221 43 40 50
Fax: ++49 6221 43 40 555

Travel - Getting to Heidelberg

One of the largest airports of Europe, Frankfurt Airport, is within one hour train/car drive from Heidelberg. For further detailed information on traveling to Heidelberg and the IWH please refer to the "How to find us" section of the IWH website or contact the conveners directly.

You can use our OpenRouteService for getting a quick overview of the workshop location: Find route to the IWH using the OpenRouteService.

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