Research Project

LandSense: A Citizen Observatory and Innovation Marketplace for Land Use and Land Cover Monitoring


The overall aim of the LandSense project is to build an innovative citizen observatory in the field of LandUse LandCover(LULC), which collects data both actively (through citizens) and passively (from authoritative, open access, and other citizen-based initiatives) and integrates them into an open platform that provides valuable quality-assured in-situ data for SMEs, larger businesses, government agencies, NGOs and researchers. There is currently no single marketplace that brings together the demand for such in-situ data (i.e. ground-based data collection coupled with interpretation of remotely-sensed data) for LULC monitoring, and could potentially attract a vast community of users across numerous disciplines and sectors. LandSense will also provide multiple pathways for citizen empowerment that go beyond simple data collection by providing a range of engagement tools that will allow the voices of citizens to be heard.

The taks of GIScience Heidelberg will mostly deal with realizing the following objectives
  • To implement the LandSense Citizen Observatory and its services in demonstration cases such as cost reduction and data conflation in monitoring land change
  • To acquire and consolidate feedback from citizens and user-groups for the demonstration cases
  • To evaluate (lessons learned and guidelines) on the uptake and engagement of citizens and determine upscaling potential of the demonstration cases
  • To assess the quality control/assurance methods available for the demonstration cases,
  • To source and process authoritative data for each demonstration case for validation purposes including authoritative ground reference data against which citizen-contributed data can be compared
  • To source and process additional, complementary crowdsourced data streams from citizens (e.g. Flickr, OpenStreetMap) using openly available data mining methods, which could benefit each demonstration case
  • To adapt and advance the COBWEB quality assurance service and quality workflows to fit the requirements of the demonstration cases
  • To apply and iteratively refine the LandSense quality control and assurance service in order to validate citizen contributed data arising from the three demonstration cases
  • To establish operational workflows for integrating data contributed by citizens into authoritative systems
  • To establish protocols and benchmarking standards for quality assurance of citizen-contributed data in the area of LULC monitoring

EU Horizon 2020 Citizen Observatory Call

  • Project Duration 2016-2020

OSMlanduse.org Our WebService providing LULC information derived from OpenStreetMap. (global)
OSMatrix Our WebService providing quality realted Metadata maps for OpenStreetMap (Europe only)

19.06.2018 08:42
Successful PhD Defence by René Westerholt on The Analysis of Spatially Superimposed and Heterogeneous Random Variables Using the Example of Geosocial Media Data

This week our GIScience Heidelberg team member Rene Westerholt most successfully defended his PhD! Congratulations! Very well deserved! The thesis is located at the interface between spatial analysis methodology and the characteristics of spatially superimposed random variables. Three types of contributions are presented: (i) the interactions of spatial analysis techniques with spatially superimposed random variables are investigated; (ii) novel [...]

17.06.2018 20:30
GIScience Group Successful at the AGILE

The GIScience group attended the AGILE 2018 conference to present about a diversity of topics.  More participants than ever have attended the conference in Lund, Sweden (12–15 June 2018).  They discussed scientific topics related to the general theme of the conference, Geospatial Technologies for All. The following short papers have been presented and been published in [...]

16.06.2018 09:12
Cutting-edge 4D LiDAR research in local newspaper

This morning, the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung (RNZ) published an article (in German) about our research on 4D LiDAR for snow cover monitoring. The angle for the article by Doris Burger is the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus near the summit of the Zugspitze, where members of the 3DGeo recently acquired a highly temporal 3D time series dataset of [...]

15.06.2018 08:29
Colloquium on Classification of 3D Point Clouds using Deep Neural Networks

We cordially invite everybody interested to our next open GIScience colloquium talk The speaker is Lukas Winiwarter TU Wien, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Research Group Photogrammetry When: Monday 18.06.2018, 2:15 pm Where: INF 348, room 015 (Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University) Classification of 3D Point Clouds using Deep Neural Networks Per-point classification (semantic labeling) is an important step in processing topographic 3D [...]

14.06.2018 16:19
Wikimedia and MSF talks @Disaster 2.0 seminar- Latest theory and practice in disaster management

How are Wikipedia/Wikimedia volunteers supporting disaster management? What role does their engagement all around open source and open data play? What are the latest developments and innovations in humanitarian contexts and how are they defined and addressed? These questions were discussed in the first block of the Disaster 2.0 seminar last week. Daniel Mietchen, Biophysicist at [...]

13.06.2018 11:40
HeiGIT/ disastermappers visit at MSF Czech Republic

HeiGIT/GIScience and disastermappers heidelberg have been in contact and collaborating with MSF CZ  over the last years already and have been supporting their work through joined Mapathons as well as MapSwipe Mapathon support. Last week members of HeiGIT/GIScience and disastermappers heidelberg visited Prague to exchange ideas and experiences and discuss potential ways to take this [...]

12.06.2018 07:43
Today VGI-ALIVE Workshop at AGILE 2018 Lund, Sweden

If you are in Lund, Sweden today you might consider joining our VGI-ALIVE Workshop at AGILE Conference 2018. The latest programme can be found here. It includes keynotes by Andrea Ballatore and Stefano Dea Sabata and a range of interesting contributions, including Enhancing Crowdsourced Classification on Human Settlements Utilizing Logistic Regression Aggregation and Intrinsic Context Factors AUTHORS: [...]

11.06.2018 11:12
Use of multi-objective optimization to assess trade-offs of urban expansion in Switzerland

One of the many unwanted side effects of urban growth is the loss of fertile soils since most citizens and villages have been founded in close proximity to fertile soils. Preserving high-quality soils however can conflict with the objective of developing compact urban patterns. A team from researches at the GIScience group, the ETH [...]

08.06.2018 08:14
Colloquium on a low-cost mini-UAV laser scanning system (Kylin Cloud)

We cordially invite everybody interested to our next open GIScience colloquium talk The speaker is Prof. Bisheng Yang State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China When: Monday 11.06.2018, 2:15 pm Where: INF 348, room 015 (Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University) A low-cost mini-UAV laser scanning system - Kylin Cloud: design and performance Mini-UAV [...]

05.06.2018 10:52
Full publication of multitemporal multisensor dataset from an Arctic permafrost research site

The multisensor datasets acquired in the three field campaigns of the PermaSAR project have recently been published on the Open Access data library PANGAEA: Anders, K., Antonova, S., Beck, I., Boike, J., Höfle, B., Langer, M., Marsh, P., Marx, S., (2018): Multisensor ground-based measurements of the permafrost thaw subsidence in the Trail Valley Creek, NWT, Canada, [...]

Project Partner

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis*; Austria
Birdlife International; UK
Sinergise; Slovenia
University of Nottingham; UK
InoSens doo; Serbia
GeoVille Information Systems GmbH; Austria
Environment Agency Austria; Austria
Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière; France
European Citizen Science Association; Germany
StZ Felis; Germany
University of Heidelberg, GIScience Research Group; Germany
Wageningen University; The Netherlands
VU University Amsterdam; The Netherlands
Joint Research Centre; Italy
Secure Dimensions Germany
Friends of the Earth/Global 2000; Austria
City of Heidelberg; Germany
KriticalMass Ltd.; UK

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