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Call for Abstracts: 5th PhD Colloquium on “Methods for analysing spatiotemporal data”

1-2 Oct 2020 in Dortmund, Germany

The Division on Geoinformatics (Abteilung Geoinformatik) of the German Geodetic Commission (Deutsche Geodätische Kommission, DGK) and the Working Group on Geoinformatics (Arbeitskreis Geoinformatik) of the German Society for Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geoinformation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photogrammetrie, Fernerkundungund Geoinformation, DGPF) will hold their fifth joint PhD colloquium on 1–2 October 2020 in Dortmund.

The colloquium will stimulate and foster scientific exchange between young researchers in the interdisciplinary field of geoinformatics, with an emphasis on those focusing on methodological research. It is aimed at doctoral students who are motivated to share their findings looking for feedback and discussions. PhD students from geoinformatics, geodesy, photogrammetry, computer science, cartography, geography, remote sensing, spatial cognition, and other cognate fields dealing with geographical information processing are welcome to join us in Dortmund.

PhD students working on problems related to the focus of this year’s colloquium “Methods for analysing spatiotemporal data” are particularly invited.


Find details on contributions and up-to-date info here: https://www.geoinfo.uni-bonn.de/publikationen/2020/gimethods2020/

A week ago, students from the seminar “User-Generated Geographic Data in Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Aid” carried out a survey about urban flood risk in Handschuhsheim. The “field day” was organised by Carolin Klonner and Melanie Eckle (the teachers of the seminar) in cooperation with Kai Schaupp and Dr. Raino Winkler of the environmental agency of the city of Heidelberg. First, Kai Schaupp gave an interesting talk about the flood risk situation in Heidelberg, especially in the hillside area of Handschuhsheim. Then we started our practical work in Handschuhsheim all around Mühltalstraße and Steckelsgasse, using participatory mapping with Field Papers and the questionnaire tool ODK-Collect to collect information about affected areas and to explore the flood experience and risk perception of local citizens. In the conversations with local citizens we got interesting information about the high spatial divergences of flooding impacts and damages. Moreover, we learned that the understanding of risk is quite different in general and between neighbours. Results will also be used by the environmental agency and further collaborations are planned. In conclusion, it was a successful day with lots of quite personal and emotional insights in the flood perception of local citizens and a good start for further studies.

We are happy to annouce two higly interesting upcomming presentations in the GIScience colloquium in the next weeks. Everybody interested is invited to join the presentations and the discussion afterwards.

The use of geoinformatics at the German Red Cross

Katharina Lorenz, DRK e.V. ‑ Generalsekretariat, Berlin
Mon, January 27, 2.15 pm (Lecture Hall (room 015), Im Neuenheimer Feld 348)

The German Red Cross (GRC) and the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) have been working together since 2017. This collaboration increased awareness at the GRC of how geoinformatics could support GRC’s projects in disaster risk reduction. Thus, a dedicated position for an advisor for geoinformatics was created at the Headquarter in Berlin in Autumn 2019. GRC is also in the process of becoming a Missing Maps member.

The presentation is going to give insights in particular how Missing Maps will be used on the international level, e.g. to support forecast-based financing projects but also on the national level. Here it is planned to introduce the Missing Maps concept to the regional and district offices of the GRC and equip them with the necessary tools to conduct Mapathons independently without support from the Headquarter.

Building a baseline of health facility data in OpenStreetMap

Markus Herringer, healthsites.io, Amsterdam, NL
Mon, February 10, 2.15 pm (Lecture Hall (room 015), Im Neuenheimer Feld 348)

The Global Healthsites Mapping Project is building an open data commons of health facility data with OpenStreetMap. We believe that by leaning on the methods and infrastructure of OpenStreetMap, baseline health facility data can be maintained.

Saving health facility data to OpenStreetMap improves interoperability and harnesses the contributions of citizens, academic institutions, businesses and organisations who use the data in their daily operations. In addition to cost savings, improved health facility data supports epidemic preparedness, immunization programs, disaster response, Maternity care and Health capacity planning.

When a natural disaster or disease outbreak occurs there is a rush to establish accurate health care location data that can be used to support people on the ground. This has been demonstrated by events such as the Haiti earthquake and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. As a result, valuable time is spent establishing accurate and accessible baseline health data. Healthsites establishes this data and the tools necessary to upload, manage and make this data easily and readily accessible.

Recently the UN Pulse Lab Jakarta has developed a disaster monitoring WebApp called the MIND/DisasterMon platform. According to UN Pulse Lab the objective of the MIND/DisasterMon platform is to try to answer questions related to Disaster Monitoring and emergency response by looking into various sources of data and information from open data platform and social media. The platform integrates also APIs from OpenRouteService to help identify suitable routes for the transportation of aid and resource. With this information, users (especially responders who are unfamiliar with the area) can plan their journey, including determining the type of transportation to use based on the road surface and the amount of gas needed based on estimated travel dis- tance. The feature also details the duration of travel, road type and elevation level.

Further the system integrates data and APIs from OSM, HDX, Wikipedia, USGS earthquakes, Twitter, Google Trends etc.

The system has been mentioned in this Medium Article (early version) and in the Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange 2019 paper by Thamrin et al. about the “Data Analytics Platform for Logistics Planning and Information Management Following Natural Disasters”.

In close collaboration with the 3DGeo Research Group, Moritz Bruggisser of the Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation (RG Photogrammetry) presented his current research progress on the impact of acquisition patterns on the robustness and accuracy of tree models derived from UAV LiDAR for forest dynamic studies.

His work fits well into the scope of the SYSSIFOSS project, where forests are also acquired using UAV-based laser scanning (ULS). One key finding of the poster presented at the “3D Tree Models for Forest Dynamics” workshop was that UAV data can very well be used for tree diameter (DBH) estimation, but results in a higher RMSE when compared to terrestrial laser scanning data, and a lower completeness with regard to tree detection. However, ULS allows much faster capture of data and results in a more homogenous point density and sampling.

Fitted cylinders from the stem growing. (C) Moritz Bruggisser 2020

Left: Single tree point cloud. Middle: Result of iterative stem growing. Right: Fitted cylinders from the stem growing. (C) Moritz Bruggisser 2020

For more information, see the abstract.

Bruggisser, Moritz; Hollaus, Markus; Winiwarter, Lukas; Otepka, Johannes; Wang, Di; Höfle, Bernhard & Pfeifer, Norbert (2020): Impacts of acquisition patterns on the robustness and accuracy of tree models derived from UAV LiDAR for forest dynamic studies. 3D Tree Models for Forest Dynamics. Helsinki, Finland.

Find more details on the SYSSIFOSS project on the project website and in recent blog posts.

According to a recent post by NASA, researchers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, calculated the time that could have been saved if ambulance drivers and other emergency responders had near-real-time information about flooded roads, using the 2011 Southeast Asian floods as a case study. This was the first NASA study to calculate the value of using satellite data in disaster scenarios, Ready access to this information could have saved an average of nine minutes per emergency response and potential millions of dollars, they said.

In particular, the researchers used HeiGIT’s OpenRouteService’s navigation service to chart the most direct routes between emergency dispatch sites and areas in need, without flooding information. Then they added near-real-time flooding information to the map, generating new routes that avoided the most highly flooded areas.

The study finds that direct routes contained about 10 miles’ worth of flooded roadways in their recommendations. In contrast, the routes with flood information were longer, but avoided all highly flooded areas and contained just 5 miles of affected roadways. This made the flood-aware routes about 9 minutes faster than their baseline counterparts on average.

Further information:

Oddo PC and Bolten JD (2019) The Value of Near Real-Time Earth Observations for Improved Flood Disaster Response. Front. Environ. Sci. 7:127. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2019.00127


Related work:

Neis, P., Singler, P. & Zipf, A. (2010): Collaborative mapping and Emergency Routing for Disaster Logistics – Case studies from the Haiti earthquake and the UN portal for Afrika. In: Car, A., Griesebner, G. & Strobl, J. (Eds.): Geospatial Crossroads @ GI_Forum ‘10. Proceedings of the Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg.

Schmitz, S., Neis, P. & Zipf, A. (2008): New Applications based on Collaborative Geodata – the Case of Routing. XXVIII INCA International Congress on Collaborative Mapping and SpaceTechnology, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.

Neis, P. & Zipf, A (2008): OpenRouteService.org is three times “Open”: Combining OpenSource, OpenLS and OpenStreetMap. GIS Research UK (GISRUK 08). Manchester.

Related recent News:

Already in October 2019 Prof. Zipf was invited to give a keynote on “User Generated Geoinformation for Smart Cities” at the “Smart Cities, Smart Data, Smart Governance” ISPRS Conference at CEPT University in Ahmedabad (known for the Gandhi-Ashram), where he also participated as speaker in the inaugural session and acted as session chair for a session on Machine Learning for Spatial Analytics. Finally he was contributing as member in the final panel discussion on how smart data can lead to smart cities for smart citizens.

GIScience Heidelberg and HeiGIT develop a range of methods and software that can be used in smart city applications. Examples range from healthy and pleasant routing (motivated by the relevance of urban green spaces for mental health), wheelchair routing, route emission calculation, fleed scheduling, citizen engagement for sustainable living (Klimaschutzkarte.de), social media analytics and disaster management, to machine learning with heterogeneous spatial data sets.
For all those applications of user generated geoinformation, the assessment and improvement of the fitness for purpose and quality of the data is of high importance. This motivates the development of related methods and the ohsome framework.

Some impressions:

In der aktuellen Ausgabe des Forschungsmagazins „Ruperto Carola“ haben Dr. Nicole Aeschbach und Dr. Kathrin Foshag einen Artikel zur Arbeit des TdLab Geographie am Geographischen Institut der Universität Heidelberg veröffentlicht. Unter dem Titel „Zusammen Wirken. Die große Transformation“ zeigen die Leiterin und die Postdoktorandin des TdLab auf, wie transdisziplinäre (td) Ansätze einen Beitrag zur wissenschaftlichen Bearbeitung der großen gesellschaftlichen Herausforderungen leisten können.

In the current issue of the research magazine “Ruperto Carola” Dr. Nicole Aeschbach and Dr. Kathrin Foshag have published an article about the work of the TdLab Geography: “Working Together. The Great Transformation“. Nicole (head of the TdLab) and Kathrin (PostDoc) show how transdisciplinary (td) approaches can contribute to the scientific treatment of the grand societal challenges.

We are pleased to announce the latest release of openrouteservice - version 6.0 also known as Ganymede.

The main changes in this release are nestled in the backend code itself and have been performed to update the core GraphHopper library to a newer version.That said, there are also some new features in the release including alternative routes, round trip routing, and the use of a new routing algorithm which will now be described in more detail.

The new algorithm, called Core-ALT, is now available on the car and HGV profiles, and brings the ability to combine long-distance routing with dynamic restrictions. Previously this was always an “or” in that you could either have long-distance routes, or you could have routes that take into account restrictions such as border crossings. The Core-ALT algorithm drastically speeds up routing with restrictions, and so now you can do long-distance routes AND restrictions. So now it is possible to generate routes from Lisbon to the Nordkapp whilst avoiding Sweden (you can choose any country to avoid, we just use Sweden to make things difficult for the algorithm!). In fact, the caclulation of this route takes less than one second, and it is the rendering of it on a map which takes the time!

openrouteservice Lisbon to Nordkapp avoiding Sweden

openrouteservice Lisbon to Nordkapp avoiding Sweden

A more practical example though is the ability to travel across parts of Europe whilst avoiding controlled borders (i.e.travelling between Lithuania and Poland but avoiding Russia).

Routing between Lithuania and Poland whilst avoiding controlled borders

Routing between Lithuania and Poland whilst avoiding controlled borders

The round trip and alternative routes can be queried using the openrouteservice API but are not yet available on the maps client (they will be there soon). These features will appear on our interactive documentation shortly.

Keep tuned for the next releases of openrouteservice where we will also be rolling out the Core-ALT algorithm to other profiles.

The deadline for the Call for Papers for a special issue of Transactions of GIS on “The Geographical and Cultural Aspects of Geo-Information” had been extended to the 31 January 2020.

The special issue, organized by the GIScience colleagues Dr. Tessio Novack, Dr. Michael Schultz, Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf and former colleague Dr. Yair Grinberger, is aimed to provide a stage for high quality publications related, but not limited to, the issues such as the formalization of geo-cultural contexts within GIScience methods, identifying geo-cultural effects on geo-information and vice versa, methodological developments in analyzing global heterogeneous datasets, the application of machine-learning methods across diverse geo-cultural contexts, etc.

For more details, see the full call here.

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