Florian Ledermann wins best paper award at GI_Forum 2018

We are proud to announce that PhD candidate and lecturer Florian Ledermann has won the award for “Best Student Paper” at this year’s GI_Forum conference in Salzburg, Austria. The jury unanimously voted for his paper “Analysing Digital Maps Online: A Reverse Engineering Approach” and praised the author’s accomplishment of making the complex workings of online maps transparent to a wide audience. A preprint of the paper, which will appear in print later this year in the GI_Forum journal, is available here.

Congratulations!

Florian Ledermann with Adrijana Car (Editor of GI_Forum Journal). (Photo by Julia Stepan)

Farewell Benjamin Hennig

We are thankful for the guest lectures on Cartograms from Benjamin Hennig, Associate Professor of Geography at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Iceland and a honorary research associate at the University of Oxford. He researches social inequalities, humanity’s impact on Earth, global sustainability and the development of concepts for analysing, visualising and mapping these issues.

CartoTalk Sara Fabrikant: Responsive Geographic Information Displays to Support Mobility in the Digital Society

We are happy to announce our next CartoTalk by Sara Fabrikant
Department of Geography, University of Zurich, on 6 June 2018.

Abstract: We use increasingly dynamic and mobile graphic displays for every-day decision making tasks (i.e., daily commutes in congested cities), and to find solutions to and communicate about complex mobility behaviors. However, we still have a poor understanding on how autonomic nervous activity might influence the already limited perceptual and cognitive resources of display users, for example, in time critical situations or in dilemmatic decision-making contexts (e.g., navigation, disaster mitigation and response, search and rescue, etc.). In this talk, I will highlight ongoing empirical research on animated and mobile graphic display use in the lab and in the wild, capitalizing on ambulatory human behavior sensing methods (i.e., eye tracking, galvanic skin response, and EEG measurements). With this collected empirical data and supported by cognitive/vision theories we are guiding the process of designing user, task, and context responsive graphic interfaces for visual salience and positive engagement. In doing so, we aim to create usable and useful responsive displays to support space-time needs of the increasingly mobile digital citizen.

Dr. Sara Irina Fabrikant is a Professor of Geography and heads the Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis (GIVA) group at the GIScience Center of the University of Zurich (UZH). She is a co-director of the UZH Digital Society initiative and associated Fellow of the UZH|ETH|ZHdK Collegium Helveticum. Her research and teaching interests lie in visual analytics (geovis), GIScience and cognition, graphical user interface design and evaluation, including dynamic cartography. She is a current elected Vice President of the International Cartographic Association. Her service includes memberships and functions with Swiss Science Council, the Association of American Geographers, the North American Cartographic Information Society, and the Swiss Society of Cartography.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018, 11:00
Seminar Room 127
Gußhausstraße 27-29, 3rd floor

CartoTalk Nico Van de Weghe: Enrichment, mapping and querying of European traces

We are happy to announce a CartoTalk on 14 May 2018 by Nico Van de Weghe from Gent University.

Abstract: In this Cartotalk, the interdisciplinary projects UGESCO and EURECA will be presented. In this ongoing work, an interdisciplinary approach (Natural Language Processing, Computer vision, Metadata analysis, Spatio-temporal querying and visualization, and LBS) is followed. In this cartotalk, an overview of the project will be given (with specific focus on the Geo-ICT aspects), as well as avenues for future research and cooperation.

In UGESCO/EURECA, we focus on finding traces of European regions that have shaped the cities in which we live today, and we develop tools to easily explore them when visiting a city. Different historical, architectural, economic, political and cultural reasons form the base of these traces, and we use input from each of these domains to reveal the cultural heritage items that can be linked to these specific European regions/origins. The enriched metadata that is generated for the city archives and collections can be used as input to perform new fundamental research and applied studies, but also to facilitate the exploitation of the collections to a broader public and attract new groups of cultural heritage consumers. LBS that run on top of our enrichments, for example, will allow tourists to explore the traces of a specific European region (e.g. Austria) in the city (e.g. Ghent) and show them the collection items at their corresponding point of interest (POI) using their mobile device.

Nico Van de Weghe is professor in geomatics at the Department of Geography (UGent, Belgium). He is specialized in the tracking of moving objects; visualizing, analyzing and modeling of spatiotemporal information; and cognition and linguistics of moving objects. On the one hand, he has a broad experience in fundamental research with respect to handling moving objects (going from accuracy issues in data acquisition, over analyzing, reasoning, modelling and data-mining, towards visualizing and visual analytics). On the other hand, he gained a wide experience in setting up experiments in the area of Geographical Information Technology (e.g. research of the movement behaviour of persons at mass-events). Nico is author of more than 80 papers referenced on the Web-Science.

Monday, 14 May 2018, 10:00
Seminar Room 127
Gußhausstraße 27-29, 3rd floor

CartoTalk Evangelos Livieratos: Digitisation and comparison of old and modern maps

We are happy to announce a CartoTalk by Evangelos Livieratos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, on 14 May 2018.

Abstract: Modern digitisation offer better ways to investigate differences and similarities between old and modern maps, useful for a variety of theoretical investigations and practical applications in a large number of fields, from humanities and social sciences to geographical and engineering issues. Proper digitisation is thus important for obtaining the required material in order to proceed in a proper comparison of maps which is dependent on selected analytical transformations satisfying properties appropriate for the type of map comparisons nedded. Some simple practical guidelines for proper digitisation will be presented as well as the types of transformations, and their properties, to be implemented according to the given specific purpose to achieve in a project focused on an old and modern map comparison.

Evangelos Livieratos, full Professor of Higher Geodesy & Cartography at the Faculty of Engineering, AUTH-Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1979-2015). Professor Emeritus AUTH, at the CartoGeoLab, since 2015. A graduate in Surveying Engineering from the NTUA-National Technical University of Athens (1970). Dr Engineer NTUA (1974). PhD Uppsala University (1976). Docent of Geodesy & Cartography, NTUA (1978). Smithsonian Fellowship, Cambridge MA (1971, 1972). Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (Munich 1976, Stuttgart 1987). Research and teaching in Athens, Uppsala, Trieste, Delft, Bologna and Venice. Expert on Geodesy at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (2016- ). Chair of the ICA Commission on Cartographic Heritage into the Digital (2005-2019).

Monday, 14 May 2018, 9:00
Seminar Room 127
Gußhausstraße 27-29, 3rd floor

CartoTalk Lynn Usery: A Semantic Approach to Cartography

We are happy to announce a CartoTalk by Lynn Usery, U.S. Geological Survey, on  Wednesday, 9 May 2018.

Abstract: The discipline of cartography has traditionally advanced with technological innovation. Hand-drawn maps, copper plate engraving, pen and ink developments, photographic film, scribecoat, and computer-assisted mapping represent innovations that changed cartographic theory and practice. The development and evolution of the World-Wide Web and the Semantic Web are changing cartography to be more interactive, inclusive, ubiquitous, and provide for mapping concepts, ideas, emotions, and other human phenomena not previously mapped. These advances also provide for machine interpretation of maps as knowledgebases representing a new stage in the evolution of cartography in which maps become the basis of artificial intelligence applications, such as self-driving cars and new business models based on map availability to machines and humans using those machines. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is creating semantic representations of topographic maps to support human and machine interpretation and applications of geospatial data. This presentation documents the basis of this representation and production using Semantic Web technologies. The USGS has developed a geospatial ontology for topographic map data and converted specific datasets from The National Map to the Resource Description Framework (RDF) triple model of subject, predicate, and object on the Semantic Web. The process involves representing the ontology and the instance data, i.e., feature identifiers, coordinates, attributes, and relationships of the geospatial entities, in RDF as a triplestore and knowledgebase. The guiding concept to this work is the map as a knowledge base. The map itself becomes an interactive window to access the knowledgebase (triplestore) through direct query with the SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language and/or through a point and click interface in which clicking any geographic feature on the interactive graphic spawns a browseable graph approach providing the characteristics of that feature and connecting to associated features in the Linked Open Data cloud.

E. Lynn Usery is a Senior Scientist of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Director of the Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS). He worked as a cartographer and geographer for the USGS for more than 28 years and a professor of geography for 17 years with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Georgia. He served as President of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS), and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). He is a Fellow of CaGIS and UCGIS, and received the CaGIS Distinguished Career Award in 2012. Dr. Usery is currently Vice-President of the International Cartographic Association. His primary research areas are in theoretical cartography and geographic information science, geospatial semantics and ontology, high-performance computing and CyberGIS, map projections, spatial data models, and data integration.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018, 11:00
EI 1 (Petritsch Hörsaal)
Gußhausstraße 25, Stiege VIII, 2nd floor

CartoTalk Menno-Jan Kraak: Temporal aspects of O-D matrix visualizations

We are happy to announce a CartoTalk by Menno-Jan Kraak, University of Twente, on  Wednesday, 9 May 2018.

Abstract: The content of an Origin and Destination matrix informs about the nature of movement and connectivity between locations. These could be point locations, like airports, or regions, like countries. The type of movement or flow can be qualitative (different airline flying between two airports) or quantitative (the number of migrants between two countries), or both. Traditionally this type of data is visualized in flowmaps. In these maps flows are often represented by arrows of different colors and width to represent the character of the flow between an origin and a destination. However, flow maps also tent to become quickly visually cluttered. Additional problems arise when time series have to be displayed too. How to solve this problem? A link between alternative visualizations, such as cartograms, chord diagrams, tree maps etc. could be useful, but in some of these alternative approaches the geography gets lost and time is lacking. In our suggested solution we concentrate on the design of alternative visualizations of the matrix itself. The matrix represents attribute space and will be linked to the (flow) map. The presentation will discuss several options on how to include time in these visualizations as well. Among the alternatives are several three-dimensional designs that allow for interaction to brush time

Menno-Jan Kraak is professor of Geovisual Analytics and Cartography at the University of Twente / ITC. Currently he is head of ITC’s Geo-Information Processing Department. He is also President of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) for the period 2015-2019. He wrote more than 200 publications, among them the books ‘Cartography, visualization of geospatial data’ (with Ormeling) , and ‘Mapping time’. He is a member of the editorial board of several international journals in the field of Cartography and GIScience.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018, 10:00
EI 1 (Petritsch Hörsaal)
Gußhausstraße 25, Stiege VIII, 2nd floor

Meet & greet with representatives of all 4 partner universities of the International Master in Cartography

The Research Group Cartography is currently hosting a meeting of representatives of all partner universities of the International Cartography Master program. We are happy to welcome program coordinator Juliane Cron from Technische Universität München, Liqiu Meng from Technische Universität München, Nikolas Prechtel from TU Dresden, and Corné van Elzakker from ITC – University of Twente.

The students from the 7th intake, who are spending the summer semester 2018 at TU Wien, will have the chance to meet the colleagues from Munich, Dresden, and Twente, and to get information about upcoming classes and excursions.

To find out more about the International Master in Cartography, please visit cartographymaster.eu.

CartoTalk Amy Griffin: The user is the centre of the universe – Designing interactive maps for end users

We are happy to announce this year’s first  CartoTalk by Amy Griffin, RMIT University in Melbourne, on Monday, 23 April 2018.

Abstract: The task of the cartographer has become in some ways much easier since the advent of computers. For example, you no longer have to worry about smearing ink from your scribing pen or pasting Zipatone onto your overlay. A few clicks on a computer and it’s possible to create a basic map. Yet, in other ways cartographers face more challenges than they ever have before. People now use maps in many more places and to support many more tasks than they did in the past, and there is a bewildering array of different devices upon which maps can be displayed. Our behaviour with maps has also changed. Some people simply blindly follow where the GPS tells them to go, occasionally resulting in their injury or death (Milner 2016). Many others of us don’t bother to look at a map before we set out to find our way to a new place because we know that we can pull a phone out of our pocket along the way to check our location. And maps now respond to user inputs in ways in which they could not when they were simply printed on paper. For example, touchscreen displays coupled with internet access allow almost instantaneous and (almost) effortless panning and zooming. Yet, these new interactions lead to cognitive challenges that did not exist when viewing a paper map, whose full extent can be taken in at a glance – locating a zoomed map extent’s location relative to the full map extent.

While cartographers have directed attention to thinking about the map’s purpose and a few limited kinds of map user characteristics for some time, the philosophy of user-centred design, which systematises some of this thinking, arose in the 1980s and these ideas began to be applied more directly within cartography in the mid to late 1990s. New ideas have since expanded the remit of factors considered in user centred design to include interaction design (Cooper et al 2014), user experience design (Norman 2013), and the consideration of emotions in addition to classical cartographic thinking about map perception and cognition. In this presentation, Amy Griffin will provide an overview of the user-centred design process and the methods and techniques they use to do user-centred cartographic design (e.g., user requirements analysis, formative evaluation, eye-tracking), as well as where the state of the art stands in terms of new thinking about user-centred design as it can be applied to cartography (Roth, 2015; Griffin et al., 2017).

Amy Griffin is a Senior Lecturer in Geospatial Science in the School of Science at RMIT University in Melbourne. She’s the co-chair of the ICA Commission on Cognitive Issues in Geographic Information Visualisation. Her research interests include perceptual, cognitive and affective issues related to geographic information use, applications of GIS to historical geography, and GIScience applications to health geography. 

Monday, 23 April 2018, 9:15-10:45
Seminar room 127, Gußhausstraße 27-29, 3rd floor