Theses

Bachelor

ifgicopterUAV / UAS (Drohnen) Remote Sensing/GIS: Vegetationsspezifische Geodatenanalyse/Workflows

Thema: Im Rahmen der gemeinsamen IFGIcopter und ILÖK UAV Initiative werden  kontinuierlich vegetationsspezifische Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren (Drohnen) aufgenommen und ausgewertet. Besondere Schwerpunkte sind die Erfassung und Analyse von Vegetationsmustern, Vitalitätsparametern und inversiver Arten mittels multispektraler UAS Daten. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Jan Lehmann

Contact: Torsten Prinz

SITCOMImplementierung eines Online-Lernspiels ("Reflectories")

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist die technische Umsetzung eines Lernspiels für den Geographieunterricht, das am Institut für Didaktik der Geographie (IfDG) entwickelt wurde. In diesen sogenannten „Reflectories“ werden User in kurzen Audio-Beiträgen vor komplexe geographische Entscheidungen gestellt, die mithilfe von unterschiedlichen Zusatzmaterialien getroffen werden müssen. Je nach gewählter Entscheidungsoption nimmt die Handlung einen anderen Verlauf, sodass sich die User mit den entsprechenden Konsequenzen ihrer Entscheidungen konfrontiert sehen und aufgefordert sind, über ihr Handeln zu reflektieren.

Aufgabe der Arbeit ist die Umsetzung der erarbeiteten Inhalte (hauptsächlich Audio-Dateien, einige PDF und Bilddateien) in eine systemunabhängige (Web-)App. Dazu gehört u. a. die Erstellung und Evaluation einer für die Zielgruppe geeignete Benutzeroberfläche sowie eine robuste Implementation des Backends.

Die Arbeit ist in Zusammenarbeit mit dem IfDG (Gabriele Schrüfer, Nina Brendel) geplant.

Contact: Christian Kray

ifgicopterCrowd Managment, Geodaten Fusion und Dronen-Technologie: Möglichkeiten und Perspektiven

Thema: Im Rahmen von aktuellen IFGIcopter-Aktivitäten bietet das Spannungsfeld Drohnen/UAV und Geodatenfusion' interessante Schnittstellen hinsichtlich geoinformatischer Datenanalyse und Werkzeugentwicklung. Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren können z.B. unterschiedlichste zeitabhängige Momentaufnahmen von 'Geo-Objektverlagerungen' erfassen und mittels Fusion mit Sekundärdaten zu Modellen einer dynamischen Entwicklung führen. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Florian Hillen

Contact: Torsten Prinz

STMLEstimating population at risk in small areas using the EEA Fast Track Service Precursor on Land Monitoring dataset

Background

Many disciplines need detailed information data about the number of inhabitants residing in small geographic areas, e.g. for interventional/ preventional public health studies or in the field of disaster risk management. The aim of this BSc thesis is to disaggregate the population data at community level (LAU 2) from the Regierungsbezirk Münster (study area) with the EEA Fast Track Service Precursor on Land Monitoring raster data for spatial cancer surveillance. The epidemiological cancer registry of NRW supplies data of geocoded cancer cases with the aim of modeling a spatial cancer incidence surface. However, there is a lack of an appropriate spatial representation of the population at risk (or background population) from which the cancer cases arise. Therefore more precise estimates of the population in the Regierungsbezirk Münster should obtained with the approach of Steinnocher et al. (2011).

Methods

The EEA raster dataset is for built-up areas with a continuous degree of imperviousness ranging from 0-100% in spatial resolution of 1 ha (Aubrecht et al. 2013). Steinnocher et al. (2011) developed a method to estimate the population density based on the housing density from this raster data. The method is based on the assumption that the population density is proportional to housing density. In a first step all sealed surface areas without residential function must mask out with additional data (e.g. open street map and Corine Land cover data). The remaining areas are used together with the population data as input for Steinnocher’s disaggregating approach. Afterwards the obtained population estimates should be evaluated with population reference data (e.g. population data at census tract level).

This BSc thesis should implement and evaluate the approach of Steinnocher at al. (2011) in R. It is an interdisciplinary project between the Institute of Geoinformatics and the Institute for Epidemiology and Social Medicine (Medical Faculty).

Contact

Dorothea Lemke (dorothea.lemke@uni-muenster.de)

Edzer Pebesma (edzer.pebesma@uni-muenster.de)

References

Aubrecht C, Ozceylan D, Steinnocher K, Freire S: Multi-level geospatial modelling of human exposure patterns and vulnerability indicators. Nat Hazards 2013, 68(1):147-163.

Steinnocher K., Köstl M., Weichselbaum J. (2011): Kleinräumige Bevölkerungsmodellierung für Europa – Räumliche Disaggregation auf Basis des Versiegelungsgrades. Strobl J., Blaschke T., Griesebner G. (Hrsg): Angewandte Geoinformatik 2011, Beiträge zum 23. AGIT-Symposium, 6.-8. Juli 2011.

CORINE land cover data: http://www.epa.ie/soilandbiodiversity/soils/land/corine/ (last access 09/20/13)

Fast Track Service Precursor on Land monitoring: http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/eea-fast-track-service-precursor-on-land-monitoring-degree-of-soil-sealing (last access 09/20/13)


 

Contact: Edzer Pebesma

SITCOMDepth layers for realistic overlays in videos

The sitcom lab has developed and launched the second prototype of its Immersive Video Environment (IVE). The new, light-weight architecture [1] allows for extending the system in a flexible way. Thus, previous bachelor and master theses were able to provide valuable and palpable results in research areas such as voice control or gesture recognition. One feature that is very characteristic for sitcom's IVE are virtual overlays. Such overlays allow any kind of content to be placed on top of existing video material. This way, any kind of system (e.g., an indoor navigation system) can be designed, prototyped, and evaluated in the lab at various development stages (e.g., early mock-ups based on PowerPoint slides or actual prototypes).

Currently, overlays can be placed on top of the video footage in a three dimensional space. This allows for visually aligning the overlays with the filmed environment, e.g., walls or sign posts, in order to create a quite convincing visual experience. In some situations, however, these superimposed overlays may disturb the immersive experience, i.e., when objects that should appear in front of the overlay are actually covered by it. The aim of this bachelor/master thesis is thus to develop and evaluate different ways of foreground/background extraction in the IVE video material (cf., e.g. [2]) that allows for a more realistic placement of overlays. 

 

[1] Ostkamp, M., Kray, C. Supporting Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation of Public Display Systems. Proc. EICS ’14, ACM (2014).

[2] Wang et al., TofCut: Towards Robust Real-time Foreground Extraction Using a Time-of-Flight Camera, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/chazhang/publications/3dpvt10_chazhang.pdf

Contact: Morin Ostkamp

SITCOMBenutzerschnittschnittstellen für Raumzeitliche Suche

Zunehmend spielen bei der Suche nach Informationen Raum und Zeit eine wichtige Rolle.  Aktuelle Nutzerschnittstellen unterstützen dies jedoch oft nur per Schlüsselwort anfrage ("Finde ein Restaurant in meiner Nähe", "Finde ein Hotel in Paris"). Es sind jedoch deutlich mächtigere Schnittstellen denkbar, wo räumliche und zeitliche Kriterien intuitiver und feingranularer spezifiziert werden können. Zum Beispiel könnte der Suchbereich auf einer Karte markiert werden oder mittels einer Zeitleiste festgelegt werden, aus welchem Zeitintervall Ergebnisse gewünscht sind.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, Anforderungen an solche Nutzerschnittstellen zu ermitteln, Ideen zur Realisierung zu erarbeiten und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung die Eigenschaften der entwickelten Ideen zu evaluieren.

Ein Beispiel für eine solche Nutzerschnittstelle findet sich hier.

Contact: Christian Kray

SITCOMDialoge auf Karten: Die Dialog Map im Einsatz

In dieser Bachelorarbeit soll eine weiterführende Evaluation und kleinere Verbesserungen an der „Dialog Map“ vorgenommen werden. Die Dialog Map wird unter anderem als Karte der Nachhaltigkeit in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Soziologie im Rahmen des Arbeitskreises Gemeinschafts- und Nachhaltigkeitsforschung eingesetzt. Bis jetzt ist die Karte primär als Informationsplattform verwendet worden, auf der sich interessierte Bürger informieren konnten. In einem nächsten Schritt sollen die bereits vorhandenen Funktionen der Dialog Map genutzt werden, um im Rahmen einer Evaluation mit Studenten zu testen inwieweit Argumente ausgetauscht oder Diskussionen auf einer Karte geführt werden können. Die Dialog Map bietet dafür verschiedene bereits existierende Funktionen wie z.B. in ein räumliches Threadsystem, Suche, Kategorien, etc. .

Die Aufgabe des/r Bachelorkandidat/in liegt darin die vorhandene & bereits fertige Implementierung leicht zu verbessern und im Anschluss eine Nutzerstudie mit Studenten durchzuführen, die die Dialog Map nutzen um einen räumlichen Dialog zu führen. Die Implementierung der Dialog Map ist auf Github zu finden und basiert auf Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL & PostGIS mit Leaflet / mapbox.js.

 

Contact: Chris Kray

SIIA metadata label for the semantic sensor web

The semantic sensor web publishes sensor metadata and observations using linked data technologies, e.g. the Semantic Sensor Network Ontology (SSNO). The GEO label is a visual and interactive metadata summary to make complex standardized metadata (i.e. ISO 19xxx-based) more accessible to users by visualizing the most important aspects of metadata for discovering suitable datasets. Examples for these so called facets are producer information, quality information, and expert reviews.

This thesis will evaluate SSNO and related ontologies to create a mapping between data encoded in linked data documents and the facets of the GEO label. This mapping will be used to implement a partial prototype of the GEO label API that supports the generation of visual GEO labels based on references to sensor (meta-) data encoded in SSNO.

Contact: Daniel Nüst

SIIAssisted editing for geospatial metadata

Metadata editing is a cumbersome task. Editors of standardized metadata documents (such as ISO 19xxx or OGC standards) need in depth knowledge of the available possibilities, and often enough the standards are designed in a flexible manner so that there is more than one way to model the same piece of information. In practice, metadata are often copy and pasted based on existing datasets, or simple templates are used. Naturally, errors and bad practices are also copied this way. Thefore a common practice is to create subsets of the generic data models and standards, so called "profiles", which are suitable to specific user domains.

This thesis will assist the editor of geospatial metadata in new and more intuitive ways and show alternatives to the template-based approach and using profiles, because these are yet another standard document that users have to read.

Instead the student will create a concept for assited editing for geospatial metadata based on existing metadata records as well as a prototpye for a highly interactive user interface based on an existing open source metadata editor. The new UI will integrate a editing form and existing records in different ways, such as

  • displaying existing documents which are "related" or "similar" side by side so that users are always aware of them and can even take over parts of the information, or
  • a powerful and fast "autocomplete" functionality for every form field based on existing records (potentially using a document index database).

Based on the prototype, the new visualisation and interaction patterns are evaluated and requirements are derived for metadata manegement systems to answer the question: How can editors of complex geospatial metadata be supported based on existing metadata documents?

Contact: Daniel Nüst

STML100 Euro Reproducible Research Box

Kleinstcomputer wie der Raspberry Pi haben im Bereich der Bastler und Bildung eine enorme Verbreitung gefunden. Dank der konstengünstigen Produktion von Platinen hat sich ein Ökosystem verschiedener Anbieter (zum Beispiel Odroid) auf Basis unterschiedlicher ARM-basierten Prozessoren mit mehr oder weniger Leistung oder Steckanschlüssen entwickelt (zum Beispiel eMMC Massenspeicheranschluss).

Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit soll der Student auf Basis eines solchen Systems einen Prototypen entwickeln, der in der Lage ist, eine reproduzierbare wissenschaftliche Analyse durchzuführen und das Ergbnis mit der Ursprünglichen Analyse zu vergleichen. Eine solche reproduzierbare Publikation ist mitsamt Daten und Analyseskripten in R in Form eines Docker Containers vorhanden. Da Docker aber die ARM-Architektur offiziell nicht unterstützt müssen die verschiedenen Community-Projekte gesichtet werden um eine Basis für das reproduzieren einer wissenschaftlichen Analyse zu schaffen. Auch die Docker Images für R müssen für ARM-Architekturen erstellt werden.

Wie kann so ein abgeschlossener Kasten für geowissenschaftliche Analysen, der in 30 Jahren nur an einen Bildschirm und Stromanschluss angeschlossen werden kann, funktionieren?

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

Contact: Daniel Nüst

STMLR as an orchestration engine for the model web

The model web envisions the publication of standardized processes as web services. These services can be combined, i.e. chained or orchestrated, to integrate distributed resources, such as specific knowledge, data, or computing infrastructure. The most common standard for executing processes operating on geospatial data is the OGC Web Processing Service (http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/wps). Besides being a language for statistical computing an graphics, i.e. a GIS, R (http://r-project.org/) can also be used as a programming environment for scripting and data mangement. Therefore in this thesis, a concept shall be created how to integrate a WPS client application into R to call server-based WPS processes from R scripts. This task comprises a mapping of WPS concepts to R. These concepts at least comprise the WPS operations for process description and control as well as the input and output data structures, which have to be represented by appropritate R objects and functions. The concept is implemented in a prototypical R extension package (http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/r-release/R-exts.html) and demonstrated with two partially WPS-based orchestrated workflows: (i) a classical GIS algorithm for vector data manipulation (e.g. buffering three non-overlapping polygons, creating the intersection, calculating the center of the created intersection) of at least three steps, where the first and last are executed via a WPS and the second within R; and (ii) a raster-based hydrological model based on locally available netCDF files. The workflows serve both for the formulation of the requirements and the evaluation of the concept for a WPS client in R.

 
Supervisors: Daniel Nüst (daniel.nuest@wwu.de), Edzer Pebesma (edzer.pebesma@wwu.de), Wouter Buytaert (w.buytaert@imperial.ac.uk)
 

Contact: Daniel Nüst

SILQuerying, Analysing, and Visualising Semantically-rich 3D Models of Subsurface Utilities

Subsurface utility construction work often involves repositioning of, and working between, existing buried networks (cables, water pipes, and so on). While the amount of utilities in modern cities grows, excavation work becomes more prone to incidents.

To prevent such incidents, excavation workers request existing 2D utility maps and dig test trenches to validate their accuracy and completeness. However, information about subsurface utilities is typically only available in abstract (sometimes even out-dated) 2D schematic drawings, which often miss crucial 3D information about the reality of subsurface infrastructure.

We are currently working on this topic in collaboration with experts in the Construction Management and Engineering department, University of Twente. In this project you will:

  • develop tools and methods from artificial intelligence for capturing and formalising real expert knowledge about subsurface utilities
  • develop software for querying, analysing, and visualising semantically-rich 3D models of subsurface utilities - your research will take us beyond simple "drawings" of utilities, into real interactive 3D models of subsurface utilities e.g. to automatically identify regions of potential risk
  • develop case studies to evaluate your software systems based on real-world subsurface utility data


Through this application-based research project you will develop skills and experience in methods from artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area). Some basic programming experience in an object-oriented programming language is recommended e.g. Java, C++, Python, etc.
 

Contact: Carl Peter Leslie Schultz

GeoSimSensitivity analysis of a land use change model

Land use change is the result of complex interactions between socio-economic and environmental processes. Land use change models are used to simulate potential pathways in a land use system, aiding decision makers to develop effective policies. Because these policies can have large environmental, economic and social impacts, it is important to clearly understand the working of land use change models.
 
Sensitivity analysis (SA) is a method to assess how the variation in the output of a model can be related to different sources of variation in the model structure, input data and parameter values. This is key information to, for example, prioritize additional data collection for one of the model inputs. While SA can be very straightforward and is recognized as a key step in environmental modelling, it is more often than not omitted in environmental model evaluation exercises (Shin et al., 2013). For land use change models, SA has almost never been applied.
 
The aim of this BSc thesis is to perform a sensitivity analysis for the land use change model PLUC, for a case study in Brazil or Mozambique (Verstegen et al., 2012). The code of the land use change model (in python) will be provided. Depending on the interests of the student, the analysis can have a further focus on comparing two different SA methods (see Shin et al., 2013 for an overview of methods), on the dependence of the sensitivities on selected parameter ranges, on sensitivities at different spatial scales, on visualization methods for sensitivities, or an own idea. 
 
References: 
Shin, Guillaume, Croke and Jakeman, 2013, Addressing ten questions about conceptual rainfall–runoff models with global sensitivity analyses in R. Journal of Hydrology 503, 135-152.
Verstegen, Karssenberg, Van der Hilst and Faaij, 2012, Spatio-temporal uncertainty in Spatial Decision Support Systems: A case study of changing land availability for bioenergy crops in Mozambique. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 36, 30-42.
 

Contact: Judith Verstegen

GeoSimWeb-based education in programming

A few years ago, all computer practicals at the university were taught at university-owned desktop computers. Nowadays, many students prefer to work on their own laptops. The installation of all required software and packages, and the setting of environment variables can be cumbersome for some of them.

In this project, you will test a solution for this problem by developing web tutorials in which the programming exercises can implemented, run, and stored, without any installation on the part of the user. The idea is to implement Jupyter Notebooks (http://jupyter.org/index.html) with a server running JupyterHub. For an example on how Jupyter is used in education, see https://developer.rackspace.com/blog/deploying-jupyterhub-for-education/. You can use existing IFGI course material for programming in R and PCRaster Python as test data. If successful, your solution will be implemented in the curriculum.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SILEnhancing Artificial Intelligence with Kinetic Data Structures: Applications in Medicine and GIS

Powerful methods in an area called "kinetic data structures" provide a rapid way of solving a wide range of spatial reasoning problems. For example, as a user manipulates some shapes (polygons, points) in an "intelligent" sketch, the sketch automatically updates itself to maintain certain spatial constraints (e.g. one polygon remains "inside" another polygon).

In medicine these shapes could represent different types of cells that have been automatically recognised from images of a tissue section, and the task could be to "bring the image to life" by allowing users to interact with the cells (move, resize), and to reason about the image to determine whether the cells are cancerous (histopathology). In geographic information systems these shapes could represent streets, buildings, and landmarks recognised from satellite images or directly from a hand-drawn sketch.

In this thesis project you will be:

  • learning about kinetic data structures
  • investigating how these can be used to support artificial intelligence, particularly "common sense" spatial reasoning

 
This project has a strong application focus: medicine (histopathology) and GIS. You will use this enhanced technology for a range of exciting tasks, such as:

  • providing new ways of interacting with complex spatial data using "intelligent" diagrams
  • improving computer-based image recognition by automatically correcting errors based on knowledge about objects in the domain

Through this research project you will develop skills and experience in the application of methods in artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area).
 

Contact: Carl Schultz

STMLVorbereitung eines räumlichen Evaluierungsdesigns für das Brustkrebs-Screening Programm im Raum Essen

Seit Ende 2005 gibt es in Deutschland ein bundesweites, organisiertes und bevölkerungsbezogenes Brustkrebes-Screening-Programm (MSP). Jede Frau im Alter zwischen 50 und 69 Jahren erhält dabei alle zwei Jahre eine Einladung zum Screening, mit dem Ziel, Brustkrebs in einem frühen Stadium der Erkrankung zu entdecken, um die Heilungschancen zu erhöhen und idealerweise die Brustkrebs-
Sterblichkeit zu senken. Dennoch erreichen die bundesweiten Teilnehmerraten nur 50 bis 55% und variieren dabei erheblich zwischen Bevölkerungssubgruppen. Für eine räumliche/intra-urbane Evaluierung der Teilnahme am MSP wird daher eine BSc-KandidatIn gesucht, die im Vorfeld die Datenbeschaffung und das Datenmanagement übernimmt. Dabei sollen epidemiologische, demographische und sozioökonomische Daten im Zeitraum 2006-2014 für den Raum Essen zusammengestellt werden.
 
Die Aufgaben umfassen:
-
-
Aufbau einer Geo-Datenbank mit den Daten:
o Räumliche Verknüpfung der Brustkrebsdaten mit den Stadtteilen
o Datenbeschaffung und Bereinigung demographischer und
sozioökonomischer Daten auf Stadtteil-Ebene
Deskriptive Auswertungen der Daten
 
Diese Arbeit findet in Kooperation mit der Hochschule für Gesundheit in Bochum statt. Vom Kandidaten wird erwartet, dass er/sie Treffen mit Hochschule für Gesundheit wahrnimmt und teilweise „vor Ort“ in Bochum arbeitet. Weiterhin wird von dem/r KandidatIN erwartet, dass eine Datenschutzerklärung unterschrieben wird zur Wahrung des Datenschutzes. Des Weiteren wird ein routinierter Umgang mit GIS, R und den Office-Programmen vorausgesetzt.
 
Ansprechpartner:
FB 14/WWU
Dr. Dorothea Lemke
Tel: 83 30003
dorothea.lemke@wwu.de
 
Dept. of Community Health/ hsg-Bochum
Dr. Shoma Berkemeyer
Tel: 0234 77727-720
shoma.berkemeyer@hs-gesundheit.de

Contact: Edzer Pebesma

STMLMonitoring Violent Conflicts: Web-mapping platform to combine automatic and manual image analysis

Deutsch:

Die große Zahl gewaltsamer Konflikte weltweit und das Ausmaß, zu dem Menschenrechte hierbei verletzt werden, machen eine genaue Überwachung und Dokumentation von Konflikten unabdingbar. Da eine ausführliche bodengebundene Überwachung des Kriegsverlaufes und seiner Auswirkungen jedoch -insbesondere in abgelegenen Regionen- häufig kaum möglich ist, werden Fernerkundungsmethoden und GI-Technologien immer häufiger dazu eingesetzt, Kampfhandlungen in Kriegsgebieten zu dokumentieren. Satellitenbilder können zum Beispiel visuellen Zugang zu schwer erreichbaren Regionen ermöglichen und lokale Berichte über Gewalt und Zerstörung bestätigen. Die meisten praktischen Anwendungen verlassen sich dabei bisher vor allem auf die manuelle Bildanalyse und Identifikation von verdächtigen Objekten (z.B. zerstörte Gebäude). Der Zeit- und Kostenaufwand solcher Analysen ist jedoch erheblich. Eine Möglichkeit, mit dem immensen Aufwand umzugehen, ist die Verteilung der Arbeit auf verschiedene Analysten in sogenannten crowd-sourcing Netzwerken (mit Hilfe von micro-tasking Anwendungen, siehe z. B. http://www.tomnod.com/). Hierbei werden die Fernerkundungsdaten in kleinere Ausschnitte eingeteilt und individuell von Freiwilligen auf z.B. zerstörte Gebäude untersucht. Eine andere Strategie ist die Verwendung (semi-) automatischer Bildanalyse- und Klassifikationsmethoden zur Identifikation von Zerstörungen, um den manuellen Aufwand zu verringern. Momentan konzentrieren sich die verschiedenen Ansätze entweder auf die web-mapping/crowd-sourcing Ansätze oder die Methoden zur automatischen Bildanalyse.

Ziel der Bachelorarbeit ist es, ein prototypisches web-mapping/crowd-sourcing Werkzeug zu entwickeln, dass beide genannten Strategien verbindet. Hierbei sollen bereits vorhandene Ergebnisse aus automatischen Bildanalysen integriert werden, indem sie als Basis für die Erstellung und Priorisierung der Bildausschnitte für die manuelle Analyse dienen. Bildausschnitte mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit/Dichte von Zerstörungen (gemäß der Ergebnisse der automatischen Methoden) sollen automatisch höhere Priorität im folgenden manuellen Analyseprozess bekommen. Die zu verarbeitenden Eingabedaten können dabei in unterschiedlichem Detaillierungsgrad vorliegen, z.B. Polygone mit unterschiedlichen Wahrscheinlichkeiten/Dichten von Zerstörung oder einzelne Punkte, die die Position von zerstörten Gebäuden anzeigen. Das zu entwickelnde Werkzeug sollte eine Methode enthalten, um mit Hilfe dieser Daten sinnvoll kleinere Ausschnitte aus den vorliegenden Fernerkundungsbildern zu erstellen und diese zu priorisieren. Zusätzlich sollten Werkzeuge bereitstehen, um Nutzer/innen eine sinnvolle Visualisierung bi-temporaler Daten (vor und nach angeblicher Attacken)  und das Markieren von Zerstörungen zu ermöglichen. Optional können natürlich weitere Methoden oder Schnittstellen für die Kombination automatischer und manueller Analyse erdacht und entwickelt werden.

English:

The high number of violent conflicts worldwide and the extent to which human rights are abused during acts of war stress the need for close monitoring and documentation of conflict areas to strengthen public international law. As a comprehensive ground‐level documentation of combat impacts is often hardly possible in conflict areas, satellite imagery and geospatial technology are increasingly being used to document and communicate human rights issues. Satellite images can for example provide visual access to remote or insecure areas as well as visual evidence to corroborate on-the-ground reports on human rights violations. Most of the practical applications rely on the manual image interpretation and identification of objects of interest. However, the time consumption of such analyses is substantial. One strategy to cope with the immense workload is to make use of a decentralized approach and distribute the work among several analysts e.g. within crowd-sourcing networks (by use of micro tasking tools, see e.g. http://www.tomnod.com/). Here the images are divided into subsets and individually investigated by volunteers. Another strategy is to use computer assisted methods for (semi-) automatic information extraction to reduce the analysis workload. Current approaches focus on either web-mapping for collaborative monitoring of violence or on image analysis and classification methods for automatically detecting structural damage in conflict areas.

The aim of this thesis is to develop a prototypical web-mapping and micro-tasking tool for collaborative conflict monitoring which combines both abovementioned fields. It should integrate existing results from automatic classification methods by using them as a basis for the automatic creation and prioritization of areas of interest. Areas with a high probability/density of destruction get a higher priority for the subsequent manual analysis by volunteers. The input data can be in different levels of detail, e.g. polygons of areas with different probabilities of destruction or even point data indicating the location of destructed buildings. The web application should include a method to create and prioritize image subsets based on this input data and contain tools for a meaningful visualization of bi-temporal image data (pre- and post-conflict image) as well as for manually tagging destructed buildings. Optionally, further methods and interfaces combining automatic and manual image analysis can be developed.

Contact: Christian Knoth

SIIRich Data Interface for Copernicus Data

Copernicus is a European Earth observation programme with the goal “to provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and en-sure civil security” (ESA 2015). Within Copernicus, a series of new satellite mis-sions will be executed to gather new satellite data. The first mission acquiring ra-dar data, called Sentinel-1, and the second mission gathering multi-spectral high-resolution data have already been launched.
In order to derive higher-level information products, the data needs to be pro-cessed, e.g. by using segmentation algorithms. In former times, the workflow in-cluded downloading the data, pre-processing it by selecting the spatial and/or temporal extent, and then running the actual segmentation process. The idea of rich data interfaces is that these processing facillities for deriving new information products are directly provided with the data in order to avoid downloading large raw datasets.
The aim of this bachelor thesis is to investigate how the OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) standard (Mueller & Pross, 2015), which defines a web service in-terface for geoprocessing functionality, can be utilized for such a rich data inter-face for the Copernicus. The expected outcomes are
(i) architecture patterns for coupling WPSs with copernicus data interfaces (ii) a prototypical implementation (iii) an evaluation of the concepts developed.
In order to successfully work on the thesis, good knowledge in Web technologies and Java programming is required as well as interest in remote sensing and EO-analysis. The work will be done in cooperation with the 52°North Open Source ini-tiative.
Literature:
Mueller, Matthias, and B. Pross. “OGC WPS 2.0 Interface Standard”. OpenGIS Implementation Standard, Version 2.0, OGC 14-065. (2014).
ESA. “Overview/Copernicus”. Available online at http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Overview3. (2015) Accessed 29/05/2015.
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Albert Remke (a.remke@52north.org) Dr. Christoph Stasch (c.stasch@52north.org)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Albert Remke

STMLDas könnte Sie auch interessieren

Im Arbeitsfeld der reproduzierbaren Forschung werden wissenschaftliche Artikel gemeinsam mit Daten und Programmcode in Form von Kompendien organisiert. Ziel solcher Kompendien ist es, die Daten oder die Analysen austauschbar zu gestalten, sowie den Zugang zu Daten und Software langfristig zu sicherzustellen. Für ein gutes Benutzererlebnis sollte der Austausch von Daten und Analysen zwischen Kompendien einfach und stabil sein, die einen Daten also kompatibel mit dem anderen Code.

Suchdatenbanken, wie zum Beispiel Elasticsearch, spielen beim Auffinden von Dokumenten im Web eine zentrale Rolle. Eine typische Funktion einer Suche ist das Vorschlagen ähnlicher Dokumente auf Basis hochperformanter invertierter Indizes.

Einen ersten Schritt hin zur Kompabilitätanalyse stellen direkte und mittelbare Metadaten dar die in Suchdatenbanken gesammelt werden. Diese Metadaten werden heute meist vom Autor erstellt (abstract, keywords) und nicht umfassend. Auf der Basis von Kompendien können diese und weitere Informationen aus den Sekundärdateien (Daten, Quellcode) abgeleitet werden. Zum Beispiel könnten ähnliche genutzte Softwarekomponenten oder Datenausschnitte einen Hinweis darauf geben, dass zwei gegebene Kompendien so weit kompatibel sind, dass die Daten des einen mit der Analyse des anderen kombiniert werden können.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, die möglichen Quellen von Metadaten wissenschaftlicher Publikationen zu sichten und mit den Anforderungen des Anwendungsfalls zusammen zu führen. Es sollen neue Wege zur Erweiterung, Integration und Vergleich der Metadatensätze entworfen und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung evaluiert werden.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

 

Contact: Daniel Nüst

SITCOMOpening Reproducible Research (o2r)

Die Veröffentlichung reproduzierbarer Forschung ist ein wichtiges Thema in der Wissenschaft. Darunter verstehen wir, dass die Forschungsergebnisse in einer wissenschaftlichen Publikation wiederholbar sind. In diesem Kontext fokussieren wir uns auf computergestützte Analysen (z.B. R) in den Geowissenschaften. Reproduzierbare Forschung wird aber auf Grund des Aufwands nur unvollständig oder gar nicht praktiziert. Unser Ziel ist es, Forscher beim Publizieren reproduzierbarer Forschung zu unterstützen. Darauf aufbauend wollen wir auf verschiedenen Wegen "mehr Wissen" aus den Papieren rausholen, welches in traditionellen Publikationen (als PDF) verborgen bleibt.

In diesem Bereich bieten sich viele verschiedene Themen an:

  • Wie kann man Autoren beim Publizieren reproduzierbarer Forschung unterstützen?
  • Wie kann man aus statischen Abbildungen in wissenschaftlichen Publikationen dynamische, interaktive Abbildungen automatisch generieren?
  • Wie lassen sich Forschungskomponenten (Daten, Quellcode, Abbildungen etc.) aus der selben oder unterschiedlichen Publikationen einfacher vergleichen?
  • Wie kann man mit Hilfe der vorhandenen Forschungskomponenten (Daten, Quellcode, Abbildungen etc.) die Suche nach wiss. Publikationen erweitern oder verbessern?
  • Wie lassen sich Metadaten (z.B. räumliche/zeitliche Daten) automatisiert aus wiss. Publikationen extrahieren?
  • Wie kann man Anreize für Autoren schaffen, damit sie reproduzierbare Forschung veröffentlichen?
  • Wir sind natürlich auch für neue Ideen offen. 

Die Herangehensweise ist zunächst offen. Abhängig vom genauen Thema kann man den Fokus auf technische oder nutzerorientierte Aspekte legen. Die Implementierung kann in der Regel auf unsere bereits bestehende Infrastruktur aufbauen. Die Arbeiten können auf Englisch oder Deutsch verfasst werden.

Contact: Markus Konkol, Daniel Nüst

SITCOMUtilising gamification approaches to derive crowd pattern / crowd context from aerial images of major events

Crowd context is an information that goes beyond crowd / people density information. During major events (like music festivals or football games) a high crowd density does not necessarily indicate high risk for dangerous situations (e.g. mass panic). In contrary, a high people density might result from queues in front of refreshment stand, from a group of friends talking or dancing as well as other – more or less – harmless situations.

The major goal of this thesis is to develop geo-game to derive crowd context information (or different crowd patterns) from aerial images of major events. Test data (from Wacken, Rock am Ring and a football match of Borussia Mönchengladbach) is available and can be used for testing and development. The focus of this work is on the design of suitable crowdsourcing strategies within the game to keep the users motivated and to generate high-quality geo-information.

Contact: Florian Hillen

SITCOMGeovisualization adaptations to support refugees in their resettlement process

Forced migrants (e.g. internally displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers) continuing arriving in cities all around the world. Forced migration is not a one-time phenomenon but a common and recurrent phenomenon in history. The recent European and African immigration crises are examples of this. As cities continue growing also does the information that is produced. The complexity of this information and the way of communicating it can present many challenges to newcomers, particularly, to those arriving in conditions of vulnerability as forced migrants (e.g. refugees and asylum seekers). This complexity can be addressed through different ways of visualizing information and interacting with it.

 

The Bachelor/Master student will work on one of the following two possible lines of research:

 

  1. “Geovisualization of existent curated data to support refugees in their resettlement process.”

 

The Starthilfe platform has been created for a group of civil volunteers with information relevant to forced migrants about several topics (mobility, education, jobs, health, among others). This information is currently mainly text-based, and it is just accessible through the web platform, meaning it can just be accessed while being online.

The text-based data has geospatial descriptions however it has not being geolocated and then geo-visualized. Some of the specifics tasks to address during this bachelor/master thesis are:

 

  • Retrieval of data from the Starthilfe website.

  • Creation of spatial datasets based on the retrieved data.

  • Geo-visualizing data and classifying it using the categories defined on the Starthilfe website (creation of layers, easy or common icons).

  • Test the geo-visualization adaptation with refugees and asylum seekers

 

      2. “Designing user interfaces for geospatial information visualization for forced migrants.”

 

The aim of this bachelor/master is to explore interaction options and visualization presentation of augmented geospatial information for refugees and asylum seekers. The thesis will consider the particular needs of the forced migrants arriving in Muenster and explore the following aspects:

 

  1. User interface (UI) design aspects (e.g. general layouts, menus interaction, the location of objects for a faster, more user-friendly and supported access to and interaction with information).

  2. Combined of UI with geovisualization aspects (e.g. representation of augmented layers in augmented reality (AR) camera view -geometries, color, scales-, map view location in the combined screen views).

 

Some of the peculiar characteristics of forced migrants arriving in the city are their low proficiency in German or English language, interest for familiarizing fast with the new city, and the occasional presence of low levels of literacy, among others. Tasks to address within this master thesis include:

 

  • Find open data sets relevant for forced migrants to visualize using a combined AR+Map view

  • Search for UI and augmented  geovisualization strategies to promote spatial familiarization for forced migrants in the city while addressing some of the previously mentioned characteristics

  • Test the strategies and the geo-visualizations with refugees and asylum seekers participants.

Contact: Ana Bustamante Duarte

SITCOMHow To Use Computer Devices and Location Based Services while Moving

Sports people often accompany their activities with tracking, navigation, communication or entertainment. Runners use MP3 players, watches, and smartphones, which require interaction for using an application or changing the current music track. Interaction while being in motion includes the physical movement for the activity and for requesting and receiving a service. Interaction further relies on the input and output required for using service. For example, an interaction while running could consist of pointing the hand to the device, performing a swipe gesture on the touch screen and reading the requested information from the display. However, interaction can be challenging due to the user being deeply involved in the sports and his or her movement in particular. Apparently, interaction can interfere and lead to consequences such as the user having to slow down or stop to be able to interact. Minimizing such interferences is the overall theme of this project allowing future applications for optimizing unobtrusiveness and naturalness.

Various options for theses contributing to this theme exist.

  • The research area is the understanding of computer use in sports. From this view, a conceptual work dealing with Understanding Interference of Interactions with Running Movement contributes to the existing body of knowledge about technology for sports. A thesis can aim to provide a formal description of interferences between interactions and running movement.
     
  • A different approach can develop and evaluate applications for the use while being in motion. A navigation App can provide Instructions for Running in the Unknown; a Context-Note App App may be able to sense, store, and represent context cues to help to remember thoughts one had during running. A thesis can study the users’ behavior to reveal how a novel application can be useful and how it interferes with the sports activity.
     
  • Another approach can elicitate and evaluate interaction concepts for the use while being in motion. For example, Novel Interaction Techniques for the Runner's devices can be defined by users. This approach allows for identifying appropriate behaviors that interaction techniques can exploit. A thesis can provide a different view on interaction in motion and potentially maximizes naturalness while minimizing interference.
     
  • Interaction techniques can be elicitated or derived from practice and theory. The resulting concepts call for the implementation and evaluation of interaction techniques for the use while being in motion. For example, Body Area-Based Touch Input may be evaluated. Another example could focus on implementing Gesture Control for the Runner's devices. Gestures may involve the head, hands, or any combination of body parts. A thesis can implement clever interaction techniques and conduct user studies to evaluate their influences.

You will propose your project based on your own idea and optionally refer to one of the examples above. A thesis should also contribute to a follow-up publication.

1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.

 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMGeoCollages

Für traditionelle Karten existiert das Schichtenmodell (Layer), das den Nutzern von GIS, WebGIS und anderen kartenbasierten Diensten viele Funktionen an die Hand gibt. Damit ist es beispielsweise möglich selektiv nur bestimmte Aspekte zu visualisieren, unterschiedliche Versionen der selben Geo-Daten vorzuhalten und verschieden Szenarien zu vergleichen.  Terrestrische Bildinformation wie Panoramabilder oder 360 Grad Videos sind eine alternative Möglichkeiten zu Karten um die Welt darzustellen, die für Nicht-Experten möglicherweise einfacher zu verstehen ist als Karten.  Allerdings gibt es für Photos oder Videos von räumlichen Featuren kein klar definiertes Konzept ähnlich den Layern bei Karten, dass eine vergleichbare Menge von Funktionen unterstützen würden.  Ziel dieses Projektes ist es daher ein solches Konzept von “GeoCollagen” zu entwickeln, zu implementieren und zu evaluieren.  Dabei kann das Thema von verschiedenen Richtungen angegangen werden und das Bearbeiten unterschiedlicher Forschungsfragen ist möglich:

 

  • Datenmodelle und grundlegende Operation für GeoCollagen
  • Benutzerschnittstellen für das Erstellen von GeoCollagen
  • Interaktionsmechanismen und Benutzerschnittstellen für die Exploration von GeoCollagen
  • Entwicklung und Evaluierung einer prototypischen Anwendung von GeoCollagen für die Stadtplanung

 

Die grundlegende Infrastruktur für die Darstellung, das Speichern und Verwalten von Videos, Photos und Overlays existiert bereits, so dass Arbeiten an diesem Thema nicht von Null starten würden.  Dieser Themenbereich bietet die Option für mehrere Personen parallel an unterschiedlichen aber komplementären Teilthemen zu arbeiten.

Contact: Christian Kray

SILInferring Spatial Knowledge

Studies in psychology and spatial technologies traditionally assume that people (participants, users) do or do not have knowledge of particular parts of space (e.g. buildings or cities). But in our everyday life we don't really need exact spatial knowledge in order to make correct spatial choices. We turn into streets we haven't visited before because we infer where they might lead us. This process is also known as spatial reasoning but has rarely been studied in the applied navigational setting.

In this work, you will explore what we know about what people don't know (!). Few different ways of completing this thesis are possible, such as desiging a research tool for studying real-time inference of spatial knowledge, or user studies documenting such process.

 

Some reading (not necessary to have an informal chat with me):

Tversky, “Spatial cognition: Embodied and situated,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition, M. Aydede and P. Robbins, Eds. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 201–216. (important is the 'situated' part)

Tversky, “Cognitive maps, cognitive collages, and spatial mental models,” in Spatial Information Theory A Theoretical Basis for GIS: European Conference, COSIT’93 Marciana Marina, Elba Island, Italy September 19--22, 1993 Proceedings, A. U. Frank and I. Campari, Eds. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1993, pp. 14–24.

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMInteractive Design Space of Positioning Systems

Positioning systems are used to obtain positioning information such as location, orientation, speed, etc of a person. Thus, they provide an essential service for Location Based Systems (LBS). Over the years, different types of positioning systems have been built, with different capabilities. We analyzed these existing positioning systems and created a design space as a systematic approach for representing positioning systems in general.

 

This thesis will develop and evaluate an application to represent this design space. This application will,

 

  • Let users to input information about the positioning systems they develop (Technology, Measurements used, Accuracy, etc.)
  • Let users to input metadata about the positioning systems they develop (year, authors, paper title, link to source code, etc.)
  • Generate summaries/ valuable information from existing data (eg. what are the positioning systems with accuracy > 1m?, percentage of systems that use WiFi, etc.)
  • Visualize the design space
  • etc.

 

Contact: Champika Manel Epa Ranasinghe


Master

SITCOMAdaptive visualisation of directions

Various sensors are available to determine where a person is located (GPS, GSM, WiFi, Beacons etc.) but in practice it is rarely the case that information about the user's location is perfectly precise, accurate and recent.  Various interfere with location sensing, for example, reflections might cause problems for GPS and the presence of many people might cause issues for WiFi-based positioning.  When the location (and orientation) of a person is subject to these problems, then it becomes difficult for a system to provide good navigation support, i.e. to give directions that a user can easily follow

The goal of this MSc thesis is thus to design and evaluate different visualisation strategies for giving directions depending on the quality of the location information available.  Based on an existing classification of typical problems and errors, this thesis will identify existing means to visualise directions, analyse their dependency on the quality of location information and develop new visualisation strategies.  In order to evaluate these strategies, they need to be tested with actual users.

Contact: Christian Kray

ifgicopterUAV / UAS (Drohnen) Remote Sensing/GIS: Vegetationsspezifische Geodatenanalyse/Workflows

Thema: Im Rahmen der gemeinsamen IFGIcopter und ILÖK UAV Initiative werden  kontinuierlich vegetationsspezifische Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren (Drohnen) aufgenommen und ausgewertet. Besondere Schwerpunkte sind die Erfassung und Analyse von Vegetationsmustern, Vitalitätsparametern und inversiver Arten mittels multispektraler UAS Daten. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Jan Lehmann

Contact: Torsten Prinz

External“Feature Info” – Visualizing GIS Background Information

External Thesis in co-operation with con terra. A PDF file with all information can be downloaded here.
 
Usability is an important aspect of modern software quality. In recent years, the users’ expectations of user interfaces raised significantly. Within the last 2 decades, a large body of research thus focused on optimizing the usability of desktop and mobile applications, e.g., [1]. However, despite the general popularity of this topic, the usability of GIS software appears to have gained less interest—some examples are [2, 3].
 
As con terra is a leading provider for integrated Geo IT solutions on an international level, it seeks to optimize the quality of its products and solutions with a high degree of usability. Usually, GIS software products are complex systems, comprising many intertwining components. Thus, optimizing the usability of such complex systems is usually only manageable by focusing on each component individually. One particular component, which is used in basically every GIS software, is the “feature info”—a component, that provides additional background information to the contents visualized on a map. Figure 1 shows an example of a typical feature info.
 
Though feature infos are important components of practically every GIS software, the concept has not significantly changed within the last years. Yet, the characteristics of conventional feature infos may not suit, e.g., the requirements of mobile applications, which have gained a significant importance and presence in our everyday lives nowadays. One issue, for instance, may be the very limited screen real estate available on such small devices.
 
Moreover, in some application scenarios, the background information shown in a feature info may be significantly more complex than in the example shown above. For example, it may be necessary to provide data with a specific temporal extent, such as climate measurements. This thesis thus seeks to find novel approaches to visualize additional background information to users of GIS software. For example, the thesis could analyze the performance of three options to position the additional information, i.e., “in place attached”, “in place detached”, or “isolated” (e.g., showing information in a separate browser window or on another device).
 
 
Contact
Dr. Morin Ostkamp 
con terra GmbH 
Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24 
48155 Münster 48149 Münster
+49 89 207 005 2200 
m.ostkamp@conterra.de 
 
Prof. Dr. Christian Kray
Institute for Geoinformatics
Heisenbergstraße 2
+49 251 83 33073
c.kray@uni-muenster.de
 
Literature
[1] Jakob Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Kaufmann, 1993
[2] Clare Davies and David Medyckyj-Scott. Gis usability: recommendations based on the user’s view. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 8(2):175–189, 1994.
[3] Max J Egenhofer and James R Richards. Exploratory access to geographic data based on the map-overlay metaphor. Journal of Visual Languages & Computing, 4(2):105–125, 1993.

 

Contact: Morin Ostkamp

ifgicopterCrowd Managment, Geodaten Fusion und Dronen-Technologie: Möglichkeiten und Perspektiven

Thema: Im Rahmen von aktuellen IFGIcopter-Aktivitäten bietet das Spannungsfeld Drohnen/UAV und Geodatenfusion' interessante Schnittstellen hinsichtlich geoinformatischer Datenanalyse und Werkzeugentwicklung. Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren können z.B. unterschiedlichste zeitabhängige Momentaufnahmen von 'Geo-Objektverlagerungen' erfassen und mittels Fusion mit Sekundärdaten zu Modellen einer dynamischen Entwicklung führen. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Florian Hillen

Contact: Torsten Prinz

SILExploring orientation information in human wayfinding instruction (+ External Semester)

Maps are the fundamental source of providing configurational knowledge, while sketch maps reduce the complexity of map information and maintain a cognitively sufficient resource of spatial knowledge for wayfinding. In this study, sketch maps are cooperated with landmarks to achieve the goal of facilitating wayfinding and acquisition of spatial knowledge.

Tasks in this study include, but not limited:

1. Drawing from literature and previous research, an ideal level of details/complexity of sketch maps shall be derived;

2. Choosing landmarks at both local and global scales that could be integrated in the derived sketch maps;

3. Evaluating the effectiveness of integrated sketch maps.

This master thesis topic is intended to be combined with an external semester at the University of Albany (Prof. Rui Li).

 

Contact: Angela Schwering

STMLOne-Click-Reproduce

Researchers face an increasing need to share the input data, data created, and analysis steps along with published papers, in order to allow readers to reproduce their analysis. This MSc thesis will explain to journals how they can enable this, with focus on the R environment (http://www.r-project.org/).

Reproducibility is an important aspect of geoscientific research, because the credibility of science is at stake when research is not reproducible.  A mature and growing community relies on the R software environment for carrying out geoscientific research, and numerous R extension packages have been published for geoscientific analysis. Geoscientific data often have complex structures (variety in reference systems for space and time, high dimensionality, complex phenomena need be represented by appropriate data structures), and concensus on data file formats is lacking. R Data files can represent data of arbitrary complexity in a direct-to-use form.  To reproduce the work presented in scientific publications, the open source  R environment only requires R Data files and R analysis scripts. The One-Click-Reproduce button makes reproducing research simple.

Most papers describe analysis procedures but do not allow readers to reproduce the results (numbers, tables, figures) presented exactly the way the researchers did this. Data repositories such as PANGAEA encourage users to publish data in simple form (ascii, table), which makes it time-consuming to import and analyse --
analysis scripts or software are usually not posted.  By publishing data and procedures in a simple-to-reproduce form alongside the  paper, readers are more motivated to carry out reproduction, and are more inclined to adopt a similar approach and/or cite the paper. Besides transparency, increasing citation is an
incentive for researchers to provide reproducibility.
 
The One-Click-Reproduce application enables readers of the paper to reproduce the analysis done in the paper by a single mouse click, and see the results, tables and figures being generated. In addition, readers get access to the R Data file and R script needed for the reproduction. Initial output as generated by the authors documents the software versions used, permitting differences arising as the underlying software is updated to be highlighted. A solution that requires no software installation from the reader runs the reproduction on the server side or in a cloud, and returns an html document. Readers that have R installed can opt for reproducing on their own computer, making it easier to study and modify the
analysis and data, and checking the robustness of the results. The application contains a link to a document explaining how all this works. Author instructions explain researchers how to write readable scripts that work on different operating systems.
 
At the right hand side of the paper web site, a box is added with a button called "Click-To-Reproduce", which visually hints at the R logo (http://www.r-project.org/Rlogo.jpg). Clicking this button gives access to the options: "One-Click-Reproduce" reproduces the analysis in the cloud and returns an html page (see
e.g. http://rpubs.com/edzer/ for examples), "Reproduce locally" gives access to the R Data file and R script that allow reproduction on a local computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, other). For those unfamiliar with R, a link is added to a document explaining how remote and local reproduction work. A link for authors explains how R Data
files and R Scripts are created cleanly.
 
 
 
 

Contact: Edzer Pebesma

SITCOMDepth layers for realistic overlays in videos

The sitcom lab has developed and launched the second prototype of its Immersive Video Environment (IVE). The new, light-weight architecture [1] allows for extending the system in a flexible way. Thus, previous bachelor and master theses were able to provide valuable and palpable results in research areas such as voice control or gesture recognition. One feature that is very characteristic for sitcom's IVE are virtual overlays. Such overlays allow any kind of content to be placed on top of existing video material. This way, any kind of system (e.g., an indoor navigation system) can be designed, prototyped, and evaluated in the lab at various development stages (e.g., early mock-ups based on PowerPoint slides or actual prototypes).

Currently, overlays can be placed on top of the video footage in a three dimensional space. This allows for visually aligning the overlays with the filmed environment, e.g., walls or sign posts, in order to create a quite convincing visual experience. In some situations, however, these superimposed overlays may disturb the immersive experience, i.e., when objects that should appear in front of the overlay are actually covered by it. The aim of this bachelor/master thesis is thus to develop and evaluate different ways of foreground/background extraction in the IVE video material (cf., e.g. [2]) that allows for a more realistic placement of overlays. 

 

[1] Ostkamp, M., Kray, C. Supporting Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation of Public Display Systems. Proc. EICS ’14, ACM (2014).

[2] Wang et al., TofCut: Towards Robust Real-time Foreground Extraction Using a Time-of-Flight Camera, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/chazhang/publications/3dpvt10_chazhang.pdf

Contact: Morin Ostkamp

SITCOMInteraction with research papers in Geoinformatics

Currently, the outcomes of research in Geoinformatics are usually reported in papers that are published in journals or conferences. These papers are inherently static, i.e. they only afford reading.  In particular, it is not possible to question the assumptions underlying the results (e.g. the thresholds or constraints used in a simulation study).  However, the research often is the result of applying well-defined procedures (or programs) to a particular dataset. In principle, it would be easy to change the value of threshold variables or constants in such a program to see what the result of this change would be.  If this was realised, new opportunities for interaction with research 'papers' would open up.

This thesis will investigate these new opportunities.  The topic could be approached from different directions, e.g. identifying and prototyping functionality that reasearchers would want, developing a model and system to enable novel interactions, or focussing on a specific paper to explore what would be possible.

Contact: Christian Kray

SITCOMBenutzerschnittschnittstellen für Raumzeitliche Suche

Zunehmend spielen bei der Suche nach Informationen Raum und Zeit eine wichtige Rolle.  Aktuelle Nutzerschnittstellen unterstützen dies jedoch oft nur per Schlüsselwort anfrage ("Finde ein Restaurant in meiner Nähe", "Finde ein Hotel in Paris"). Es sind jedoch deutlich mächtigere Schnittstellen denkbar, wo räumliche und zeitliche Kriterien intuitiver und feingranularer spezifiziert werden können. Zum Beispiel könnte der Suchbereich auf einer Karte markiert werden oder mittels einer Zeitleiste festgelegt werden, aus welchem Zeitintervall Ergebnisse gewünscht sind.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, Anforderungen an solche Nutzerschnittstellen zu ermitteln, Ideen zur Realisierung zu erarbeiten und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung die Eigenschaften der entwickelten Ideen zu evaluieren.

Ein Beispiel für eine solche Nutzerschnittstelle findet sich hier.

Contact: Christian Kray

SITCOMOpening Reproducible Research (o2r)

Publishing reproducible research is a key topic in science. In our understanding, research results are reproducible if researchers other than the author are able to rerun the analysis and achieve the same results. In this context, we focus on computational analysis (e.g. R) in the geosciences. However, reproducible research is rarely the case. Our main goal is to assist scientists in publishing reproducible research. On top of that, we want to reveal knowledge hidden in traditional publications, i.e. published as PDF files.

There are several topics in this field:

  • How can we assist authors in publishing reproducible research?
  • How can we (semi-)automatically compute dynamic and interactive figures out of static figures?
  • How can we facilitate readers to compare research components (datasets, code, figures) within/between scientific papers?
  • How can we extend/improve current search capabilities if research is reproducible and if all research components are available and accessible?
  • How can we automatically extract spatiotemporal data out of scientific papers?
  • How can we create incentives for authors to publish reproducible research
  • Feel free to bring in your own ideas.

The approach is left open. It depends on the specific topic can focus on technical or user-related aspects. The implementation can build on top of our existing infrastructure. The thesis has to be written in English language.

Contact: Markus Konkol

STML100 Euro Reproducible Research Box

Kleinstcomputer wie der Raspberry Pi haben im Bereich der Bastler und Bildung eine enorme Verbreitung gefunden. Dank der konstengünstigen Produktion von Platinen hat sich ein Ökosystem verschiedener Anbieter (zum Beispiel Odroid) auf Basis unterschiedlicher ARM-basierten Prozessoren mit mehr oder weniger Leistung oder Steckanschlüssen entwickelt (zum Beispiel eMMC Massenspeicheranschluss).

Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit soll der Student auf Basis eines solchen Systems einen Prototypen entwickeln, der in der Lage ist, eine reproduzierbare wissenschaftliche Analyse durchzuführen und das Ergbnis mit der Ursprünglichen Analyse zu vergleichen. Eine solche reproduzierbare Publikation ist mitsamt Daten und Analyseskripten in R in Form eines Docker Containers vorhanden. Da Docker aber die ARM-Architektur offiziell nicht unterstützt müssen die verschiedenen Community-Projekte gesichtet werden um eine Basis für das reproduzieren einer wissenschaftlichen Analyse zu schaffen. Auch die Docker Images für R müssen für ARM-Architekturen erstellt werden.

Wie kann so ein abgeschlossener Kasten für geowissenschaftliche Analysen, der in 30 Jahren nur an einen Bildschirm und Stromanschluss angeschlossen werden kann, funktionieren?

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

Contact: Daniel Nüst

GeoSimModelling land use change in Brazil

The use of biomass for energy (bioenergy) is stimulated in many countries, with the aim to promote environmental sustainability, socio-economic development, and energy security. Yet, without proper land use planning for the biomass feedstocks, increased land degradation and deforestation, loss of carbon sinks and biodiversity, job losses and displacement of people can occur, potentially leading to overall negative environmental and socio-economic impacts.

The impacts of a particular land use planning policy can be assessed with a land use change model. In this project, we will use the GLOBIOM-Brasil model, a global recursive dynamic partial equilibrium model that includes the main sectors competing for land (agriculture, forestry and bioenergy). The goal is to capture the land use change effects of the expansion of bioenergy production in Brazil. We will address two main scientific questions:

  1. What could be the land use effects of increased bioethanol production from sugarcane in Brazil?
  2. What could be the land use effects of increased biodiesel production from soy in Brazil?

However, the GLOBIOM-Brasil model has room for improvement, such as:

  • Creation of an adequate representation of the initial (current) land use, by combining information from different sources (imagery, census data);
  • Abstraction of the sugar cane and soy policies currently in place in Brazil to turn them into model rules;
  • Implementation of a routine to quantify the uncertainty in future projections; and
  • Implementation of a method to keep track of indirect land use changes (cascading effects of land use change, e.g., crops replace pasture with the effect of pasture causing deforestation elsewhere).

The master thesis topic will focus on one or more of these (or other) improvements and on the scenario runs to answer the research questions. The research is carried out in cooperation with the Brazilian Space Agency (INPE), optionally as an external semester. The master student will work together with a PhD student from INPE, either at location in Brazil or from Germany.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SILQuerying, Analysing, and Visualising Semantically-rich 3D Models of Subsurface Utilities

Subsurface utility construction work often involves repositioning of, and working between, existing buried networks (cables, water pipes, and so on). While the amount of utilities in modern cities grows, excavation work becomes more prone to incidents.

To prevent such incidents, excavation workers request existing 2D utility maps and dig test trenches to validate their accuracy and completeness. However, information about subsurface utilities is typically only available in abstract (sometimes even out-dated) 2D schematic drawings, which often miss crucial 3D information about the reality of subsurface infrastructure.

We are currently working on this topic in collaboration with experts in the Construction Management and Engineering department, University of Twente. In this project you will:

  • develop tools and methods from artificial intelligence for capturing and formalising real expert knowledge about subsurface utilities
  • develop software for querying, analysing, and visualising semantically-rich 3D models of subsurface utilities - your research will take us beyond simple "drawings" of utilities, into real interactive 3D models of subsurface utilities e.g. to automatically identify regions of potential risk
  • develop case studies to evaluate your software systems based on real-world subsurface utility data


Through this application-based research project you will develop skills and experience in methods from artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area). Some basic programming experience in an object-oriented programming language is recommended e.g. Java, C++, Python, etc.
 

Contact: Carl Peter Leslie Schultz

SILEmbodied 3d Isovist as a Predictor of Spatial Experience

Isovist analysis is used to predict how people behave in and 'feel about' the geometry of space. One of the best-documented examples of such relation is provided by Wiener et al. (2007). In this work, the authors controlled the shape of a Virtual Reality environment and measured how people experience individual spaces, depending on its underlying isovist properties.

Recently, 3d isovist analysis became increasingly popular in contexts where its traditional 2d counterpart suffers major limitations. However, it is not clear if the influence of isovists on human experience can be directly extrapolated from the 2d to the 3d analysis. In this thesis, the student will replicate the VR experiment of Wiener and colleagues, taking into account the vertical component of human experience and using a 3-dimensional isovist in the analysis of final results.

 

Wiener, J. M., Franz, G., Rossmanith, N., Reichelt, A., Mallot, H. A., & Bülthoff, H. H. (2007). Isovist analysis captures properties of space relevant for locomotion and experience. Perception, 36(7), 1066 – 1083. http://doi.org/10.1068/p5587

 

Krukar, J., Schultz, C., Bhatt, M., (forthcoming). Towards Embodied 3d Isovists: Incorporating cognitively-motivated semantics of `space’ and the architectural environment in 3D visibility analysis

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SILDeveloping a Collaborative GeoGame

OriGami is a GeoGame fostering spatial literacy: The player has to solve several wayfinding tasks to various locations and answer questions at these locations. At the current state, it is a single-player game.

As part of this thesis, you would have to extend the concept of OriGami for a multi-player version, where players can compete or work together to solve tasks. After the conceptual development, you should implement a user management + implement the collaborative games and evaluate your game.

More information on OriGami can be found on our project website http://enable-project.eu/origami/.

Requirements:

You should have some experience in android programming and interest in location-based games.

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek, Angela Schwering

SILEnhancing Artificial Intelligence with Kinetic Data Structures: Applications in Medicine and GIS

Powerful methods in an area called "kinetic data structures" provide a rapid way of solving a wide range of spatial reasoning problems. For example, as a user manipulates some shapes (polygons, points) in an "intelligent" sketch, the sketch automatically updates itself to maintain certain spatial constraints (e.g. one polygon remains "inside" another polygon).

In medicine these shapes could represent different types of cells that have been automatically recognised from images of a tissue section, and the task could be to "bring the image to life" by allowing users to interact with the cells (move, resize), and to reason about the image to determine whether the cells are cancerous (histopathology). In geographic information systems these shapes could represent streets, buildings, and landmarks recognised from satellite images or directly from a hand-drawn sketch.

In this thesis project you will be:

  • learning about kinetic data structures
  • investigating how these can be used to support artificial intelligence, particularly "common sense" spatial reasoning

 
This project has a strong application focus: medicine (histopathology) and GIS. You will use this enhanced technology for a range of exciting tasks, such as:

  • providing new ways of interacting with complex spatial data using "intelligent" diagrams
  • improving computer-based image recognition by automatically correcting errors based on knowledge about objects in the domain

Through this research project you will develop skills and experience in the application of methods in artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area).
 

Contact: Carl Schultz

SIIEvaluating WPS Interoperability

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has published the Web Processing Ser-vices (WPS) specification, which defines a standard interface to geoprocessing re-sources.
A typical WPS use case is to provide functional views on very large data sets such as filter algorithms or aggregations. I.e. in those cases it is not necessary to download large data volumes and to do the processing locally but to invoke the processing capabilities of the data store remotely and to download just the re-sults, which are typically of smaller size.
Aim is to achieve plug-and-play interoperability between Client software and re-mote processing engines, as to ease access to arbitrary geocomputing capabili-ties.
The standard is intentionally kept generic to cover a variety of geoprocessing functionality ranging from simple geometric operators, such as buffering, to com-plex environmental models. But this generic nature also imposes challenges to achieving full interoperability between client and server software implementing the WPS standard.
A comprehensive study that evaluates the interoperabilty between different WPS software components is currently missing and is the core aim of this thesis. Therefore, a survey of related literature and projects on WPS should be done, in-cluding a review of the software available. Afterwards, concepts and methods for testing the pragmatic interoperability between geoprocessing web services and clients need to be developed. In a third step, the test environment has to be set up and tests have to be executed. Finally, the test results have to be evaluated.
The student will cooperate with 52°North staff, who is also active in the WPS standardization activities at OGC. Results of the thesis will be presented at an in-ternational conference and should help to improve the interoperability of geopro-cessing services. Interested students should have at least basic knowledge of Web technologies and OGC standards (SII lecture) as well as basic knowledge about testing methods (e.g. as taught in software engineering lectures).
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Albert Remke (a.remke@52north.org) Dr. Christoph Stasch (c.stasch@52north.org)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Albert Remke

STMLDas könnte Sie auch interessieren

Im Arbeitsfeld der reproduzierbaren Forschung werden wissenschaftliche Artikel gemeinsam mit Daten und Programmcode in Form von Kompendien organisiert. Ziel solcher Kompendien ist es, die Daten oder die Analysen austauschbar zu gestalten, sowie den Zugang zu Daten und Software langfristig zu sicherzustellen. Für ein gutes Benutzererlebnis sollte der Austausch von Daten und Analysen zwischen Kompendien einfach und stabil sein, die einen Daten also kompatibel mit dem anderen Code.

Suchdatenbanken, wie zum Beispiel Elasticsearch, spielen beim Auffinden von Dokumenten im Web eine zentrale Rolle. Eine typische Funktion einer Suche ist das Vorschlagen ähnlicher Dokumente auf Basis hochperformanter invertierter Indizes.

Einen ersten Schritt hin zur Kompabilitätanalyse stellen direkte und mittelbare Metadaten dar die in Suchdatenbanken gesammelt werden. Diese Metadaten werden heute meist vom Autor erstellt (abstract, keywords) und nicht umfassend. Auf der Basis von Kompendien können diese und weitere Informationen aus den Sekundärdateien (Daten, Quellcode) abgeleitet werden. Zum Beispiel könnten ähnliche genutzte Softwarekomponenten oder Datenausschnitte einen Hinweis darauf geben, dass zwei gegebene Kompendien so weit kompatibel sind, dass die Daten des einen mit der Analyse des anderen kombiniert werden können.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, die möglichen Quellen von Metadaten wissenschaftlicher Publikationen zu sichten und mit den Anforderungen des Anwendungsfalls zusammen zu führen. Es sollen neue Wege zur Erweiterung, Integration und Vergleich der Metadatensätze entworfen und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung evaluiert werden.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

 

Contact: Daniel Nüst

Deriving crowd patterns / crowd context from smartphone sensor data / trajectories

Crowd context is an information that goes beyond crowd / people density information. During major events (like music festivals or football games) a high crowd density does not necessarily indicate high risk for dangerous situations (e.g. mass panic). In contrary, a high people density might result from queues in front of refreshment stand, from a group of friends talking or dancing as well as other – more or less – harmless situations.

The major goal of this thesis is to develop new methods and algorithms to derive crowd context information (or different crowd patterns) from smartphone sensor data or trajectories. Therefore, experiments have to be conducted to identify the similarities in the data for different situations within the crowd (see above). Based on these findings, an automatic analysis methodology can be implemented. 

Contact: Florian Hillen

SITCOMUtilising gamification approaches to derive crowd pattern / crowd context from aerial images of major events

Crowd context is an information that goes beyond crowd / people density information. During major events (like music festivals or football games) a high crowd density does not necessarily indicate high risk for dangerous situations (e.g. mass panic). In contrary, a high people density might result from queues in front of refreshment stand, from a group of friends talking or dancing as well as other – more or less – harmless situations.

The major goal of this thesis is to develop geo-game to derive crowd context information (or different crowd patterns) from aerial images of major events. Test data (from Wacken, Rock am Ring and a football match of Borussia Mönchengladbach) is available and can be used for testing and development. The focus of this work is on the design of suitable crowdsourcing strategies within the game to keep the users motivated and to generate high-quality geo-information.

Contact: Florian Hillen

GeoSimAn agent based model of taking pictures

The benefits that humans gain from ecosystems, are called ecosystem services. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) divides ecosystem services into four categories: provisioning, such as the production of food; regulating, such as the control of floods; supporting, such as the cycling of nutrients; and cultural, such as recreational benefits. 
 
In order to value ecosystem services in a particular area, the different service components have to be quantified or at least qualified. This is especially challenging for cultural services. One phenomenon implying that a location is of cultural (aesthetic, spiritual, or recreational) importance to someone, is when a picture is taken. For existing public spaces these locations can be extracted from spatial data, but for new or (to be) altered public spaces they cannot.
 
The aim of this research is to develop an agent based model that predicts the locations where pictures are taken, under different conditions (e.g., weather, quiet/crowded, time of the day/year). Agent based modelling is a suitable modelling paradigm for this aim because it can include human behavior, interactions between humans, and interactions between humans and their environment. To my knowledge, a model of taking pictures does not exist yet. The model should be calibrated and validated with a dataset of picture locations for certain case study area, for example extracted from Flickr or Google Maps.
 

Contact: Judith Verstegen

Representing temporary and permanent features from LiDAR data

Laser scanning offers the possibility of recording space in its realistic, everyday messy nature - accounting for imperfect surfaces of sidewalks and walls, temporary objects, as well as the presence of other people. This offers novel possibilities for applications which work with (until now - static) representations of space, such as event planning and management. One of the methods used in such applications are Visibility Graphs - a model of space derived from visual properties of the space’s layout. To date, however, there is no direct link between dynamic, context-rich, up-to-date laser scans and those traditionally static representations of space.
 
In this thesis you will work on
a) building a 2-d, top-down layout of space based on laser scanning data that
b) allows for generating an isovist from any point in the scene.
The isovist-based model of space should differentiate between temporary and permanent features using the example of a festival gathering (e.g. shopping booths and fencing vs people and vehicles).
 
Laser scanning data is provided but you will be expected to learn how to manage and process the data under limited supervision. Extended supervision will be provided for the conceptual part of the isovist-based representation and visualisation of space (therefore no previous experience with isovists visibility graphs, or Space Syntax is required).
 
Jointly supervised by Jakub Krukar and Florian Hillen

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMGeovisualization adaptations to support refugees in their resettlement process

Forced migrants (e.g. internally displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers) continuing arriving in cities all around the world. Forced migration is not a one-time phenomenon but a common and recurrent phenomenon in history. The recent European and African immigration crises are examples of this. As cities continue growing also does the information that is produced. The complexity of this information and the way of communicating it can present many challenges to newcomers, particularly, to those arriving in conditions of vulnerability as forced migrants (e.g. refugees and asylum seekers). This complexity can be addressed through different ways of visualizing information and interacting with it.

 

The Bachelor/Master student will work on one of the following two possible lines of research:

 

  1. “Geovisualization of existent curated data to support refugees in their resettlement process.”

 

The Starthilfe platform has been created for a group of civil volunteers with information relevant to forced migrants about several topics (mobility, education, jobs, health, among others). This information is currently mainly text-based, and it is just accessible through the web platform, meaning it can just be accessed while being online.

The text-based data has geospatial descriptions however it has not being geolocated and then geo-visualized. Some of the specifics tasks to address during this bachelor/master thesis are:

 

  • Retrieval of data from the Starthilfe website.

  • Creation of spatial datasets based on the retrieved data.

  • Geo-visualizing data and classifying it using the categories defined on the Starthilfe website (creation of layers, easy or common icons).

  • Test the geo-visualization adaptation with refugees and asylum seekers

 

      2. “Designing user interfaces for geospatial information visualization for forced migrants.”

 

The aim of this bachelor/master is to explore interaction options and visualization presentation of augmented geospatial information for refugees and asylum seekers. The thesis will consider the particular needs of the forced migrants arriving in Muenster and explore the following aspects:

 

  1. User interface (UI) design aspects (e.g. general layouts, menus interaction, the location of objects for a faster, more user-friendly and supported access to and interaction with information).

  2. Combined of UI with geovisualization aspects (e.g. representation of augmented layers in augmented reality (AR) camera view -geometries, color, scales-, map view location in the combined screen views).

 

Some of the peculiar characteristics of forced migrants arriving in the city are their low proficiency in German or English language, interest for familiarizing fast with the new city, and the occasional presence of low levels of literacy, among others. Tasks to address within this master thesis include:

 

  • Find open data sets relevant for forced migrants to visualize using a combined AR+Map view

  • Search for UI and augmented  geovisualization strategies to promote spatial familiarization for forced migrants in the city while addressing some of the previously mentioned characteristics

  • Test the strategies and the geo-visualizations with refugees and asylum seekers participants.

Contact: Ana Bustamante Duarte

SITCOMHow To Use Computer Devices and Location Based Services while Moving

Sports people often accompany their activities with tracking, navigation, communication or entertainment. Runners use MP3 players, watches, and smartphones, which require interaction for using an application or changing the current music track. Interaction while being in motion includes the physical movement for the activity and for requesting and receiving a service. Interaction further relies on the input and output required for using service. For example, an interaction while running could consist of pointing the hand to the device, performing a swipe gesture on the touch screen and reading the requested information from the display. However, interaction can be challenging due to the user being deeply involved in the sports and his or her movement in particular. Apparently, interaction can interfere and lead to consequences such as the user having to slow down or stop to be able to interact. Minimizing such interferences is the overall theme of this project allowing future applications for optimizing unobtrusiveness and naturalness.

Various options for theses contributing to this theme exist.

  • The research area is the understanding of computer use in sports. From this view, a conceptual work dealing with Understanding Interference of Interactions with Running Movement contributes to the existing body of knowledge about technology for sports. A thesis can aim to provide a formal description of interferences between interactions and running movement.
     
  • A different approach can develop and evaluate applications for the use while being in motion. A navigation App can provide Instructions for Running in the Unknown; a Context-Note App App may be able to sense, store, and represent context cues to help to remember thoughts one had during running. A thesis can study the users’ behavior to reveal how a novel application can be useful and how it interferes with the sports activity.
     
  • Another approach can elicitate and evaluate interaction concepts for the use while being in motion. For example, Novel Interaction Techniques for the Runner's devices can be defined by users. This approach allows for identifying appropriate behaviors that interaction techniques can exploit. A thesis can provide a different view on interaction in motion and potentially maximizes naturalness while minimizing interference.
     
  • Interaction techniques can be elicitated or derived from practice and theory. The resulting concepts call for the implementation and evaluation of interaction techniques for the use while being in motion. For example, Body Area-Based Touch Input may be evaluated. Another example could focus on implementing Gesture Control for the Runner's devices. Gestures may involve the head, hands, or any combination of body parts. A thesis can implement clever interaction techniques and conduct user studies to evaluate their influences.

You will propose your project based on your own idea and optionally refer to one of the examples above. A thesis should also contribute to a follow-up publication.

1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.

 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMGeoCollages

For traditional maps, the concept of layers enables many feature for the users of GIS, WebGIS and other map-based systems. For example, it allows for selectively visualising certain aspects, for managing different versions of the same geo-data and for comparing different scenarios. Terrestrial pictorial information (e.g. panoramic or 360 degree photographs or videos) is an alternative way to maps that facilitates depicting the world that is arguably more accessible to lay people.  For videos or photographs of spatial features there is however no well-defined concept of layers that would facilitate all the features that map layers support. This aim of this thesis project is thus to explore, develop and evaluate this concept (GeoCollages).  Different approaches and questions can be tackled in this area, including:

 

  • data models and basic operations for such GeoCollages
  • interfaces for the creation of GeoCollages
  • interactive and interaction mechanisms for exploring GeoCollages (single-user, multi-user)
  • developing and evaluating a prototypical application for urban planning based on GeoCollages

 

Basic infrastructure for displaying, storing and managing videos, photos and overlays already exists so that work would not have to start from scratch.  This topic also provides the opportunity for multiple people to work on complementary yet separate subtopics simultaneously.

 

Contact: Christian Kray

SILInferring Spatial Knowledge

Studies in psychology and spatial technologies traditionally assume that people (participants, users) do or do not have knowledge of particular parts of space (e.g. buildings or cities). But in our everyday life we don't really need exact spatial knowledge in order to make correct spatial choices. We turn into streets we haven't visited before because we infer where they might lead us. This process is also known as spatial reasoning but has rarely been studied in the applied navigational setting.

In this work, you will explore what we know about what people don't know (!). Few different ways of completing this thesis are possible, such as desiging a research tool for studying real-time inference of spatial knowledge, or user studies documenting such process.

 

Some reading (not necessary to have an informal chat with me):

Tversky, “Spatial cognition: Embodied and situated,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition, M. Aydede and P. Robbins, Eds. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 201–216. (important is the 'situated' part)

Tversky, “Cognitive maps, cognitive collages, and spatial mental models,” in Spatial Information Theory A Theoretical Basis for GIS: European Conference, COSIT’93 Marciana Marina, Elba Island, Italy September 19--22, 1993 Proceedings, A. U. Frank and I. Campari, Eds. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1993, pp. 14–24.

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMSimulating variations in the quality of location and orientation information

Variations of the quality of location and orientation information can greatly affect the mobile applications that rely on them. This affects user experience, e.g. when directions given by a mobile guide system are based on the measured location, which differs from their actual location in the real world. The objective of this thesis is to develop a system that could control the quality of location and orientation information in multiple dimensions to simulate quality variations in mobile applications (for example, a pedestrian navigation system). This enables conducting user studies to evaluate how the mobile application and its users behave in situations where the quality of location and orientation information vary. This thesis also includes running a user study to show the effectiveness of the system.

 

Contact: Champika Manel Epa Ranasinghe

GeoSimPredicting the effects of traffic speed reductions in Münster

Münster has the plan to reduce the maximum speed of traffic in several streets in town from 50 km/h to 30 km/h. It is claimed that this reduces emissions and is safer for the bikers. Car owners, on the other hand, are concerned about the effects of the maximum speed reductions on their travel times. Both sides of the debate lack quantitative support for their claims.

Geosimulation models can help to better understand and predict traffic from the local interactions and feedbacks between different road users, the spatial configuration of the city, and the spatio-temporal configuration of limited speed zones and traffic lights. The idea of this thesis is to construct an agent-based model of (part of) the Münster traffic system, and to calibrate this model with EnviroCar data (https://envirocar.org). Next, the model can be used to simulate the impacts of different future scenarios, such as the planned maximum speed reductions. The results of these scenarios are expected to support the abovementioned debate.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SILPointing to a place you cannot reach

Human spatial memory has been classified between (a) "survey knowledge" of spatial configuration (e.g. knowing where two places lie on the map of a city), and (b) "route knowledge" of specific paths (e.g. knowing how I can get from the library to my favourite pub). There are numerous established methods to measure (a) and (b), but they were rarely applied in situations where survey and route knowledge suggest contrasting directions. Such situations typically occur when there is a barrier between us and the destination we want to reach (e.g. I want to go to the zoo from Mensa, but I would need to go around Aasee instead of reaching it directly). If asked to point towards the destination, we would have to point through that barrier (e.g. the lake), but if asked to walk we would head in another direction (around the northern or southern side of the lake). Our early findings suggest that people's pointing might be biases in such situations in the northern or southern direction. This thesis will involve designing an in-the-wild experiment located in few areas of Münster in order to test this assumption. Knowledge of German is recommended, as the experiment will involve recruiting pedestrians in the city for a brief pointing exercise. 
 
Reading:
 

Montello, D. R. (1998). A new framework for understanding the acquisition of spatial knowledge in large-scale environments. In M. J. Egenhofer (Ed.), Spatial and Temporal Reasoning in Geographic Information Systems (pp. 143–154). New York: Oxford University Press.

 

Montello, D. R., Richardson, A. E., Hegarty, M., & Provenza, M. (1999). A comparison of methods for estimating directions in egocentric space. Perception, 28(8), 981–1000. http://doi.org/10.1068/p2940

 

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SILReliability of sketch maps under varied tasks

Sketch maps are drawings which represent human spatial memory of an area of interest. Sketch maps, however, are commonly distorted - even when the knowledge of a certain area is well established. There are two contrary models that describe the relation between human spatial memory and the drawn sketch map. Model (1) assumes that the relation between human memory and the map drawn is relatively stable - i.e., that the quality of the sketch map is directly linked to the quality of spatial knowledge. Model (2) assumes that the quality of a drawn map can differ depending on the task at hand. This would imply that the number and type of errors is different on two maps drawn subsequently if the task changes (even if the map represents a well-known area).
 
This thesis will involve designing an experiment in which participant draw two maps of the same area for two different tasks / reasons / motivations. You will then be required to analyse the type of errors (and the type of correct drawn information) on these sketch maps in order to verify whether model (1) or (2) better explains your data.
 
 
Reading:
 
Tversky, B. (1992). Distortions in cognitive maps. Geoforum, 23(2), 131–138.
 
Wang, J., & Schwering, A. (2015). Invariant spatial information in sketch maps — a study of survey sketch maps of urban areas. Journal of Spatial Information Science, 11(11), 31–52.
 
Tversky, B. (2009). Spatial cognition: Embodied and situated. In M. Aydede & P. Robbins (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition (pp. 201–216). New York: Cambridge University Press.      (section “Space of Navigation”)

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMA system to quantify and classify the quality of location information to support adaptive Location Based Services

This thesis will,

  1. identify the parameters (available from a smartphone's OS) that could be used to represent the quality of location information (such as the error, signal strength,.. some work is already available)

  2. use those parameters to attribute different aspects of location quality (eg. what parameters could be used to represent accuracy? what parameters used represent coverage, etc. - some part of this work has already being done)

  3. Present the level of quality to an LBS (you can use an LBS of your choice, even a third party application)

  4. change the UI/ functionality of the LBS  depending on the quality (for example, in the case of a navigation application, if the accuracy is very low, animate/ highlight nearby landmarks so that they are clearly visible to the user)

Contact: Champika Manel Epa Ranasinghe