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

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

SILGeoGame OriGami - Aufbau einer virtuellen Welt mit Unity und CityEngine

Informationen über das GeoGame OriGami: https://origami.ifgi.de/

Wir haben in OriGami ein Kartenlese-Spiel erstellt, mit dem wir dazu in der Lage sind, die Kompetenzen im Orientieren/ Navigieren mit Karte bei (Grundschul-) Kindern zu messen. Dieses Spiel haben wir an zwei verschiedenen Orten mit Grundschulkindern getestet und als Testinstrument validiert. Unsere Idee ist es nun, eine vergleichbare virtuelle Welt auf der Grundlage von Unity und ArcGIS CityEngine aufzubauen. Kinder sollen dann OriGami innerhalb der virtuellen Welt spielen und ihre Kartenlesekompetenzen unter Beweis stellen. Ziel ist es, ihr Abschneiden in der virtuellen Welt dem Abschneiden in der echten Welt gegenüberzustellen.

Contact: Janina Bistron

STMLopenEO processes in the Browser

openEO develops an open API to connect R, Python, and Javascript clients to big earth observation cloud back-ends in a simple and unified way. Back-ends process user-defined algorithms on remote sensing data sets within their cloud infrastructure. This thesis will evaluate and implement ways to run openEO user-defined algorithms in a Browser environment, e.g. through JavaScript, so that an algorithm can be fully executed on the client-side for an AOI selected by a user through a map. The required steps to achieve this are as follows:

  1. A map is shown in the browser and the user navigates to an AOI
  2. A user can select and load a cloud-native dataset for the AOI, e.g. stored as cloud-optimized GeoTiffs
  3. An algorithm can be specified through openEO processes and the processing runs in the browser. A set of openEO processes for a use case has to be implemented by the student.
  4. Finally, the data is visualized using a mapping/visualization library

This thesis should explore, implement, and evaluate one or multiple of these aspects. The scope of the thesis is designed to fit the requirements of a master thesis, but it can probably be split into multiple bachelor thesis, too. More information can be found in the openEO Browser Backend GitHub repository.

Contact

Contact: Matthias Mohr

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

SITCOMGeocoder 2.0

Geocoder übersetzen Koordinaten in Adressen bzw. Orte, die für Menschen verständlich sind, und umgekehrt.  Mittlerweile gibt es eine Reihe von Services, an die eine Koordinate oder eine Adresse übergeben werden kann und die dann die entsprechende "Übersetzung" zurückliefern. Dies ist zwar praktisch, hat aber zwei wesentliche Nachteile: die Funktion ist nur aufrufbar, wenn eine Neztwerkverbindung vorhanden ist und die Privatsphäre der Nutzer*innen wird nicht geschützt, da ihr Aufenthaltsort an den Service übergeben wird.

Ziel dieses Bachelorarbeitsthemas ist es daher, einen neuen Geocoder zu entwickeln, der diese beiden Nachteile ausgleicht. Eine Herangehensweise hier könnte es sein, Ausschnitte von OpenStreetMap (OSM) herunterzuladen und dann lokal mit diesen Daten ein Geocoding vorzunehmen.  Zum Schutz der Privatsphäre könnten verschiedene (parametrisierbare) Ansätze untersucht werden, um unterschiedliche Ausschnitte von OSM herunterzuladen, um den Aufenthaltsort der Nutzer*innen zu verschleiern.

Methodisch soll die Arbeit auf der Entwicklung eines Prototypen beruhen mit anschließender Evaluierung gemäß zuvor aus der Literatur abgeleiteten Kriterien. Gute Programmierkenntnisse sind für dieses Thema von Vorteil.  Als Rahmen für die Prototypenentwicklung kann die SIMPORT-App verwendet werden.

Contact: Christian Kray

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

ifgicopterRe-Design des Geodatenportals StudMap14

Das ZDM/IVV sucht ab sofort in Zusammenarbeit mit dem IFGI eine/n BSc-Kandidaten/in aus der Geoinformatikzwecks innovativen "Re-Designs" des Geodatenportals StudMap14 (http://gdione4all.uni-muenster.de/joomla/index.php/studmap14

Kenntnisse/Einarbeitung in die GeoServer-Umgebung und Interesse an modernen GDI-Lösungen sind Voraussetzungen für dieses BSc-Projekt (ggf. ist eine Finanzierung mit 5 SHK-Stunden für 6 Monate möglich).

Bei Interesse direkt mit Dr. Torsten Prinz in Kontakt treten!

Contact: Torsten Prinz

SILEntwicklung eines Statistikportals zur Visualisierung und Auswertung von Umweltdaten aus dem Citizen Science Kontext

Die openSenseMap ist eine Plattform für Umweltsensordaten von Messstationen jeglicher Art. Zur Zeit werden nur Rohdaten von senseBoxen gespeichert und die Daten können sich nur pro senseBox angezeigt werden lassen. Zudem gibt es die Möglichkeit sich die gesammelten Daten für einen Zeitpunkt interpoliert darstellen zu lassen.

Ziel der Arbeit ist es, für die openSenseMap ein Portal zu entwicklen, in dem der Benutzer die Möglichkeit hat mehrere senseBoxen und Sensoren mit statistischen Methoden zu vergleichen und externe Datenquellen, wie zB. vom DWD, einzubinden.

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILGeovisualisierung von offenen Umweltdaten im Web

Die openSenseMap bietet live Daten zu verschiedensten Umweltphänomenen, Jedoch ist es zur Zeit schwierig diese Daten erkunden. Ziel dieser Bachelor Arbeit wäre es neue Möglichkeiten zu schaffen, die Daten interaktiv darzustellen. Interessant wären zum Beispiel live Interpolationen über Feinstaubwerte oder die Temperaturentwicklung in Innenstädten im Hochsommer. Um diese Daten einem möglichst grossem Publikum zur Verfügung zu stellen, soll in dieser Bachelorarbeit untersucht werden, welche Möglichkeiten hier neuste Webtechnologien bieten. Verschiedene Visualisierungen sollen generiert werden und mit einer Nutzerstudie evaluiert werden.  

 

 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILQualitätssicherung von crowd-sourced Sensordaten

In der Arbeit soll untersucht werden, inwieweit Qualitätssicherung von crowd-sourced Sensordaten in einem Sensornetzwerk automatisierbar ist. Dies ist ein neues und hoch relevantes Forschungsfeld: große Datenmengen erlauben die Anwendung statistischer oder machine learning-Verfahren. Traditionelle Verfahren sind häufig nicht nutzbar, da die Daten in Echtzeit vorliegen müssen. Zudem stellen crowd-sourced Daten eine spezielle Herausforderungen dar, da nicht davon ausgegangen werden kann, dass alle Daten mit korrekten bzw. konsistenten Messverfahren erhoben wurden. Schließlich haben low-cost-Sensoren selbst Messfehler, die von professionellen Sensoren stark abweichen. oder Messstationen sind von Citizen Scientists schlecht montiert. Das Ziel ist, die Einflussfaktoren auf die Datenqualität und die Messgenauigkeit der Sensoren zu erforschen, Verfahren zur automatisierten Identifikation fehlerhafter Daten und möglicher Fehlerquellen zu entwickeln sowie automatisiert Entscheidungen über Möglichkeit zur Korrektur der Daten (bspw. über Nachkalibrierung der Sensoren) oder Ausschluss bestimmter Daten zu treffen.

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILMeasuring Data Quality of Air Quality Measurements in Citizen Science

Im Kontext Citizen Science lassen sich mittelfristig räumlich hochaufgelöste Sensornetzwerke aufbauen um gesellschaftlich relevante Fragestellungen zu untersuchen. Die openSenseMap ist eine öffentlich zugängliche Plattform für das Veröffentlichen, Teilen und Visualsieren von solchen Umweltmessdaten als Open Data. Um eine flächendeckende Auflösung zu erreichen, werden die verwendeten Messstationen durch Freiwillige zusammengebaut, programmiert und installiert. Luftqualitätsmessungen nehmen hierbei eine gesonderte Rolle ein, da der Zugang zu teils komplizierter Messtechnik durch modulare Open-Source Bausätze, wie denen der senseBox, stark vereinfacht und einer breiten Masse zugänglich gemacht werden kann. In den meisten Fällen sind Freiwillige bei einer solchen Kampagne nicht wissenschaftlich ausbildet. Dadurch kann bei dieser Methodevnicht garantiert werden dass Messwerte von unterschiedlichen Stationen im Netzwerk direkt vergleichbar sind. Eine Frage die im Rahmen dieser Ausschreibung ausarbeitet werden soll ist ob trotz öffentlicher Beteiligung im Rahmen einer Messkampange in den Bürgerwissenschaften verwertbare Informationen und representative Analysen gegeben werden können. Als Anwendungsfall soll die Aussagekraft und Datenqualität von Gasmessungen (Stickoxid und Ozon) in Berlin auf der openSenseMap untersucht werden. 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

GeoSimReasoning about projected land-use trajectories

Land use change models project where the land use might change in the future. Thereby, these models quantify the locations and amount of particular transitions or trajectories, e.g. forest to pasture, or grassland to pasture to cropland. However, in land use change debates, one typically talks about more qualitative concepts as deforestation, land abandonment and intensification. Maciel et al. (2018) have developed a 'spatio-temporal calculus' for this kind of qualitative reasoning about land-use trajectories on earth observation data.

The aim of this thesis is to explore to what extent this calculus could also be useful for interpreting land use change model projections. Outputs from a land use change model will be provided to you.

 

Reference:

Maciel, A.M., Câmara, G., Vinhas, L., Picoli, M.C.A., Begotti, R.A., de Assis, L.F.F.G. (2018). A spatiotemporal calculus for reasoning about land-use trajectories. IJGIS. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2018.1520235

Contact: Judith Verstegen

ExternalAkustische Signifier für Voice User Interfaces (VUI)

Usability ist ein wichtiger Aspekt für die Qualität moderner Software. In den letzten Jahren sind die Erwartungen der Anwender hinsichtlich einer guten Usability stark gestiegen. In den letzten 2 Dekaden haben daher zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Arbeiten untersucht, wie die Usability von Desktop- und Mobile-Anwendungen optimiert werden kann, siehe z.B. [1]. Trotz der großen Popularität dieses Themas wurde die Usability von Geoinformationssystemen (GIS) allerdings anscheinend weniger intensiv betrachtet. Einige Beispiele finden sich in [2–7]. Als führender Anbieter für integrierte Geo IT-Lösungen im internationalen Umfeld, optimiert con terra die Usability von Produkten und Lösungen kontinuierlich. In Zusammenarbeit mit Hochschulen und Universitäten konnten in diesem Kontext bereits spannende Abschlussarbeiten angeboten werden, siehe z.B. [8, 9].

Voice User Interfaces (VUI) haben durch die Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der Künstlichen Intelligenz (KI) bzw. des Machine Learning (ML) in den letzten Jahren stark an Bedeutung gewonnen. So sind beispielsweise Siri und Alexa zu alltäglichen Begleitern geworden, um per Sprache bequem Musik abzuspielen oder die Beleuchtung zu steuern. Doch auch für GIS haben VUI eine große Relevanz, etwa für die Ausführung verketteter Abfragen. Diese sind mittels eines konventionellen Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) meist eher schwierig durchzuführen, lassen sich mit Hilfe eines VUIs aber einfach umgangssprachlich formulieren, z.B. in Form dieser gesprochenen oder geschriebenen Frage: „Welche beliebten italienischen Restaurants in meiner Nähe haben bis 23 Uhr geöffnet?“ Einen weiteren großen Vorteil entfalten VUI bei der Erfassung von ortsbezogenen Daten im Feld, während der die Hände für andere Tätigkeiten gebraucht werden, z.B. der Bedienung von Messgeräten.

Doch VUIs stellen hinsichtlich der Usability auch einige Herausforderungen dar. So soll diese Abschlussarbeit analysieren, wie akustische Rückmeldungen (Signifier) gestaltet und genutzt werden können, damit Benutzer möglichst präzise und zufriedenstellend den aktuellen Systemzustand eines per VUI gesteuerten GIS erfassen können. Dabei soll nicht nur der Erfolg oder Misserfolg einer ausgeführten Aktion rückgemeldet werden, sondern idealerweise auch unterschiedliche (Fehler-)Ursachen kommuniziert werden. Im Fehlerfall können Benutzer dadurch effizienter reagieren.

Im Rahmen dieser Abschlussarbeit soll daher zunächst der aktuelle Stand der Technik bzw. Literatur gesichtet und dargestellt werden. Anschließend sollen möglicher Weise vorhandene allgemeine Konzepte für VUI auf GIS übertragen und evaluiert werden. Dieses Konzept soll abschließend prototypisch umgesetzt und evaluiert werden, z.B. durch eine Benutzerstudie [1], SUS- [10] oder UEQ-Fragebögen [11].

 

Kontakt

Dr. Morin Ostkamp

con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 20 48155 Münster

+49 251 59689 325

m.ostkamp@conterra.de

 

Martin Wilden

con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 20 48155 Münster

+49 251 59689 336

m.wilden@conterra.de

 

Literatur

[1] J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Kaufmann, 1993

[2] C. Davies and D. Medyckyj-Scott. Gis usability: recommendations based on the user’s

view. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 8(2), 1994

[3] D. Schobesberger. Integrating User and Usability Research in Web-Mapping

Application Design. Modern Trends in Cartography. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation

and Cartography, J. Brus, A. Vondrakova and V. Vozenilek, Eds. Springer, 2015

[4] J. Komarkova, O. Visek and M. Novak. Heuristic evaluation of usability of GeoWeb

sites. Web and wireless geographical information systems. Springer, 2007

[5] A.-M. Nivala, S. Brewster and L. T. Sarjakoski. Usability Evaluation of Web Mapping

Sites. The Cartographic Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, 2008

[6] E. Park and J. Ohm. Factors influencing users’ employment of mobile map services.

Telematics and Informatics, vol. 31, no. 2, 2014

[7] A. Hussain, E. Mkpojiogu and M. Yusof. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use,

and perceived enjoyment as drivers for the user acceptance of interactive mobile maps.

Proc. AIP ‘16, AIP Publishing, 2016

[8] Matthias Stein. Verbesserung der Usability bei der Steuerung von Karteninhalten auf

mobile Endgeräten. Bochum University of Applied Sciences, 2017

[9] Yevgeniya Litvinova. Feature Info – Improving the visualization and usability of GIS

background information in the context of a mobile tourist application. University of

Münster, 2017. https://run.unl.pt/bitstream/10362/33716/1/TGEO0164.pdf

[10] J. Brooke. SUS: A ‘quick and dirty’ usability scale. Usability Evaluation in Industry,

Taylor & Francis, 1996

[11] B. Laugewitz, T. Held and M. Schrepp. Construction and Evaluation of a User

Experience Questionnaire. USAB 2008, LNCS 5298, Springer, 2008

Contact: Christian Kray

SILEntwicklung und Evaluierung von dynamischen Lerntutorials mit Gamification-Ansatz

Die graphische Programmieroberfläche Blockly (blockly.sensebox.de) für senseBox bietet die Möglichkeit auch ohne Programmiererfahrungen schnell und einfach in die Welt der Mikrokontroller-Programmierung einzusteigen. Im nächsten Schritt sollen interaktive Tutorials entwickelt werden, die direkt in der Blockly Oberfläche absolviert werden können. Ein Reward System basierend auf "Open Badges" (https://openbadges.org/) soll integriert werden. Ein Beispiel wie eine solche Integration aussehen könnte findet sich hier: https://studio.code.org/hoc/1
 
 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SITCOMArtland Smart - Vernetztes Wissen im ländlichen Raum (Pendlerportal)

Mobilität der Arbeitnehmenden in der Samtgemeinde Artland

Diese Bacheloarbeit ist als enge Kooperation mit der Samtgemeinde Artland in der Nähe von Osnabrück geplant.  Es ist angedacht, basierend auf Befragungen von Pendler*innen Ideen und evtl. einfach Prototypen für ein Pendlerportal entwickelt werden, das die lokalen Besonderheiten und ländliche Charakteristika mitberücksichtigt.  Relevante Aktivitäten hierbei sind u.a. die im folgenden Text genannten Punkte.

 

Analyse der Ist-Situation

In großen und mittleren Betrieben in der Samtgemeinde Artland haben sich „Pendlergemeinschaften“ gebildet. Es wird angenommen, dass diese vor allem von jüngeren Beschäftigten (teilweise in Ausbildung) in Anspruch genommen werden.

Welche Wegstrecken legen die Arbeitnehmenden in ausgewählten Betrieben zurück? Welche „Überschneidungen“ gibt es in Bezug auf die Route und die Fahrzeiten?

Könnten die Personen für einen Teil der Strecke bzw. für eine Hin- oder Rückfahrt auf den ÖPNV ausweichen? Wie hoch ist die Bereitschaft Personen aus dem eigenen Betrieb und darüber hinaus mitzunehmen?

 

Fragestellung

Eine Untersuchung der Bewegungsprofile von Beschäftigten in ausgewählten Unternehmen (zum Beispiel Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL), Christliches Krankenhaus Quakenbrück, Delkeskamp Verpackungswerke, The Family Butchers (ehem. Kemper Fleischwaren) und Rebotec) kann zu einem Piloten für das geplante Pendlerportal im Modul Mobilität auf der Plattform Artland smart entwickelt werden. Zusätzlich ist eine Sensibilisierung dieser Zielgruppe sowie die Verknüpfung zu weiteren Angeboten im Bereich Mobilität (E-Bike-Verleih, Carsharing und Angebote im ÖPNV) denkbar.

Für den Betrieb als Arbeitgeber könnten Fragestellungen in Hinblick auf die Auswirkungen auf das Betriebsklima sowie auf den Bereich Recruiting von Interesse sein.

 

Hintergrund

Das Projekt „Artland smart - Vernetztes Wissen im ländlichen Raum“ wird durch das niedersächsische Förderprogramm „Zukunftsräume Niedersachsen“ finanziert. Die Projektlaufzeit beträgt drei Jahre (bis Anfang September 2023). Im Vordergrund steht die Stärkung des Mittelzentrums Quakenbrück unter Einbeziehung der Mitgliedsgemeinden Nortrup, Menslage und Badbergen. In der Samtgemeinde Artland im nördlichen Osnabrücker Land leben ca. 24.000 Menschen.

Im Sommer 2022 startet ein internationaler Masterstudiengang am Deutschen Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik in Quakenbrück. Die Samtgemeinde möchte mit der digitalen Darstellung sowie der Förderung von Angeboten im Bereich Gastronomie, Mobilität und Wohnraum ein attraktives Umfeld für die Studierenden bieten sowie gleichzeitig die lokalen Anbieter unterstützen und langfristig für Einheimische und Gäste ein attraktives Angebot erhalten und ausbauen.

 

Contact: Christian Kray

Externalerror prevention in WebGIS

Bachelor / Master Thesis

Error Prevention in Web-GIS – Help Users Avoid the Back Button

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 interestsome examples are [27].

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. To achieve this goal, con terra has supervised several bachelor and master theses in this domain entitled Spatial UX. Two theses [8, 9] provided one finding independently of each other: Users of mobile GIS applications, which are based on mobile websites (Web-GIS), would often leave the application involuntarily by confusing the back button built-in the smartphone or browser with actual UI elements of the Web-GIS (see Figure 1). Hence,

it appears vital to further deepen the understanding of this phenomenon, as it negatively impacts the usability (“Error Prevention” [1]) and thus the perceived user experience [8, 9].

Figure 1: Two screenshots of a Web-GIS (www.mapapps.de) on Android (left) and iOS (right). The back buttons provided by the browsers are highlighted by two red frames.

The proposed thesis should thus further analyze the observed phenomenon based on related work in relevant domains, e.g., GIS, Web-GIS, or general HCI. Usability inspection methods, such as user studies [1], may provide additional insights about some factors affecting the users’ behavior. Then, the thesis should derive and present an approach to address the observed usability issue. Ideally, the approach consists of design guidelines, that practitioners may apply to their Web-GIS in order to improve the user experience. Finally, the thesis should evaluate the proposed guidelines to assess their applicability and to indicate possible areas for future work. This evaluation should be carried out as a user study, that employs standard methods, e.g., SUS [10], UEQ [11], or NASA-TLX [12].

Contact

Dr. Morin Ostkamp
con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24 48155 Münster
+49 89 207 005 2388
m.ostkamp@conterra.de

Literature

  1. [1]  J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Kaufmann, 1993

  2. [2]  C. Davies and D. Medyckyj-Scott. Gis usability: recommendations based on the user’s

    view. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 8(2), 1994

  3. [3]  D. Schobesberger. Integrating User and Usability Research in Web-Mapping

    Application Design. Modern Trends in Cartography. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation

    and Cartography, J. Brus, A. Vondrakova and V. Vozenilek, Eds. Springer, 2015

  4. [4]  J. Komarkova, O. Visek and M. Novak. Heuristic evaluation of usability of GeoWeb

    sites. Web and wireless geographical information systems. Springer, 2007

  5. [5]  A.-M. Nivala, S. Brewster and L. T. Sarjakoski. Usability Evaluation of Web Mapping

    Sites. The Cartographic Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, 2008

  6. [6]  E. Park and J. Ohm. Factors influencing users’ employment of mobile map services.

    Telematics and Informatics, vol. 31, no. 2, 2014

  7. [7]  A. Hussain, E. Mkpojiogu and M. Yusof. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use,

    and perceived enjoyment as drivers for the user acceptance of interactive mobile maps.

    Proc. AIP ‘16, AIP Publishing, 2016

  8. [8]  Matthias Stein. Verbesserung der Usability bei der Steuerung von Karteninhalten auf

    mobile Endgeräten. Bochum University of Applied Sciences, 2017

  9. [9]  Yevgeniya Litvinova. Feature Info Improving the visualization and usability of GIS

    background information in the context of a mobile tourist application. University of

    Münster, 2017. https://run.unl.pt/bitstream/10362/33716/1/TGEO0164.pdf

  10. [10]  J. Brooke. SUS: A ‘quick and dirty’ usability scale. Usability Evaluation in Industry,

    Taylor & Francis, 1996

  11. [11]  B. Laugewitz, T. Held and M. Schrepp. Construction and Evaluation of a User

    Experience Questionnaire. USAB 2008, LNCS 5298, Springer, 2008

  12. [12]  S. G. Hart and L. E. Staveland. Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): Results

    of Empirical and Theoretical Research. Advances in Psychology, North-Holland, 1988

 

Contact: Christian Kray

SILLearning Analytics für das Programmierenlernen mit Blockly

Learning Analytics ist eine Methode zur Erfassung, Messung, Analyse und Visualisierung von Daten über Lernende und ihren Kontext, die es ermöglicht den Lernfortschritt zu verstehen und Lernpfade zu optimieren, um dem Lernenden aber auch Lehrenden Feedback zum Lernprozess zu geben. Learning Analytics lässt sich besonders gut in digitale Lernplattformen einbinden. Blockly für die senseBox ermöglicht es Anfängern in die Mikrocontrollerprogrammierung einzusteigen.Trotzdem können Fehler im "Code" entstehen, wodurch das Programm nicht kompilierbar ist. 

Ziel der Arbeit ist die Entwicklung einer Learning Analytics Komponente, die dem Nutzer Feedback zum selbst programmierten Code gibt, Hinweise bei Fehlern und Lernfortschritte trackt.

 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILSpatial Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics is a method to collect, measure, analyze and visualize data about learners and their context. It enables the understaning of the learning process and allows an adaption of learning pathes based on the collected data. It also gives feedback to the learner and teacher about the learning process.

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.
 
In this thesis OriGami (as a WebApp) needs to be transferred to a native app (based on previous work in the Ionic framework) and extended with spatial learning analytics where the movement data of the player is taken into account. 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILUser Centered Design for educational WebGIS

Mit WebGIS NRW (webgis.nrw) existiert ein prototypisches WebGIS für den Bildungskontext, das auf modernen open Source Technoligien basiert (MapBox GL). Ziel der Arbeit ist die Weiterentwicklung des WebGIS nach User Centered Design Prinzipien und eine Evaluation der Usability.

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILExplorative Analyse von Open Source Hardware Sensorik

Im Rahmen dieser Bachelorarbeit sollen neue Sensorkomponenten für Umweltphänomene (z.B. Wind, Wasser, Radioaktivität o.ä.) für die senseBox identifiziert und in das senseBox Ökosystem aus Open Source Hardware, openSenseMap Geodateninfrastruktur, Blockly-Programmierumgebung integriert und evaluiert werden. 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

STMLExecutable Research Compendia for Python and Open GIS

The Executable Research Compenium (ERC) developed by Opening Reproducible Research (https://o2r.info) provides an approach for solving the challenges of reproducibility and reusability of scholarly research in the geosciences. With the help of a UI and a reproducibility service, academic authors can easily create a snapshot of their research workflow at the time of submitting it for a peer review. However, the ERC is currently limited to workflows based on R and using R Markdown. In this work, the student will explore what changes need to be made to the ERC specification to support geospatial workflows in Python. How can users of common open source GIS (e.g. QGIS) be supported in packaging their scripted workflow in an ERC, ideally without any programming? How can suitable virtual environments (i.e. Dockerfiles) be derived from the workspace metadata (e.g. QGIS project file) and workflow (e.g. created with QGIS Process Modeller)?

The student should have an interest in working with an existing codebase and multiple programming languages. Some experience with Node.js, Python, and Docker is useful.

Contact: Daniel Nüst

SITCOMGesture-Enabled Remote Communication and Collaboration

When working and collaborating in a face-to-face scenario, the parties involved in the communication process are aware of each other's verbal and gestural communication cues in the shared physical space. However, in a remote collaboration scenario, communication becomes more challenging as the involved parties have to resort solely to verbal descriptions and utterances.
 
The GECCO Project aims to develop for enabling hand gestures in a remote collaboration scenario, with a special focus on architectural design and using architectural paper plans. 
 
As a BSc or Msc thesis, the student should design, implement and evaluate new functionality for the work-in-progress GECCO prototype. Promising functionality includes, for example, designing and implementing new ways to visualise verticality in the system, AR tools for allowing the users to modify the physical media (the paper plan), improving hand recognition with more advanced machine learning techniques (e.g. identifying hands from different users), or adapting the system to other fields (education, medicine, etc). 
 
The student should have an interest in working with an existing codebase. Prior experience working with Javascript or Python is necessary. Additionally, knowledge or interest in Augmented Reality, Computer Vision and/or Machine Learning, with particular focus on hand detection and object recognition would be beneficial.

Relevant literature

 

Kim, M. & Maher, M. L. (2008). The impact of tangible user interfaces on spatial cognition during collaborative design. Design Studies, Vol. 29., pp. 222-253

 

Harmon, B. A., Petrasova, A., Petras, V., Mitasova, H., Meentemeyer R. (2018). Tangible topographic modeling for landscape architects, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Vol. 16(1) 4 – 21.

 

Visser, W. & Maher, M.L. (2011). Guest Editorial: The role of gesture in designing, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 25(3):221-235.

 

Huang, W., & Alem, L. (2011). Supporting hand gestures in mobile remote collaboration: a usability evaluation. In Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction 25 (pp. 211-216).

 

Leithinger, D., Follmer, S., Olwal, A., & Ishii, H. (2014). Physical telepresence: shape capture and display for embodied, computer-mediated remote collaboration. In Proceedings of the 27th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 461-470).

 

Contact: Samuel Navas Medrano

SITCOMInference Attacks on Location Trajectories

Nowadays, smartphones are an omnipresent companion in our day-to-day life. With the ability to sense our location, location based services (LBS) have become widely used applications (e.g. for navigation, recommender systems, social networks, games, dating apps or fitness tracking). Hence, service providers collect vast amounts of location data about their users. Based on this collected data, providers or malicious third parties who gain access to this data, can infer a lot of additional information (e.g. home, workplace, shopping habits, religious beliefs, political views etc.) about somebody and thus harm their privacy. Those actions are called inferences or inference attacks.

The aim of this thesis is to research possible inference strategies based on the literature and to implement a selection of those. If the topic is chosen as a MSc thesis, an experimental evaluation of different inference strategies is also required.

Due to the algorithmic nature of this topic, the student should be interested in programming and not afraid of digging into some aspects of spatio-temporal analysis. The student is free to choose their programming language and environment of choice. Ideally, the software would be implemented in Javascript, so the results could be integrated into an existing learning application that is currently under development as part of the SIMPORT project (https://simport.net/). The aim of this learning application is to educate users about the risks and consequences of sharing their location data.

Contact: Sven Heitmann

SITCOMCreating a ‘City Dashboard’ for bicycle mobility in Münster

Mobility infrastructure has a great impact on the sustainable development of cities. An efficient non-motorized infrastructure can help Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting public health (SDG 3.4), contributing to better air, water, and soil quality (SDG 3.9), increasing accessibility and affordability of public transportation (SDG 11.2), reducing the environmental impact in cities (SDG 11.6.), helping to climate control (SDG 13.2). German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen- DGNB) provides comprehensive tools to assess the sustainability of buildings and neighborhoods in Germany since 2007. The tools are developed and updated regularly according to the SDGs and local sustainability strategies. Non-motorized traffic is covered by DGNB Quartier in 2020 with the aim of efficient use of resources, increased affordability, and increased user comfort which provides better experience and accessibility especially for people with reduced mobility.

BSc - In the scope of the BSc thesis, the focus will be given to the assessment of cycling infrastructure in Münster. The data collection and analysis will be based on the indicators defined by the German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen- DGNB), Neighbourhood certification (DGNB Quartier) (sub section Technische Qualität - TEC 3.2). Data collection and analysis will include the assessment of quantity and quality of city’s existing cycling infrastructure such as integration of the cycling network to other transportation modes and land uses, the quantity and quality of bicycle parking spaces, and signalisation. The student will automate the assessment of indicators through an algorithm developed in SQL or Python, visualise the results on the preferred system, and recommend a roadmap for future applications to achieve maximum score (30 points) stated in the DGNB Quartier sustainability certification system.

MSc - The MSc thesis aims to create an interactive City Dashboard for Münster focusing on cycling infrastructure in the city centre.  Complementary to the data collection and analysis processes described in the BSc thesis, the student is expected to develop a web-based, interactive dashboard that enables users of the city to monitor the status quo of the cycling infrastructure and investigate the impact of possible interventions (e.g. increasing the amount of the cycling paths or bicycle parking spaces) on the overall quality of non-motorised mobility infrastructure.  

References:

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (2020), DGNB Quartiere Kriterienkatalog, https://static.dgnb.de/fileadmin/dgnb-system/de/quartiere/kriterien/DGNB-Kriterienkatalog-Quartiere-Kommentierungsversion-2020.pdf

Contact: Simge Özdal Oktay

ExternalFloating Action Buttons für die zentrale Suche in Geo-Metadatenkatalogen

Bachelor / Master Thesis

Floating Action Buttons für die zentrale Suche in Geo-Metadatenkatalogen

Usability ist ein wichtiger Aspekt für die Qualität moderner Software. In den letzten Jahren sind die Erwartungen der Anwender hinsichtlich einer guten Usability stark gestiegen. In den letzten 2 Dekaden haben daher zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Arbeiten untersucht, wie die Usability von Desktop- und Mobile-Anwendungen optimiert werden kann, siehe z.B. [1]. Trotz der großen Popularität dieses Themas wurde die Usability von Geoinformationssystemen (GIS) allerdings anscheinend weniger intensiv betrachtet. Einige Beispiele finden sich in [27]. Als führender Anbieter für integrierte Geo IT-Lösungen im internationalen Umfeld, optimiert con terra die Usability von Produkten und Lösungen kontinuierlich. In Zusammenarbeit mit Hochschulen und Universitäten konnten in diesem Kontext bereits spannende Abschlussarbeiten angeboten werden, siehe z.B. [8, 9].

Verschiedene Projekte befassen sich mit der Suche von Daten bzw. Metadaten in Katalogen. Ein Beispiel dafür ist die Case Study zum Open.NRW-Portal [10] oder die Case Study zum EUMETSAT Product Navigator [11]. Eine Herausforderung dabei ist es, dem Anwender eine zentrale Suche zur Verfügung zu stellen, über die sowohl die Inhalte der jeweiligen Kataloge, als auch redaktionelle Inhalte der verknüpften Portale gefunden werden können. Dabei soll diese zentrale Suche prominent und allgegenwärtig verfügbar sein, sich aber gleichzeitig auch in das Corporate Design des jeweiligen Kunden einfügen und genügend Platz zur Darstellung der eigentlichen Daten lassen.

Eine Abschlussarbeit soll daher analysieren, wie das von Googles Material Design bekannte Konzept der Floating Action Buttons genutzt werden kann, um eine zentrale Suche für Daten bzw. Metadaten in Katalogsystemen und Portalseiten zu realisieren (Abbildung 1 skizziert einen möglichen Ansatz). Dazu soll ein Konzept erarbeitet und prototypisch umgesetzt werden (z.B. basierend auf interaktiven Balsamiq-Mockups). Anschließend soll dieses Konzept durch geeignete Usability-Methoden wie etwa Benutzerstudien [1], SUS- [12] oder UEQ- Fragebögen [13] evaluiert werden.

Abbildung 1: Möglicher Einsatz eines Floating Action Buttons als Zugang zur zentralen Suche (links: Suche inaktiv, Fokus liegt auf den Webinhalten; rechts: Suche aktiv)

Kontakt

Dr. Morin Ostkamp
con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 20 48155 Münster
+49 251 59689 325
m.ostkamp@conterra.de

Literatur

  1. [1]  J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Kaufmann, 1993

  2. [2]  C. Davies and D. Medyckyj-Scott. Gis usability: recommendations based on the user’s

    view. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 8(2), 1994

  3. [3]  D. Schobesberger. Integrating User and Usability Research in Web-Mapping

    Application Design. Modern Trends in Cartography. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation

    and Cartography, J. Brus, A. Vondrakova and V. Vozenilek, Eds. Springer, 2015

  4. [4]  J. Komarkova, O. Visek and M. Novak. Heuristic evaluation of usability of GeoWeb

    sites. Web and wireless geographical information systems. Springer, 2007

  5. [5]  A.-M. Nivala, S. Brewster and L. T. Sarjakoski. Usability Evaluation of Web Mapping

    Sites. The Cartographic Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, 2008

  6. [6]  E. Park and J. Ohm. Factors influencing users’ employment of mobile map services.

    Telematics and Informatics, vol. 31, no. 2, 2014

  7. [7]  A. Hussain, E. Mkpojiogu and M. Yusof. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use,

    and perceived enjoyment as drivers for the user acceptance of interactive mobile maps.

    Proc. AIP ‘16, AIP Publishing, 2016

  8. [8]  Matthias Stein. Verbesserung der Usability bei der Steuerung von Karteninhalten auf

    mobile Endgeräten. Bochum University of Applied Sciences, 2017

  9. [9]  Yevgeniya Litvinova. Feature Info Improving the visualization and usability of GIS

    background information in the context of a mobile tourist application. University of

    Münster, 2017. https://run.unl.pt/bitstream/10362/33716/1/TGEO0164.pdf

  10. [10]  https://www.conterra.de/casestudies/user-centered-redesign

  11. [11]  https://www.conterra.de/casestudies/earth-observation-web-services-ux-design-support

[13] J. Brooke. SUS: A ‘quick and dirty’ usability scale. Usability Evaluation in Industry,

Taylor & Francis, 1996
[13] B. Laugewitz, T. Held and M. Schrepp. Construction and Evaluation of a User

Experience Questionnaire. USAB 2008, LNCS 5298, Springer, 2008

 

Contact: Christian Kray

SILReplicability of wayfinding research

Navigation research is usually performed in very specific spatial context (such as the city in which the paper's authors are based or the virtual environment that they have created). This introduces a challenge to generalizability and replicability of navigation research because we do not know whether classic research findings would be equally applicable in different spatial contexts (e.g., a different city).

This thesis focuses on replicating an existing wayfinding paper (to be chosen by the student) in Münster, or in a virtual environment available at ifgi.

The key challenge is finding a way to make the new spatial context (of Münster) comparable to that of the original paper.

Thesis co-supervised by Daniel Nüst (with technical support w.r.t. replicability).

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SILVirtual vs. Real-world situated navigation

Hölscher et al. showed that human navigation in urban environments is "situated", i.e., that people modify their wayfinding plan as they spot new shortcuts while walking through the environment. Their study was conducted in the city centre of Freiburg. This thesis topic will aim at replicating these results (a) in Münster, and (b) in Virtual Reality. The technical challenge is to build a simplified virtual reality representation of a portion of Muenster. The experimental challenge is to involve two groups navigating the same space in the real and in the virtual world.

 

Reference: Hölscher et al. (2011): Would you follow your own route description?

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMApps zur Förderung nachhaltigen Verhaltens

Eine Vielzahl verfügbarer Apps soll ihre Nutzer*innen dabei unterstützen, sich auf nachhaltigere Art zu verhalten.  Dies kann zum Beispiel das Mobilitätsverhalten betreffen (Rad statt Auto), den Energiekonsum (Pulli statt Heizung) oder auch Aktivitäten (Mitwirkung bei Urban Gardening).

Ziel dieser Bachelorarbeit ist es, eine repräsentative Auswahl dieser Apps systematisch zu analysieren, um einen Überblick über die verschiedenen Arten von Apps, der Hauptthemen und -strategien zu gewinnen. Von Interesse sind insbesondere auch welche Techniken aus dem Bereich "Nudging" und "Persuasive Technology" zum Einsatz kommen.

Das Thema kann auf unterschiedliche Weise bearbeitet werden, je nach Wunsch der bearbeitenden Person, z.B. als reine Analyse basierend auf detaillierter Betrachtung der Apps, als Nutzerstudie oder einer Kombination aus beidem. Denkbar ist auch der Entwurf einer App als Mockup/Prototyp, die bestehende Schwächen von verfügbaren Apps überwindet. 

Contact: Christian Kray


Master

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

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

STMLMachine Learning for the Automated Classification of Biotope Types in Remote Sensing Images

The mapping of biotope types plays an essential role in the assessment and monitoring of ecosystems. Since an extensive collection of the required parameters in the field is not feasible, remote sensing (mainly high-resolution RGB and NIR data) is commonly used. Usually the data is analyzed manually through visual interpretation by trained analysts. The aim of this project is to develop and evaluate methods for an automated segmentation (delineation) and classification of relevant biotope types at the spatial scale of established classification schemes.

Guiding questions include:

  • What are the identifiable features (e.g. spatial, spectral, temporal patterns) that are commonly used in the visual interpretation of remote sensing images to detect and classify biotope types, and can these features be integrated in models for an automatic classification?
  • How can deep learning and “classical” machine learning support the automation of classifying biotope types in remote sensing images?
  • What are the main features that are learned by well-trained machine learning models for identifying biotope types as compared to the features used in the visual interpretation by human analysts?
  • Which biotope types can or cannot be reliably classified, what are the main difficulties and which additional data might be helpful in increasing classification accuracy?

The data basis consists of high-resolution remote sensing images (10 cm, color infrared and RGB) as well as freely available medium resolution satellite data (especially Sentinel). A comprehensive reference data set of manually digitized biotope types is available for model training and validation. The practical work is expected to be conducted reproducibly in R.  

The research will be conducted through two master theses (geoinformatics and landscape ecology) in close collaboration. The specific tasks and research questions of both theses will be discussed between the students and supervisors.

Supervisors: Christian Knoth (ifgi), Hanna Meyer and Jan Lehman (ILÖK),   Reinhard Silvers (Hansa Luftbild)

Contact: Christian Knoth

STMLopenEO processes in the Browser

openEO develops an open API to connect R, Python, and Javascript clients to big earth observation cloud back-ends in a simple and unified way. Back-ends process user-defined algorithms on remote sensing data sets within their cloud infrastructure. This thesis will evaluate and implement ways to run openEO user-defined algorithms in a Browser environment, e.g. through JavaScript, so that an algorithm can be fully executed on the client-side for an AOI selected by a user through a map. The required steps to achieve this are as follows:

  1. A map is shown in the browser and the user navigates to an AOI
  2. A user can select and load a cloud-native dataset for the AOI, e.g. stored as cloud-optimized GeoTiffs
  3. An algorithm can be specified through openEO processes and the processing runs in the browser. A set of openEO processes for a use case has to be implemented by the student.
  4. Finally, the data is visualized using a mapping/visualization library

This thesis should explore, implement, and evaluate one or multiple of these aspects. The scope of the thesis is designed to fit the requirements of a master thesis, but it can probably be split into multiple bachelor thesis, too. More information can be found in the openEO Browser Backend GitHub repository.

Contact

Contact: Matthias Mohr

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

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

GeoSimInvasive plant species modelling with cellular automata

Ecosystem services can be altered dramatically when the ecosystem is invaded by invasive plant species. Such species often facilitate their own invasion through a change of the local ecosystem conditions around them that is beneficial for their spread. This is called a self-reinforcing feedback effect. To avoid undesirable ecosystem shifts, management strategies aimed at stopping the invasion have to be developed in an early stage. To this purpose, one needs: 1) information on the current distribution of the invasive species, and 2) projections of the expected spread of the species under different future conditions.
 
Dr. André Groẞe-Stoltenberg has done his PhD on the detection and impact of the invasive species Acacia longifolia (Andrews) in a Mediterranean dune system in Portugal. A. longifolia is an N2-fixing woody plant, which increases the nitrogen level in its surroundings in the originally nutrient-poor dune system. Dr. André Groẞe-Stoltenberg has developed methods to distinguish A. longifolia from other species, using field spectroscopy and remote sensing techniques. Furthermore, he has applied spatial statistics to identify the factors that are of importance for the change in the local ecosystem conditions. Although this work has delivered many valuable insights in the spatial distribution of A. longifolia and the factors that might influence the spread, it did not yet deliver a simulation model that can be used to make future projections of the invasion under different conditions.
 
A cellular automaton (CA) is a model for simulating discrete changes over space and time.  A CA consists of: a grid of cells, a neighborhood definition, a finite set of discrete states, a finite set of transition rules, an initial state, and discrete time. The unique property of a CA is that the state of a cell at time t is a function of only the states of the cell itself and its neighbors at time t-1. Because of this property, cellular automata are suitable for modelling systems in which discrete entities (such as plants) spread by means of neighborhood effects (such as seed dispersal and self-reinforcing feedbacks).
 
The aim of this thesis is to develop a CA to project the past and future spread of A. longifolia in the described dune ecosystem in Portugal. You can build upon existing literature on cellular automata for vegetation modelling in arid Mediterranean ecosystems (e.g. by Sonia Kéfi and co-authors) and you can use the maps classified by Dr. André Groẞe-Stoltenberg. 
 
This topic is only for students who have followed Geosimulation Modelling or a similar course.
 

Contact: Judith Verstegen

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

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

SILQualitätssicherung von crowd-sourced Sensordaten

In der Arbeit soll untersucht werden, inwieweit Qualitätssicherung von crowd-sourced Sensordaten in einem Sensornetzwerk automatisierbar ist. Dies ist ein neues und hoch relevantes Forschungsfeld: große Datenmengen erlauben die Anwendung statistischer oder machine learning-Verfahren. Traditionelle Verfahren sind häufig nicht nutzbar, da die Daten in Echtzeit vorliegen müssen. Zudem stellen crowd-sourced Daten eine spezielle Herausforderungen dar, da nicht davon ausgegangen werden kann, dass alle Daten mit korrekten bzw. konsistenten Messverfahren erhoben wurden. Schließlich haben low-cost-Sensoren selbst Messfehler, die von professionellen Sensoren stark abweichen. oder Messstationen sind von Citizen Scientists schlecht montiert. Das Ziel ist, die Einflussfaktoren auf die Datenqualität und die Messgenauigkeit der Sensoren zu erforschen, Verfahren zur automatisierten Identifikation fehlerhafter Daten und möglicher Fehlerquellen zu entwickeln sowie automatisiert Entscheidungen über Möglichkeit zur Korrektur der Daten (bspw. über Nachkalibrierung der Sensoren) oder Ausschluss bestimmter Daten zu treffen.

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

STMLTrusted data repositories for executable research compendia

Computational research introduces challenges when it comes to reproducibility, i.e. re-doing an analysis with the same data and code. A current research project at ifgi developed a new approach called Executable Research Compendia (ERC, see https://doi.org/10.1045/january2017-nuest) to solve some of these challenges. ERC contain everything needed to run an analysis: data, code, and runtime environment. So they can be executed “offline” in a sandbox environment. An open challenge is the one of big datasets and reducing data duplication. While the idea of putting “everything” into the ERC is useful in many cases, once the dataset becomes very large it is not feasible to replicate it completely for the sake of reproducibility/transparency and to some extent for archival.

This thesis will create a concept for allowing ERC to communicate with specific data repositories (e.g. PANGAEA, GFZ Data Services) extending on previous work (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1478542). The new approach should let ERCs “break out” of their sandbox environments in a controlled and transparent fashion, while at the same time more explicitly configuring the allowed actions by a container (e.g. using AppArmor).

Since trust is highly important in research applications, the communication with remote services must be exposed to users in a useful and understandable fashion. Users who evaluate other scientists ERC must know which third party repositories are used and how. The concept must be (i) implemented in a prototype using Docker containerization technology and discussed from viewpoints of security, scalability, and transparency, and (ii) demonstrated with ERC based on different geoscience data repositories, e.g. Sentinel Hub, and processing infrastructure, e.g. openEO or WPS, including an approach for authentication. Furthermore it could be evaluated to define the sandbox more explicitly, and if the communication between ERC and remote service can be captured and then cached for an additional backup, so that future execution may re-use that backup.

Prior experience with Docker is useful but not a strict requirement.

Contact: Daniel Nüst
 

Contact: Daniel Nüst

GeoSimAgent-based modelling of creative industry commodification in Indonesian Kampungs

Creative industries are acknowledged to offer opportunities for socio-economic development of neighbourhoods (Booyens, 2012). Research into creative industries and creative city strategies has often focused on Global North contexts, and how policy making can spur the promotion of such industries and strategies. Less attention has been paid to creative industries development in Global South contexts (although see Cunningham, 2009; Booyens, 2012) and how these industries can best be used to support future local economic growth.

As a Global-South country, Indonesia offers the opportunity to study creative industries because several cities have been embracing creative industries and creative city discourses (Fahmi, McCann and Koster, 2017). Indonesian cities also host specific types of neighbourhoods – kampongs – where often craft-based and creative-based industries are found (Prasetyo and Iverson, 2013).

Current research is focused on identifying links between the different actors involved in the development and implementation of creative industries strategies. However, it is of yet unclear how the behaviour of these actors is influenced by the different current and potential strategies of the local government to promote commodification. The goal of this project is to develop and apply an Agent-Based Model (ABM) to understand commodification in creative industries, in Indonesian kampongs, in response to different local government strategies.

This project is a collaboration with Mafalda Mudureira, Ana Buscamente, and Karin Pfeffer from UT Twente, The Netherlands. These researchers have data available that can be used to set up the ABM.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SILMeasuring Data Quality of Air Quality Measurements in Citizen Science

Im Kontext Citizen Science lassen sich mittelfristig räumlich hochaufgelöste Sensornetzwerke aufbauen um gesellschaftlich relevante Fragestellungen zu untersuchen. Die openSenseMap ist eine öffentlich zugängliche Plattform für das Veröffentlichen, Teilen und Visualsieren von solchen Umweltmessdaten als Open Data. Um eine flächendeckende Auflösung zu erreichen, werden die verwendeten Messstationen durch Freiwillige zusammengebaut, programmiert und installiert. Luftqualitätsmessungen nehmen hierbei eine gesonderte Rolle ein, da der Zugang zu teils komplizierter Messtechnik durch modulare Open-Source Bausätze, wie denen der senseBox, stark vereinfacht und einer breiten Masse zugänglich gemacht werden kann. In den meisten Fällen sind Freiwillige bei einer solchen Kampagne nicht wissenschaftlich ausbildet. Dadurch kann bei dieser Methodevnicht garantiert werden dass Messwerte von unterschiedlichen Stationen im Netzwerk direkt vergleichbar sind. Eine Frage die im Rahmen dieser Ausschreibung ausarbeitet werden soll ist ob trotz öffentlicher Beteiligung im Rahmen einer Messkampange in den Bürgerwissenschaften verwertbare Informationen und representative Analysen gegeben werden können. Als Anwendungsfall soll die Aussagekraft und Datenqualität von Gasmessungen (Stickoxid und Ozon) in Berlin auf der openSenseMap untersucht werden. 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

ExternalAkustische Signifier für Voice User Interfaces (VUI)

Usability ist ein wichtiger Aspekt für die Qualität moderner Software. In den letzten Jahren sind die Erwartungen der Anwender hinsichtlich einer guten Usability stark gestiegen. In den letzten 2 Dekaden haben daher zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Arbeiten untersucht, wie die Usability von Desktop- und Mobile-Anwendungen optimiert werden kann, siehe z.B. [1]. Trotz der großen Popularität dieses Themas wurde die Usability von Geoinformationssystemen (GIS) allerdings anscheinend weniger intensiv betrachtet. Einige Beispiele finden sich in [2–7]. Als führender Anbieter für integrierte Geo IT-Lösungen im internationalen Umfeld, optimiert con terra die Usability von Produkten und Lösungen kontinuierlich. In Zusammenarbeit mit Hochschulen und Universitäten konnten in diesem Kontext bereits spannende Abschlussarbeiten angeboten werden, siehe z.B. [8, 9].

Voice User Interfaces (VUI) haben durch die Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der Künstlichen Intelligenz (KI) bzw. des Machine Learning (ML) in den letzten Jahren stark an Bedeutung gewonnen. So sind beispielsweise Siri und Alexa zu alltäglichen Begleitern geworden, um per Sprache bequem Musik abzuspielen oder die Beleuchtung zu steuern. Doch auch für GIS haben VUI eine große Relevanz, etwa für die Ausführung verketteter Abfragen. Diese sind mittels eines konventionellen Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) meist eher schwierig durchzuführen, lassen sich mit Hilfe eines VUIs aber einfach umgangssprachlich formulieren, z.B. in Form dieser gesprochenen oder geschriebenen Frage: „Welche beliebten italienischen Restaurants in meiner Nähe haben bis 23 Uhr geöffnet?“ Einen weiteren großen Vorteil entfalten VUI bei der Erfassung von ortsbezogenen Daten im Feld, während der die Hände für andere Tätigkeiten gebraucht werden, z.B. der Bedienung von Messgeräten.

Doch VUIs stellen hinsichtlich der Usability auch einige Herausforderungen dar. So soll diese Abschlussarbeit analysieren, wie akustische Rückmeldungen (Signifier) gestaltet und genutzt werden können, damit Benutzer möglichst präzise und zufriedenstellend den aktuellen Systemzustand eines per VUI gesteuerten GIS erfassen können. Dabei soll nicht nur der Erfolg oder Misserfolg einer ausgeführten Aktion rückgemeldet werden, sondern idealerweise auch unterschiedliche (Fehler-)Ursachen kommuniziert werden. Im Fehlerfall können Benutzer dadurch effizienter reagieren.

Im Rahmen dieser Abschlussarbeit soll daher zunächst der aktuelle Stand der Technik bzw. Literatur gesichtet und dargestellt werden. Anschließend sollen möglicher Weise vorhandene allgemeine Konzepte für VUI auf GIS übertragen und evaluiert werden. Dieses Konzept soll abschließend prototypisch umgesetzt und evaluiert werden, z.B. durch eine Benutzerstudie [1], SUS- [10] oder UEQ-Fragebögen [11].

 

Kontakt

Dr. Morin Ostkamp

con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 20 48155 Münster

+49 251 59689 325

m.ostkamp@conterra.de

 

Martin Wilden

con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 20 48155 Münster

+49 251 59689 336

m.wilden@conterra.de

 

Literatur

[1] J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Kaufmann, 1993

[2] C. Davies and D. Medyckyj-Scott. Gis usability: recommendations based on the user’s

view. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 8(2), 1994

[3] D. Schobesberger. Integrating User and Usability Research in Web-Mapping

Application Design. Modern Trends in Cartography. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation

and Cartography, J. Brus, A. Vondrakova and V. Vozenilek, Eds. Springer, 2015

[4] J. Komarkova, O. Visek and M. Novak. Heuristic evaluation of usability of GeoWeb

sites. Web and wireless geographical information systems. Springer, 2007

[5] A.-M. Nivala, S. Brewster and L. T. Sarjakoski. Usability Evaluation of Web Mapping

Sites. The Cartographic Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, 2008

[6] E. Park and J. Ohm. Factors influencing users’ employment of mobile map services.

Telematics and Informatics, vol. 31, no. 2, 2014

[7] A. Hussain, E. Mkpojiogu and M. Yusof. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use,

and perceived enjoyment as drivers for the user acceptance of interactive mobile maps.

Proc. AIP ‘16, AIP Publishing, 2016

[8] Matthias Stein. Verbesserung der Usability bei der Steuerung von Karteninhalten auf

mobile Endgeräten. Bochum University of Applied Sciences, 2017

[9] Yevgeniya Litvinova. Feature Info – Improving the visualization and usability of GIS

background information in the context of a mobile tourist application. University of

Münster, 2017. https://run.unl.pt/bitstream/10362/33716/1/TGEO0164.pdf

[10] J. Brooke. SUS: A ‘quick and dirty’ usability scale. Usability Evaluation in Industry,

Taylor & Francis, 1996

[11] B. Laugewitz, T. Held and M. Schrepp. Construction and Evaluation of a User

Experience Questionnaire. USAB 2008, LNCS 5298, Springer, 2008

Contact: Christian Kray

GeoSimModelling visitors in a museum as animals

Visiting a museum is a leisure activity which is approached in different ways by different people. Some visitors try to know as much as possible by studying all individual artifacts, others are more selective and spend time on artefacts that embody certain characteristics while neglecting the others, and some attempt to get a general idea of the exhibition by strolling through the museum (Dean, 1994).

Veron and Levasseur (1983) suggest that visitors’ movements are comparable to the behavior of four types of animals: ants, fish, butterflies and grasshoppers. They propose a classification of museum visitors based on these animals. For example, the ant-visitor follows a distinct path and spends much time observing all artifacts closely, but avoids empty spaces, while the fish-visitor prefers to move and stop at empty spaces in the center of the exhibition room, but does not come close to individual artifacts and thus does not observe details. In the decades after this initial idea, others (e.g. Dim & Kuflik, 2015; Zancanaro et al., 2007) have extended the classifications to, for example, pairs of visitors, and have developed methods to derive the visitor type from trajectory data. However, the visitor-type behaviors have never been formalized into a model.

The aim of this thesis is to build an agent-based model (ABM) of the distinct visitor types in a museum. Such a model can help us to better understand how museum visitors respond differently to different exhibition layouts and how density patterns in the museum emerge from this. A scenario approach can be used to test, e.g. if certain layouts may generate a better spread of visitors throughout the museum.

This thesis is supervised by Judith Verstegen and Sergey Mukhametov. A ground plan of a museum in Münster and visitor trajectories for this museum are available to you, for potential use as model input, calibration and validation data.

This topic is only for students who followed Geosimulation Modelling or a similar course.

 

References

Dean (1994). Museum Exhibition: Theory and Practice. London, Routledge.

Dim & Kuflik (2015). Automatic Detection of Social Behavior of Museum Visitor Pairs. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems 4(4), 17, doi:10.1145/2662869.

Veron and Levasseur (1983). Ethnographie de l’exposition, Paris, Bibliothèque Publique d’Information, Centre Georges Pompidou.

Zancanaro, Kuflik, Boger, Goren-Bar & Goldwasser (2007). Analyzing Museum Visitors’ Behavior Patterns. User Modeling 2007: 11th International Conference, UM 2007, Corfu, Greece, July 25-29.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SITCOMArtland Smart - Vernetztes Wissen im ländlichen Raum (Pendlerportal)

Mobilität der Arbeitnehmenden in der Samtgemeinde Artland

Diese Bacheloarbeit ist als enge Kooperation mit der Samtgemeinde Artland in der Nähe von Osnabrück geplant.  Es ist angedacht, basierend auf Befragungen von Pendler*innen Ideen und evtl. einfach Prototypen für ein Pendlerportal entwickelt werden, das die lokalen Besonderheiten und ländliche Charakteristika mitberücksichtigt.  Relevante Aktivitäten hierbei sind u.a. die im folgenden Text genannten Punkte.

 

Analyse der Ist-Situation

In großen und mittleren Betrieben in der Samtgemeinde Artland haben sich „Pendlergemeinschaften“ gebildet. Es wird angenommen, dass diese vor allem von jüngeren Beschäftigten (teilweise in Ausbildung) in Anspruch genommen werden.

Welche Wegstrecken legen die Arbeitnehmenden in ausgewählten Betrieben zurück? Welche „Überschneidungen“ gibt es in Bezug auf die Route und die Fahrzeiten?

Könnten die Personen für einen Teil der Strecke bzw. für eine Hin- oder Rückfahrt auf den ÖPNV ausweichen? Wie hoch ist die Bereitschaft Personen aus dem eigenen Betrieb und darüber hinaus mitzunehmen?

 

Fragestellung

Eine Untersuchung der Bewegungsprofile von Beschäftigten in ausgewählten Unternehmen (zum Beispiel Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL), Christliches Krankenhaus Quakenbrück, Delkeskamp Verpackungswerke, The Family Butchers (ehem. Kemper Fleischwaren) und Rebotec) kann zu einem Piloten für das geplante Pendlerportal im Modul Mobilität auf der Plattform Artland smart entwickelt werden. Zusätzlich ist eine Sensibilisierung dieser Zielgruppe sowie die Verknüpfung zu weiteren Angeboten im Bereich Mobilität (E-Bike-Verleih, Carsharing und Angebote im ÖPNV) denkbar.

Für den Betrieb als Arbeitgeber könnten Fragestellungen in Hinblick auf die Auswirkungen auf das Betriebsklima sowie auf den Bereich Recruiting von Interesse sein.

 

Hintergrund

Das Projekt „Artland smart - Vernetztes Wissen im ländlichen Raum“ wird durch das niedersächsische Förderprogramm „Zukunftsräume Niedersachsen“ finanziert. Die Projektlaufzeit beträgt drei Jahre (bis Anfang September 2023). Im Vordergrund steht die Stärkung des Mittelzentrums Quakenbrück unter Einbeziehung der Mitgliedsgemeinden Nortrup, Menslage und Badbergen. In der Samtgemeinde Artland im nördlichen Osnabrücker Land leben ca. 24.000 Menschen.

Im Sommer 2022 startet ein internationaler Masterstudiengang am Deutschen Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik in Quakenbrück. Die Samtgemeinde möchte mit der digitalen Darstellung sowie der Förderung von Angeboten im Bereich Gastronomie, Mobilität und Wohnraum ein attraktives Umfeld für die Studierenden bieten sowie gleichzeitig die lokalen Anbieter unterstützen und langfristig für Einheimische und Gäste ein attraktives Angebot erhalten und ausbauen.

 

Contact: Christian Kray

GeoSimEvaluating a computational landmark approach for predicting pedestrian movement

Researchers have been studying how people learn and generate a route between two destinations and what criteria they use to complete this task (Golledge 1997). Pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and public transport users’ movements have indeed assumed a growing relevance when tackling city dynamics. Knowing how people formulate a route within the street network may improve the realism in pedestrian movement simulations and, thereby, support urban design decisions, traffic planning, mobility demand analysis and land-use/service allocations.

In this context, landmarks (or points of reference) have been identified as environmental features that affect spatial behaviour (Richter & Winter 2014). Yet, little work has been done to understand how they shape the actual decisions in pedestrian movement. In order to realistically reproduce and understand pedestrian movement in cities, a computational approach that combines known routing algorithms with landmark salience measures has been developed in a project at the Geosimulation lab of IFGI.

The aim of the research is to study the ability of this computational approach to predict how people identify and readjust their routes. The first phase consists of collecting qualitative data regarding pedestrian movements (e.g., asking people to draw their paths in the city). The second phase is comparing the collected data with the routes predicted computationally. In the last phase, the computational approach may be recalibrated according to the discrepancies emerged, manipulating the weights used to compute the landmark salience, so as to obtain more satisfying computational estimates.

This thesis is supervised by Gabriele Filomena (gabriele.filomena@uni-muenster.de) and Judith Verstegen (j.a.verstegen@uni-muenster.de).

 

References

Golledge, R.G., 1997. Defining The Criteria Used In Path Selection. In D. F. Ettema & H. Timmermans, eds. Activity-based approaches to travel analysis. New York, NY: Elsevier, pp. 151–169.

Richter, K.-F. & Winter, S., 2014. Landmarks: Giscience For Intelligent Services, Cham: Springer.

Contact: Gabriele Filomena

Externalerror prevention in WebGIS

Bachelor / Master Thesis

Error Prevention in Web-GIS – Help Users Avoid the Back Button

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 interestsome examples are [27].

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. To achieve this goal, con terra has supervised several bachelor and master theses in this domain entitled Spatial UX. Two theses [8, 9] provided one finding independently of each other: Users of mobile GIS applications, which are based on mobile websites (Web-GIS), would often leave the application involuntarily by confusing the back button built-in the smartphone or browser with actual UI elements of the Web-GIS (see Figure 1). Hence,

it appears vital to further deepen the understanding of this phenomenon, as it negatively impacts the usability (“Error Prevention” [1]) and thus the perceived user experience [8, 9].

Figure 1: Two screenshots of a Web-GIS (www.mapapps.de) on Android (left) and iOS (right). The back buttons provided by the browsers are highlighted by two red frames.

The proposed thesis should thus further analyze the observed phenomenon based on related work in relevant domains, e.g., GIS, Web-GIS, or general HCI. Usability inspection methods, such as user studies [1], may provide additional insights about some factors affecting the users’ behavior. Then, the thesis should derive and present an approach to address the observed usability issue. Ideally, the approach consists of design guidelines, that practitioners may apply to their Web-GIS in order to improve the user experience. Finally, the thesis should evaluate the proposed guidelines to assess their applicability and to indicate possible areas for future work. This evaluation should be carried out as a user study, that employs standard methods, e.g., SUS [10], UEQ [11], or NASA-TLX [12].

Contact

Dr. Morin Ostkamp
con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24 48155 Münster
+49 89 207 005 2388
m.ostkamp@conterra.de

Literature

  1. [1]  J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Kaufmann, 1993

  2. [2]  C. Davies and D. Medyckyj-Scott. Gis usability: recommendations based on the user’s

    view. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 8(2), 1994

  3. [3]  D. Schobesberger. Integrating User and Usability Research in Web-Mapping

    Application Design. Modern Trends in Cartography. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation

    and Cartography, J. Brus, A. Vondrakova and V. Vozenilek, Eds. Springer, 2015

  4. [4]  J. Komarkova, O. Visek and M. Novak. Heuristic evaluation of usability of GeoWeb

    sites. Web and wireless geographical information systems. Springer, 2007

  5. [5]  A.-M. Nivala, S. Brewster and L. T. Sarjakoski. Usability Evaluation of Web Mapping

    Sites. The Cartographic Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, 2008

  6. [6]  E. Park and J. Ohm. Factors influencing users’ employment of mobile map services.

    Telematics and Informatics, vol. 31, no. 2, 2014

  7. [7]  A. Hussain, E. Mkpojiogu and M. Yusof. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use,

    and perceived enjoyment as drivers for the user acceptance of interactive mobile maps.

    Proc. AIP ‘16, AIP Publishing, 2016

  8. [8]  Matthias Stein. Verbesserung der Usability bei der Steuerung von Karteninhalten auf

    mobile Endgeräten. Bochum University of Applied Sciences, 2017

  9. [9]  Yevgeniya Litvinova. Feature Info Improving the visualization and usability of GIS

    background information in the context of a mobile tourist application. University of

    Münster, 2017. https://run.unl.pt/bitstream/10362/33716/1/TGEO0164.pdf

  10. [10]  J. Brooke. SUS: A ‘quick and dirty’ usability scale. Usability Evaluation in Industry,

    Taylor & Francis, 1996

  11. [11]  B. Laugewitz, T. Held and M. Schrepp. Construction and Evaluation of a User

    Experience Questionnaire. USAB 2008, LNCS 5298, Springer, 2008

  12. [12]  S. G. Hart and L. E. Staveland. Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): Results

    of Empirical and Theoretical Research. Advances in Psychology, North-Holland, 1988

 

Contact: Christian Kray

GeoSimFuture land abandonment in the former Soviet Union

Although agricultural land expansion is taking place in many parts of the world, some regions are experiencing the reverse trend: cropland abandonment. This potentially leads to a restoration of the native vegetation, often resulting in an increase in biodiversity and in net carbon storage. This has been happening for example in Western Siberia (Wertebach et al., 2017) and Northern Kazakhstan (Dara et al., 2018) since the breakdown of the Soviet Union. A remaining question is to what extent cropland abandonment will continue into the future and which locations will be abandoned. This is important to know if one wants to estimate the impacts on biodiversity and carbon storage, as these depend on the abandonment location characteristics (e.g. soil type, moisture regime).

Land use change models are designed to answer such questions about the amount and location of land use changes. The aim of this thesis is to apply the PCRaster Land Use Change model (PLUC) (e.g. Verstegen et al., 2012) to one of the two above-mentioned regions to simulate 1) historic cropland abandonment to quantify the calibrate and validate the model, and 2) multiple scenarios of future cropland abandonment to analyze how the land use system might develop. The latter results can be used to quantify the potential amount of carbon storage.

This thesis is supervised by Judith Verstegen and Norbert Hölzel (or someone else from his group). The time series of land use maps for the chosen region will be made available to you, to serve as model input, calibration and validation data. Challenges in this thesis topic are conceptual (defining driving factors of abandonment, outlining scenarios, etc.) as well as technical (implementing the driving factors into PLUC, employing a calibration algorithm, etc.). Knowledge of PCRaster Python is strongly recommended.

 

References

Dara, Baumann, Kuemmerle, Pflugmacher, Rabe, Griffiths, Hölzel, Kamp, Freitag and Hostert (2018). Mapping the timing of cropland abandonment and recultivation in northern Kazakhstan using annual Landsat time series. Remote Sensing of Environment 213, p. 49-60, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2018.05.005.

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, p. 30-42, doi: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2011.08.003

Wertebach, Hölzel, Kämpf, Yurtaev, Tupitsin, Kiehl, Kamp and Kleinebecker (2017). Soil carbon sequestration due to post-Soviet cropland abandonment: estimates from a large-scale soil organic carbon field inventory. Global Change Biology 23, p. 3729-3741, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13650.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SILLearning Analytics für das Programmierenlernen mit Blockly

Learning Analytics ist eine Methode zur Erfassung, Messung, Analyse und Visualisierung von Daten über Lernende und ihren Kontext, die es ermöglicht den Lernfortschritt zu verstehen und Lernpfade zu optimieren, um dem Lernenden aber auch Lehrenden Feedback zum Lernprozess zu geben. Learning Analytics lässt sich besonders gut in digitale Lernplattformen einbinden. Blockly für die senseBox ermöglicht es Anfängern in die Mikrocontrollerprogrammierung einzusteigen.Trotzdem können Fehler im "Code" entstehen, wodurch das Programm nicht kompilierbar ist. 

Ziel der Arbeit ist die Entwicklung einer Learning Analytics Komponente, die dem Nutzer Feedback zum selbst programmierten Code gibt, Hinweise bei Fehlern und Lernfortschritte trackt.

 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILSpatial Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics is a method to collect, measure, analyze and visualize data about learners and their context. It enables the understaning of the learning process and allows an adaption of learning pathes based on the collected data. It also gives feedback to the learner and teacher about the learning process.

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.
 
In this thesis OriGami (as a WebApp) needs to be transferred to a native app (based on previous work in the Ionic framework) and extended with spatial learning analytics where the movement data of the player is taken into account. 

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILLearning Analytics for educational WebGIS

Learning Analytics is a method to collect, measure, analyze and visualize data about learners and their context. It enables the understanding of the learning process and allows an adaption of learning paths based on the collected data. It also gives feedback to the learner and teacher about the learning process.

WebGIS NRW is a prototypical WebGIS for educational purposes (webgis.nrw) based on MapBox GL.

In this thesis you should investigate the possibilities of learning analytics for the work with webGIS, i.e. cartography, map design, data analysis. A prototypical implementation of learning analytics components for webgis.nrw is part of the work.

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek

SILTesting the new Taxonomy of Human Wayfinding Tasks

In their seminal paper Wiener et al. (2009) defined the taxonomy of human wayfinding tasks. The taxonomy is based on the type of knowledge possessed by the navigator. However, it did not differentiate between any subcategories of the "Path Following" task. In other words, according to the taxonomy, there is no difference between (a) knowing your route without knowing anything about the wider surrounding enviornment, and (b) knowing your route AND knowing about the wider surrounding enviornment.

Schwering et al. (2017) argued that there are substantial differences between such two tasks and that they deserve to be distinguished in an updated taxonomy.

The goal of this thesis will be to test the hypothesis that following the same route, with the same knowledge about the route, is a cognitively different task depending on whether the navigator has, or does not have, survey knowledge about the broader envionment.

 

Wiener, J. M., Büchner, S. J., & Hölscher, C. (2009). Taxonomy of human wayfinding tasks: A knowledge-based approach. Spatial Cognition & Computation9(2), 152–165.

Schwering, A., Krukar, J., Li, R., Anacta, V. J., & Fuest, S. (2017). Wayfinding Through Orientation. Spatial Cognition & Computation17(4), 273–303. doi:10.1080/13875868.2017.1322597

 

Contact: Jakub Krukar

STMLGeoservice ERC

Geospatial research workflows today are completely digitised. More and more observational data is available in open repositories and analysed with open software. The processing is increasingly moved to scalable cloud infrastructures, which often build on free and open source software. A downside is that the digitisation, data volume, online processing, and complexity of software environments make it harder for researchers to understand, reproduce, and build upon each others work. The executable research compendium (ERC) developed by the project Opening Reproducible Research (o2r, https://o2r.info) attempts to lower the barriers for inspecting and manipulating published research workflows in the geosciences. In this thesis, the student will explore how common geospatial web services can be packaged as part of a research compendium. These web services should comprise data services (e.g. a WFS, SOS, WCS), view services (e.g. a WMS) and  processing services (e.g WPS, openEO). The student will re-use published or develop two to three example workflows using based on these web services. The ERC and supporting tools currently only support a single Docker container for capturing the runtime environment. A core challenge of this work will be to find out how multiple containers may be created and executed without additional burden on the author of a research paper during the creation of ERC, and without introducing security risks in the networking between the containers.

Affinity to command line tools and solving hard problems using existing software tools is a prerequisite for this thesis. The student will get to know a variety of common geospatial web services (e.g. Geoserver, SciDB, 52N WPS, pyWPS) and Docker during the course of this work.

Contact: Daniel Nüst

STMLExecutable Research Compendia for Python and Open GIS

The Executable Research Compenium (ERC) developed by Opening Reproducible Research (https://o2r.info) provides an approach for solving the challenges of reproducibility and reusability of scholarly research in the geosciences. With the help of a UI and a reproducibility service, academic authors can easily create a snapshot of their research workflow at the time of submitting it for a peer review. However, the ERC is currently limited to workflows based on R and using R Markdown. In this work, the student will explore what changes need to be made to the ERC specification to support geospatial workflows in Python. How can users of common open source GIS (e.g. QGIS) be supported in packaging their scripted workflow in an ERC, ideally without any programming? How can suitable virtual environments (i.e. Dockerfiles) be derived from the workspace metadata (e.g. QGIS project file) and workflow (e.g. created with QGIS Process Modeller)?

The student should have an interest in working with an existing codebase and multiple programming languages. Some experience with Node.js, Python, and Docker is useful.

Contact: Daniel Nüst

STMLOpen Reproducible Notebooks for GIS

Open Science, particularly reproducible research, is crucial to increase the impact of science in society, as well as to accelerate scientific discovery. A useful tool for more effective and sustainable communication of research workflows are digital notebooks. Based on the literate programming paradigm, they integrate text and code in a coherent manner. However, a notebook approach is more easily connected with script base GIS workflows, e.g. using R, but has not yet been connected with popular GIS featuring a graphical user interface (GUI), such as ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information System, https://52north.org/software/software-projects/ilwis/) or QGIS (https://qgis.org/). In GUI-based GIS it is difficult for scientists to fully describe the steps that were carried out to achieve the reported reported results in a regular scientific article.
 
Therefore this thesis investigates how to facilitate packaing and sharing workflows created in a GUI-based GIS based on common notebook technologies, such as Jupyter (https://jupyter.org/) or R Markdown (https://rmarkdown.rstudio.com/). The student makes the GIS kernels accessible in the code cells of these notebooks comparing different approaches, e.g., the ILWIS Python API vs. ILWIS scripting language. Furthermore a seamless transfer of workflows created in the GUI into notebooks will be designed and evaluated, e.g. in the form of a Jupyter extenion, a QGIS plug-in, or an RStudio Add-in. Two reproducible worklows illustrate the implemented approach.
 
The student should have experience in working with existing codebases of open source software and be open to complex programming challenges. An affinity to working with multiple programming languages and prior experience with Python, R, and optionally C++ are benefitial.

Contact: Daniel Nüst

SITCOMGesture-Enabled Remote Communication and Collaboration

When working and collaborating in a face-to-face scenario, the parties involved in the communication process are aware of each other's verbal and gestural communication cues in the shared physical space. However, in a remote collaboration scenario, communication becomes more challenging as the involved parties have to resort solely to verbal descriptions and utterances.
 
The GECCO Project aims to develop for enabling hand gestures in a remote collaboration scenario, with a special focus on architectural design and using architectural paper plans. 
 
As a BSc or Msc thesis, the student should design, implement and evaluate new functionality for the work-in-progress GECCO prototype. Promising functionality includes, for example, designing and implementing new ways to visualise verticality in the system, AR tools for allowing the users to modify the physical media (the paper plan), improving hand recognition with more advanced machine learning techniques (e.g. identifying hands from different users), or adapting the system to other fields (education, medicine, etc). 
 
The student should have an interest in working with an existing codebase. Prior experience working with Javascript or Python is necessary. Additionally, knowledge or interest in Augmented Reality, Computer Vision and/or Machine Learning, with particular focus on hand detection and object recognition would be beneficial.

Relevant literature

 

Kim, M. & Maher, M. L. (2008). The impact of tangible user interfaces on spatial cognition during collaborative design. Design Studies, Vol. 29., pp. 222-253

 

Harmon, B. A., Petrasova, A., Petras, V., Mitasova, H., Meentemeyer R. (2018). Tangible topographic modeling for landscape architects, International Journal of Architectural Computing, Vol. 16(1) 4 – 21.

 

Visser, W. & Maher, M.L. (2011). Guest Editorial: The role of gesture in designing, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, 25(3):221-235.

 

Huang, W., & Alem, L. (2011). Supporting hand gestures in mobile remote collaboration: a usability evaluation. In Proceedings of HCI 2011 The 25th BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction 25 (pp. 211-216).

 

Leithinger, D., Follmer, S., Olwal, A., & Ishii, H. (2014). Physical telepresence: shape capture and display for embodied, computer-mediated remote collaboration. In Proceedings of the 27th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 461-470).

 

Contact: Samuel Navas Medrano

SITCOMInference Attacks on Location Trajectories

Nowadays, smartphones are an omnipresent companion in our day-to-day life. With the ability to sense our location, location based services (LBS) have become widely used applications (e.g. for navigation, recommender systems, social networks, games, dating apps or fitness tracking). Hence, service providers collect vast amounts of location data about their users. Based on this collected data, providers or malicious third parties who gain access to this data, can infer a lot of additional information (e.g. home, workplace, shopping habits, religious beliefs, political views etc.) about somebody and thus harm their privacy. Those actions are called inferences or inference attacks.

The aim of this thesis is to research possible inference strategies based on the literature and to implement a selection of those. If the topic is chosen as a MSc thesis, an experimental evaluation of different inference strategies is also required.

Due to the algorithmic nature of this topic, the student should be interested in programming and not afraid of digging into some aspects of spatio-temporal analysis. The student is free to choose their programming language and environment of choice. Ideally, the software would be implemented in Javascript, so the results could be integrated into an existing learning application that is currently under development as part of the SIMPORT project (https://simport.net/). The aim of this learning application is to educate users about the risks and consequences of sharing their location data.

Contact: Sven Heitmann

SITCOMCreating a ‘City Dashboard’ for bicycle mobility in Münster

Mobility infrastructure has a great impact on the sustainable development of cities. An efficient non-motorized infrastructure can help Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting public health (SDG 3.4), contributing to better air, water, and soil quality (SDG 3.9), increasing accessibility and affordability of public transportation (SDG 11.2), reducing the environmental impact in cities (SDG 11.6.), helping to climate control (SDG 13.2). German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen- DGNB) provides comprehensive tools to assess the sustainability of buildings and neighborhoods in Germany since 2007. The tools are developed and updated regularly according to the SDGs and local sustainability strategies. Non-motorized traffic is covered by DGNB Quartier in 2020 with the aim of efficient use of resources, increased affordability, and increased user comfort which provides better experience and accessibility especially for people with reduced mobility.

BSc - In the scope of the BSc thesis, the focus will be given to the assessment of cycling infrastructure in Münster. The data collection and analysis will be based on the indicators defined by the German Sustainable Building Council (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen- DGNB), Neighbourhood certification (DGNB Quartier) (sub section Technische Qualität - TEC 3.2). Data collection and analysis will include the assessment of quantity and quality of city’s existing cycling infrastructure such as integration of the cycling network to other transportation modes and land uses, the quantity and quality of bicycle parking spaces, and signalisation. The student will automate the assessment of indicators through an algorithm developed in SQL or Python, visualise the results on the preferred system, and recommend a roadmap for future applications to achieve maximum score (30 points) stated in the DGNB Quartier sustainability certification system.

MSc - The MSc thesis aims to create an interactive City Dashboard for Münster focusing on cycling infrastructure in the city centre.  Complementary to the data collection and analysis processes described in the BSc thesis, the student is expected to develop a web-based, interactive dashboard that enables users of the city to monitor the status quo of the cycling infrastructure and investigate the impact of possible interventions (e.g. increasing the amount of the cycling paths or bicycle parking spaces) on the overall quality of non-motorised mobility infrastructure.  

References:

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen (2020), DGNB Quartiere Kriterienkatalog, https://static.dgnb.de/fileadmin/dgnb-system/de/quartiere/kriterien/DGNB-Kriterienkatalog-Quartiere-Kommentierungsversion-2020.pdf

Contact: Simge Özdal Oktay

GeoSimInformation spreading in ad-hoc (social) networks

Social networks have been (mis)used to spread propaganda and fake news. Most social networks rely on a pre-existing infrastructure with a central gateway, making it relatively easy for people or bots to spread information. In contrast, in ad-hoc networks each node participates in the spreading of information by forwarding data to other nodes, e.g. with Bluetooth. As such, ad-hoc networks are built up in the node’s direct surroundings, i.e. in the spatial neighborhood instead of in the ‘social’ neighborhood. For example, in Hong Kong, the ad-hoc service Apple Air Drop was used to share flyers on upcoming protests. Air Drop enables pure decive-2-device sharing without intermediaries who could have blocked the communication. This may be "liberating" in repressive systems but may also be another "attack vector" in social media systems that build on ad-hoc anonymity.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the dynamics of communication in a hypothetical ad-hoc (social) network in the context of the spreading of propaganda and fake news. Depending on the interest of the student, a prototype ad-hoc network may be set up to gather real-world data or an agent-based model may be developed to simulate the spreading of information in different geographic contexts. This thesis will be supervised by Judith Verstegen and Christian Grimme (Department of Information Systems, Münster).

Contact: Judith Verstegen

GeoSimLand use optimization, raster vs. vector representation

What is the optimal land use, if we want to minimize deforestation and simultaneously maximize agricultural return? Finding that land use allocation is in most locations impossible, because the objectives are conflicting. On the other hand, it is possible to find compromise solutions that satisfy both objectives to some extent. Current techniques to solve that land use allocation problem belong to the cathegory Artificial Intelligence and are called Multi-Objective optimizations, for example Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithms. Spatial input data is used for the optimization, and the question arises, which representation shall be used: Fields (raster data) or objects (vector data). For computational efficiency, the chosen spatial input data for the optimization is usually of raster type instead of vector type. Nevertheless, raster representation can yield disadvantages compared to vector representation: Information regarding the topology is lost and data inaccuracies can be generated during the conversion process.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the impact of using different data representations in land use allocation optimization. Depending on the student's interest and background, possible specialisations can be to

1) Analyse the optimization results generated with raster data and vector data on different spatial scales with real data.

2) Implement GPU-accelerated computations of the objective functions and compare the algorithm performance per representation type. 

Contact: Moritz Hildemann, Judith Verstegen

GeoSimGenetic programming to optimize 3D trajectories

Finding the optimal trajectory in an 3D space is an ongoing research topic with applications such as optimizing an underwater route for a submarine robot or a flight route for drones. The problem becomes challenging as soon as the 3D space has barriers like danger zones or protected spaces. Those barriers can be modelled as features in GIS. A research gap to be closed is to combine the trajectory optimization techniques with GIS-modelled 3D barriers. Namely, the produced 3D-routes from the optimization techniques need a validation process to ensure that no barriers are crossed. Since many validations are necessary, one requirement is a fast computation.

The aim of this thesis is to solve the trajectory optimization problem with the artificial inteligence technique called "Genetic Programming" (GP). The produced trajectories are to be converted into geographical lines, which are tested for any interference with GIS-modelled 3D barriers. 

Contact: Moritz Hildemann, Judith Verstegen

ExternalFloating Action Buttons für die zentrale Suche in Geo-Metadatenkatalogen

Bachelor / Master Thesis

Floating Action Buttons für die zentrale Suche in Geo-Metadatenkatalogen

Usability ist ein wichtiger Aspekt für die Qualität moderner Software. In den letzten Jahren sind die Erwartungen der Anwender hinsichtlich einer guten Usability stark gestiegen. In den letzten 2 Dekaden haben daher zahlreiche wissenschaftliche Arbeiten untersucht, wie die Usability von Desktop- und Mobile-Anwendungen optimiert werden kann, siehe z.B. [1]. Trotz der großen Popularität dieses Themas wurde die Usability von Geoinformationssystemen (GIS) allerdings anscheinend weniger intensiv betrachtet. Einige Beispiele finden sich in [27]. Als führender Anbieter für integrierte Geo IT-Lösungen im internationalen Umfeld, optimiert con terra die Usability von Produkten und Lösungen kontinuierlich. In Zusammenarbeit mit Hochschulen und Universitäten konnten in diesem Kontext bereits spannende Abschlussarbeiten angeboten werden, siehe z.B. [8, 9].

Verschiedene Projekte befassen sich mit der Suche von Daten bzw. Metadaten in Katalogen. Ein Beispiel dafür ist die Case Study zum Open.NRW-Portal [10] oder die Case Study zum EUMETSAT Product Navigator [11]. Eine Herausforderung dabei ist es, dem Anwender eine zentrale Suche zur Verfügung zu stellen, über die sowohl die Inhalte der jeweiligen Kataloge, als auch redaktionelle Inhalte der verknüpften Portale gefunden werden können. Dabei soll diese zentrale Suche prominent und allgegenwärtig verfügbar sein, sich aber gleichzeitig auch in das Corporate Design des jeweiligen Kunden einfügen und genügend Platz zur Darstellung der eigentlichen Daten lassen.

Eine Abschlussarbeit soll daher analysieren, wie das von Googles Material Design bekannte Konzept der Floating Action Buttons genutzt werden kann, um eine zentrale Suche für Daten bzw. Metadaten in Katalogsystemen und Portalseiten zu realisieren (Abbildung 1 skizziert einen möglichen Ansatz). Dazu soll ein Konzept erarbeitet und prototypisch umgesetzt werden (z.B. basierend auf interaktiven Balsamiq-Mockups). Anschließend soll dieses Konzept durch geeignete Usability-Methoden wie etwa Benutzerstudien [1], SUS- [12] oder UEQ- Fragebögen [13] evaluiert werden.

Abbildung 1: Möglicher Einsatz eines Floating Action Buttons als Zugang zur zentralen Suche (links: Suche inaktiv, Fokus liegt auf den Webinhalten; rechts: Suche aktiv)

Kontakt

Dr. Morin Ostkamp
con terra GmbH Martin-Luther-King-Weg 20 48155 Münster
+49 251 59689 325
m.ostkamp@conterra.de

Literatur

  1. [1]  J. Nielsen. Usability Engineering. Kaufmann, 1993

  2. [2]  C. Davies and D. Medyckyj-Scott. Gis usability: recommendations based on the user’s

    view. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 8(2), 1994

  3. [3]  D. Schobesberger. Integrating User and Usability Research in Web-Mapping

    Application Design. Modern Trends in Cartography. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation

    and Cartography, J. Brus, A. Vondrakova and V. Vozenilek, Eds. Springer, 2015

  4. [4]  J. Komarkova, O. Visek and M. Novak. Heuristic evaluation of usability of GeoWeb

    sites. Web and wireless geographical information systems. Springer, 2007

  5. [5]  A.-M. Nivala, S. Brewster and L. T. Sarjakoski. Usability Evaluation of Web Mapping

    Sites. The Cartographic Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, 2008

  6. [6]  E. Park and J. Ohm. Factors influencing users’ employment of mobile map services.

    Telematics and Informatics, vol. 31, no. 2, 2014

  7. [7]  A. Hussain, E. Mkpojiogu and M. Yusof. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use,

    and perceived enjoyment as drivers for the user acceptance of interactive mobile maps.

    Proc. AIP ‘16, AIP Publishing, 2016

  8. [8]  Matthias Stein. Verbesserung der Usability bei der Steuerung von Karteninhalten auf

    mobile Endgeräten. Bochum University of Applied Sciences, 2017

  9. [9]  Yevgeniya Litvinova. Feature Info Improving the visualization and usability of GIS

    background information in the context of a mobile tourist application. University of

    Münster, 2017. https://run.unl.pt/bitstream/10362/33716/1/TGEO0164.pdf

  10. [10]  https://www.conterra.de/casestudies/user-centered-redesign

  11. [11]  https://www.conterra.de/casestudies/earth-observation-web-services-ux-design-support

[13] J. Brooke. SUS: A ‘quick and dirty’ usability scale. Usability Evaluation in Industry,

Taylor & Francis, 1996
[13] B. Laugewitz, T. Held and M. Schrepp. Construction and Evaluation of a User

Experience Questionnaire. USAB 2008, LNCS 5298, Springer, 2008

 

Contact: Christian Kray

SILReplicability of wayfinding research

Navigation research is usually performed in very specific spatial context (such as the city in which the paper's authors are based or the virtual environment that they have created). This introduces a challenge to generalizability and replicability of navigation research because we do not know whether classic research findings would be equally applicable in different spatial contexts (e.g., a different city).

This thesis focuses on replicating an existing wayfinding paper (to be chosen by the student) in Münster, or in a virtual environment available at ifgi.

The key challenge is finding a way to make the new spatial context (of Münster) comparable to that of the original paper.

Thesis co-supervised by Daniel Nüst (with technical support w.r.t. replicability).

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SILVirtual vs. Real-world situated navigation

Hölscher et al. showed that human navigation in urban environments is "situated", i.e., that people modify their wayfinding plan as they spot new shortcuts while walking through the environment. Their study was conducted in the city centre of Freiburg. This thesis topic will aim at replicating these results (a) in Münster, and (b) in Virtual Reality. The technical challenge is to build a simplified virtual reality representation of a portion of Muenster. The experimental challenge is to involve two groups navigating the same space in the real and in the virtual world.

 

Reference: Hölscher et al. (2011): Would you follow your own route description?

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMPublic participation WebGIS for deeper analysis tasks

The number of web-based geographic information systems (GIS) that are publicly available on the internet has increased manifold in recent years. The wide range of applications includes tools for planning outdoor trips, virtual globes for educational purposes as well as interactive dashboards to visualise and track reported cases of COVID-19 in real time. Despite this development, there still is a lack of wider public involvement in spatial decision-making problems. While the technological difficulties of accessing and working with GIS on the web have largely been solved, we still have not yet witnessed the take-off of web-based public participation GIS (PPGIS). Although research in this area has shown that public use of GIS is beneficial for citizen participation in urban planning processes, the number of applications is relatively small and oftentimes, the functionality is very limited, particularly with respect to deeper analysis.

 

Part of the reason may be the lack of research on how to best leverage GIS technologies to foster citizen participation. In addition,many users struggle when interacting with WebGIS as various usability evaluations have shown. Many tools are designed for experts that have a background in GIS, work with these applications on a daily basis and have participated in classes or studied detailed instructions to perform complex analysis task. However, many users are unfamiliar with GIS tools but still expect a pleasant user experience similar to other tools on the internet that do not require extensive knowledge prior to interaction. Assessing the requirements, providing the appropriate tools, and evaluating the usability is thus crucial for involving the public in spatial decision-making problems.

 

The goal of this thesis is thus to design, implement and evaluate a public participation WebGIS that enables lay people to make use of deeper analysis features such as reachability or catchment area computations. Based on requirements collected from city planners and citizens, a prototypical system realising (part of) the needed analysis features will be implemented. It is understood, that this implementation would build upon existing systems or libraries (such as Ethermap or Leaflet). In order to evaluate the developed WebGIS, a user study should be conducted. Promising domains for the participatory WebGIS include, for example:

  • bikeability (where to place bike parking, which roads to close for cars, where to add bike lanes),
  • energy transformation (where to place wind turbines, batteries, charging stations, etc.), or
  • noise pollution (where to reduce speed, where to ban noise-producing entities, where to add noise-reducing measures)

​There is potential for collaboration with ongoing projects at sitcome (such as GECCO), with the City of Münster and the newly founded StadtLaborMünster.

Contact: René Unrau