Geo-information Processing

What's the Master's Geo-information Science and Earth Observation about?

Based on our ambition of producing actionable geo-information, the department works on the design and development of methods and techniques for processing (acquiring, organizing, analyzing) heterogeneous collections of spatio-temporal data, and in the implementation of open geo-information solutions (models, visualizations and services) that help to understand key societal problems.

As such we operate in the triangle formed between fundamental GIS/RS, domain  applications, and Computer Science & Digital Humanities. For this, we strongly advocate for co-creating knowledge with domain experts to ensure the societal relevance and scientific validity of our work. We link our work to the UT’s Digital Society Institute (DSI).

We are particularly inspired to work on problems arising in societies of the Global South, and as laid out in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Our research specializes around problems that relate to change. For instance, human or goods movements, changes in food and water cycles and implications for impacts on humans and for ecosystems, the spread of infectious diseases, etc.

  • Our Mission

    Our central focus and ambition is to provide actionable geoinformation to diverse stakeholders. Under actionable geoinformation we understand high-quality geoinformation that is up-to-date and ready-to-use in critical as well as commonplace, or planning, or day-to-day applications, e.g., crisis response, policy-making and planning for key societal problems, or supporting smallholder farmers in decision-making. Our work is closely linked to matches several Sustainable Development Goals. 

    Our work combines various scientific domains and disciplines, such as Geographic Information Science, Remote Sensing, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Humanities. As a result, We have links with many in-house research groups and institutions, e.g., including the Digital Society Institute, and a global network of partners and alumni. 

    We cover the entire information processing chain along the three stages of
     (i) data collection and management,
     (ii) computational analysis and modelling
     (iii) visualization and dissemination, with a particular cross-cutting focus on changes in space and time. 

    Data collection and management:

    Data with a geographic or temporal aspect is collected through numerous devices and by many different actors. We develop methods and techniques to collect, store, and manage high quality, reusable geodata and improve its quality and reusability where possible and necessary. The collectionis includes crowdsourced or volunteered geo information from citizens, remotely sensed data from satellites, and low-cost in-situ sensors (Internet of things), and for storage we deploy traditional relational database management systems as well as cloud-based, distributed key-value systems. To enable the use of such diverse data, we have a long history of research on technical (syntactic) and semantic interoperability.  

    Computational Analysis and modelling:

    Our toolbox includes all state-of-the-art methods to analyze (geo) data, big and small, including machine learning (e.g., deep learning techniques), multi-dimensional clustering (e.g., of earth observation imagery time series), semantic technologies for describing information data (e.g., through ontologies), and natural language processing for unstructured geoinformation (e.g., social media). Further, we employ agent-based modelling to analyze and predict individual-and aggregate level behaviour in space and time. 

    Visualization and dissemination:

    We have expert knowledge in cartography and information visualization. To disseminate our maps and visualizations, we use and develop interactive web-based solutions. To move advance the state-of-the-art, we run a geovisualization lab that allows user-centered design studies through eye-tracking and virtual/augmented environment. 

    In addition, we are committed to opening up science and contribute to citizen geoscience and open and reproducible geoscience research.