The following lectures are a selection from all courses of the Master's programme 'applied geoinformatics' and represent my personal focus within the study. All presented lectures feature a short description of the course-content and one or more application-examples. This shall give the reader an overview of what geoinformatics is and what it is used for. You can either click on the corresponding 'read more' tag in the description or use the menu on the top to get to the course-pages.


Location Based Services

»What if a whole city could be seen from above, as if we were looking out from an airplane? Not just buildings and squares, but also city's occupants. We would be able to detect public gatherings and traffic jams, estimate which neighborhoods are the most crowded, reconstruct commuter-traveling patterns during the course of the day. There could be all sorts of new services for the benefit of the public, from emergency planning to traffic control, from the efficient allocation of utilities to assessing the impact of new city infrastructures.«   (taken from course description in PlusOnline).

Durig the semester we were working in a group of four and we had to develop an application example for a location-based service considering the topic "City Dynamics" based on telecommunication data from Amsterdam, covering the Summer 2010. We decided to focus on the football world championship in South Africa as the Dutch team made it to the finals and we wanted to have a look at the public viewing areas in the city of Amsterdam before, during and after the games. The overall result should be a map of telecommunication traffic in the course of time.

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Web Services and Online Applications

In this course, we were introduced to the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. With the help of these elements, amazing web services and online applications can be created. One very important part of the course was the introduction to the HTML DOM (document object model) as this is the fundamental link between the tag-based structure of a html-webpage and the functionality of JavaScript. JavaScript is a leight-weight and easy to learn scripting language which is directly executed within a web-browser. The examples in this chapter give an idea how the linkage between a webpage and JavaScript works.

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Application Development for Geo-Browsers

The course "Application Development for Geobrowsers" was similar to the course "Web Services and Online Applications" and startet with HTML basics as well. Later the focus was put on JavaScript and some major application programming interfaces (APIs) as Google Maps API, Google Earth API and Open Layers API. Generally the focus was more put on the different kinds of applications and not on the functionality of JavaScript itself. For the final project we could choose between the three APIs to develop a small web-GIS application of our own choice which you can see at the project page. Another shortly discussed topic was the use and access of databases, with special focus on GeoDatabases (PostGIS) and the use and functionality of GeoServer which can unfortunately not be demonstarted in this e-portfolio.

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Cartography & Geovisualization

»Not only is it easy to lie with maps, it's essential. To portray meaningful relationships for a complex, three-dimensional world on a flat sheet of paper or a video screen, a map must distort reality.«   (Mark Monmonier (19962): How to lie with maps, p.1)

As the name suggests this lecture was about Cartography and the emerging field of Geovisualization. Starting with the basics of colors, hue or saturation we dealt with different kinds of maps and their perception by the consumer / viewer. The main topic of the course was the quite new field of Geovisualization and the challenge of bringing maps and visualizations to the third (or even fourth) dimension. As with other courses, we had to develop an own example as final assignment. For the result, click the link below!

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