Overwhelmed with Geographic Information

After the first full conference day I’m really overwhelmed with information, inputs and exciting conversations. Having last night’s keynote still in mind I should probably try to visualize everything as a continuous surface (although much of the interaction was networking …).

Anyway, this morning the AGIT conference was officially opened with a plenary session and a nice keynote by Christian Schlieder internet about gamification. There I learnt at least to things: Monopoly was originally designed to demonstrate the process of land grabbing (to be exact, the consequence of a specific tax model should have been demonstrated) in the 1920s by a lady called Elizabeth Phillips. And secondly, whenever we use humans as actively participating sensors for spatial data collection, gamification helps to keep the motivation high. In this context I liked the metaphor of using geographic space as game board.

During the opening ceremony three students were awarded internet for their master thesis. I attended the session where one of the two award winners presented his work. Andreas Partusch gave a brilliant talk on his stochastic approach for routing impedance. The main idea is to use functions for the routing impedance (in his case the travel time per edge) instead of deterministic values. These functions are derived from floating car data sets and reflect the variability of travel time in the course of a day. Feeding this model into a simulation allows to identify corridors of preferred routing connections between two given points. With this approach traffic systems can be nicely analyzed (e.g. bottle-neck detection) and routing information can provide alternative routes.

In the afternoon I contributed to one of the mobility sessions and presented our work on the usage of OpenStreetMap data for spatial analysis. Some of the aspects I’ve already published on this blog. Nevertheless here are the slides of my presentation (it’s in German language):

In the afternoon the OpenStreetMap forum internet once again turned out to be a real highlight in the AGIT program!
Falk Zscheile, a lawyer, talked about fundamental implications of the ODbL. In this context he emphasized the important legal distinction between data, data sets and data products. What turned out to be the most difficult part in the interpretation of the ODbL is the difference between a derived database and a collective database. Maybe there is the chance to discuss this issue in friday’s FOSSGIS Q/A session.
After Falk’s introductory talk Markus Mayr from the technical university of Vienna gave a very practical overview of different licenses, which need to be considered when working with OSM. What I learnt was that the map tiles provided at www.openstreetmap.org internet are still licensed by the CC-BY-SA license. This means, as Markus pointed out, that a T-Shirt with imprinted OSM tiles is to be distributed under the CC-BY-SA license. By the way, I like the idea to share a T-Shirt at the end of a long AGIT/GI-Forum day …
That OSM data can also be used in a commercial context was impressively demonstrated by Arnulf Christl. After his general introduction to the concept of OpenData (“What can’t be downloaded anytime is not open!”) he introduced his splashmap internet project. Here, the business model entirely relies on the idea itself, the rest is open. But as Arnulf declared without any notion of doubt he makes good money since more than 10 years without any license restrictions for his work.
In the last contribution to the OSM forum, Albuquerque Joao Porto gave an intriguing introduction to crisis mapping. I was especially impressed by the work he does with his students in the context of natural disasters, such as typhoon Hayan (see Reimer et al. (2014) internet for more details). Let’s see what I can adopt for my own visualization class …

Tomorrow will be the second full conference day with the famous conference dinner in the evening. Again, I’ll have a presentation; this time at the GI-Forum conference. Besides I’m looking forward to interesting sessions and workshops and of course to the many contacts and conversations. See you at one of the many occasions for interaction in or between the sessions!

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