280.675 Sensing and mapping the city
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2020W, UE, 1.5h, 3.0EC, to be held in blocked form


  • Semester hours: 1.5
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: UE Exercise
  • Format: Hybrid

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to review and apply alternative data acquisition techniques in the context of spatial planning. During the intensive workshop week, students will deal with a theoretical introduction to VGI, get an overview on modern (spatial) data analysis and visualisation techniques and present their results and findings on a project blog.

Subject of course

Just until recently, the task of mapping geographical phenomena was reserved for cartographers and other experts, who had access to specific equipment (telescopes, sextant, theodolites, etc.) and expertise. Nowadays, facilitated by the wide prevalence of smartphones and other connected devices, it became inherently easy to define our position and share it with others. The British-American cartographer Michael F. Goodchild coined the term “Volunteered Geographic Information”, describing spatial data that is created and distributed by non-trained users using the possibilities provided by technological innovations such as Web 2.0.

Teaching methods

The course is held blocked, together with participants from other universities located in the Danube Region. The international project groups will test and assess alternative data acquisition techniques and create together an overview of potentials and limits of these methods. The results will be compiled and published on a project blog, provided by the teaching team.


Mode of examination


Additional information

The workshop week is organised within the framework of the Erasmus-Plus project “Danubian SMCs”, which aims to bring together interdisciplinary knowledge in spatial planning from universities situated along the Danube (UAUIM Bucharest as a lead partner, BME Budapest, UNS Novi Sad, UB Belgrade, STU Bratislava, DUK Krems). Students will work together with colleagues from these partner universities and develop approaches that consider the different challenges small and medium sized cities along the Danube face. Participants from the partner universities will take part in the course online.



Course dates

Mon10:00 - 12:0012.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Introduction
Tue10:00 - 12:0013.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Introduction Data Acquisition
Wed13:00 - 15:0014.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Data Acquisition Troubleshooting Consultations (voluntary)
Thu10:00 - 12:0015.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Introuction Data Handling
Fri13:00 - 14:0016.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Data Preparation Troubleshooting Consultations (voluntary)
Mon10:00 - 13:0019.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Introduction Web-Mapping
Tue13:00 - 14:0020.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Web-Mapping Troubleshooting Consultations (voluntary)
Wed10:00 - 11:0021.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Web-Mapping Troubleshooting Consultations (voluntary)
Thu10:00 - 13:0022.10.2020 via GoToMeeting (LIVE)Final Presentation and Discussion
Course is held blocked

Examination modalities

During the workshop week, a weblog will be developed, where different applications/devices will be reviewed according to their applicability in a spatial planning context. The content of the blog articles will provide the basis for assessment, complemented with a short logbook and workshop reflection.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
14.08.2020 23:59 09.10.2020 23:59 09.10.2020 23:59

Registration modalities

Short motivation letter to balazs.cserpes@tuwien.ac.at (Deadline September 30, 2020)

Please chose at least one of the following (non-obligatory) topics:

  • geodata processing
  • OpenStreetMap/Wikipedia
  • Social media analysis
  • Big Data
  • Photography/Videography
  • Webdesign/Layouting
  • Online cartography
  • Activity sensors (e.g. Fitbit, Electrodermal activity)
  • ... further topics matching the overall themes of the course


Study CodeSemesterPrecon.Info
066 440 Spatial Planning


Goodchild, Michael F. 2007: Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography. In: GeoJournal 69:211–221. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-007-9111-y