Teaching

The following courses are taught regularly by members of the Sitcom lab.

Winter Term:

  • [BSc] Introduction to Geoinformatics (every year): This course, taught in German, provides a general and broad introduction to Geoinformatics as a discipline. It is open to all BSc degrees in the faculty and covers fundamental areas such as conceptualisation and modelling, digital cartography and various ways to represent geodata (raster, vector, network models). The course also covers some fundamentals in computer science and provides an overview over emergent areas in the field.
  • [MSc] HCI research methods (not every year): In this course, we will focus on methods that can be used to develop and evaluate interactive systems with users. We will cover basic concepts such as experimental research in general, statistical analysis and experimental design. In addition, the course will introduce you to more specific themes such as surveys and their design, qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as issues relating to working with human subjects. The lecture component will cover the theoretical aspects of these topics whereas the practical exercise will enable you to work with the methods discussed. To successfully participate in the course, you will need to participate in the practical exercises and submit a final report on the application of one of the methods discussed. The course will be based on the book ‘Research methods in human-computer interaction’ by J. Lazar, J.H. Feng and H. Hochheiser.
  • [MSc] Geoinformation in Society (every year): The course ”Geoinformation in Society” focuses on the question how spatiotemporal information is used in society and how it can affect various groups (both in a positive and a negative way). For this purpose, we will discuss the representation and geographic visualization of spatio-temporal phenomena of societal relevancy. Visual thinking and visual communication facilitate the understanding of phenomena such as the digital divide, land change, resource depletion, epidemic spread and social exclusion. The course will briefly introduce participants to geographic data modelling as well as geovisualization to support the exploration, analysis, synthesis, and presentation of knowledge about spatio-temporal phenomena. Participants are expected to turn existing data of their choice (e.g., unemployment data, health data, crime data, air quality data, land use data, etc) into applications which consume the data and visualise it so that the target audience can benefit from it. Basic knowledge of programming is required. The applications are expected to use existing libraries (such as D3) or infrastructure such as the Open City Toolkit. Ideally, the applications should meet the needs of specific local stakeholders such as the city council, a citizen organisation or an NGO that is active locally.

Summer term:

  • [BSc] Geosoftware I (every year): This practical course, taught in German, provides undergraduate students in Geoinformatics with a comprehensive introduction to building geo-applications using web technologies. After a thorough introduction to various elements of web-based development (JavaScript, HTML, version control) and extensive use of each element, students work on a small project to realise a map-based web application.
  • [BSc] Scientific methods for BSc thesis (every year): This seminar, taught in German, prepares undergraduate students for the process of writing their BSc thesis. It covers various essential skills and steps such as writing a short proposal or exposé for the thesis topic, finding and analysing related work as well as managing supervisors and time while working on the thesis project.
  • [MSc] Location Based Services (every year): Location-based systems are a rapidly growing area in mobile systems that use information about users' current location and their surroundings to provide novel services or to adapt services to the local context. The lecture part will cover key topics of relevance in this area, including different methods to sense the user's current location, potential application areas, contextual factors as well as implications for user interaction. The practical part complements the lecture on location-based systems, and will enable participants to independently explore some of the areas discussed in the lecture. Using academic literature on location-based services, the topics of the lecture will be further explored through brief presentations by students on specific papers, discussions and group work.This course consists of two parts, lecture and exercises, which can only be taken together in one semester. Therefore, please make sure to register for the exercise part as well!
  • [BSc] Interaction with Geoinformation (not every year): Geoinformation is a core ingredient for many services and applications. A large percentage of these are accessed by human users who try to achieve certain goals through the use of geo-software, for example, to reach a destination. This lecture part will focus on the basic principles underpinning human-computer interaction in general, and specifically on interaction with geoinformation. The practical part will consist of building an example system that realises interaction with geoinformation, which is then evaluated using evaluation methods taught in the lecture part.

Study Project Courses (almost every semester):

Study project courses have a different topic each time. The sitcom lab offers a study project course almost every semester. The following are some examples of study project courses that sitcom members have taught recently.

  • Studienprojekt “Die Realität als Basiskarte” (Reality as a basemap). SS 2020, Christian Kray, Samuel Navas Medrano:
    • With the rapid proliferation of Augmented Reality (AR), it is now possible to display geographic information directly on site and integrate it into the regular view of users. This is possible on typical mobile phones (via camera-screen coupling) or by using AR glasses. The aim of this study project was to develop and implement approaches use AR in combination with a real world view as a base map in classic GIS applications.
  • Visualising air quality information in situ. WS 2019/20, Christian Kray, Samuel Navas Medrano.
    • This study project focused at developing intuitive visualisations of air quality data that targeted citizens and that tried to enable them to make informed decisions (e.g. regarding where to go for a run or which areas to avoid). The students developed a combination of Augmented Reality and map-based visualisations to clearly convey uncertainties associated with air quality data, to depict information so that non-expert can understand their meaning and to support decision-making with respect to route planning.
  • Haptic Interaction with Spatial Information. SS 2018, Max Pfeiffer.
    • This study project focused on basic principles and methods in Human-Computer Interaction with a specific focus on haptic feedback and on interacting with geoinformation. The students applied the theoretical background in a practical project where a prototype for presenting spatial information through haptic feedback was developed.
  • Supporting remote collaboration with Augmented Reality and architectural plans. SS 2018, Christian Kray, Samuel Navas Medrano.
    • This study project focused on developing a system for facilitating remote collaboration over architectural plans. The basic idea that was explored in this project was how to augment paper plans with various overlays (e.g. pointing gestures, highlights, modifications) via a projector-camera system. During the project, the students learned and used techniques from Augmented Reality and Computer Vision to develop two coupled tabletop systems for capturing and transmitting hand gestures across distances.

Seminars (occasionally):

  • Location Privacy. WS 2014/15, Christian Kray