Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences
Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences
two students sitting in front of PC screen

Cognitive Geomatics

Spatial awareness in Germany, South Africa, and Kenya

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA) is hosting an international summer school on Cognitive Geomatics. Teachers and students from HKA, the University of Pretoria, and the University of Nairobi devote this week to applying blended learning, integrating techniques used in geomatics.

September 21, 2023

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA) is organizing the international summer school "Cognitive Geomatics - Teaching/Learning about Sense of Place” from 17 to 24 September 2023, where teachers and students will exchange ideas on various Cognitive Geomatics-related digital teaching and learning materials (blended learning) which were developed with the input of students. The project team takes Cognitive Geomatics as the interaction of how we think about and perceive physical space (our inner maps / mental maps) and how we use high-tech methods for measuring, analyzing, and mapping our environment (in virtual reality). The project also deals with cultural differences.

The Summer School is part of the project "Cognitive Geomatics - Digital teaching to raise awareness of intercultural differences in spatial awareness using the examples of Germany, South Africa, and Kenya". The project is part of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students - BWS plus, a program of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation. It is being funded with 140,000 euros over a period of three years.

Project partners are the HKA (Germany), the University of Pretoria (UP, South Africa), and the University of Nairobi (UoN, Kenya). Six students from each University and two lecturers will devote this week to applying blended learning, integrating techniques used in geomatics. The rapid development of information and communication technology together with the possibilities of cloud computing is leading to an immense increase in data. In the future, this big data will be analyzed to a greater as to its spatial reference, which promises a major boom for geomatics and its methods.
However, these methods are increasingly being used by others than just geomatics specialists. In order to sensitize and train students with regard to different aspects of spatial awareness, each team from the three universities is developing their own learning and teaching method on the topic of "Sense of Place", which they will present, discuss and test during the Summer School. This project is special for including students and their ideas for teaching.

The UP links Sense of Place with crowd mapping, i.e. anyone can participate to contribute data and place it on a map. The HKA team uses web mapping technologies that allow users to view and interact with geographical data on the internet. The UoN tool is used to train Sense of Place through the use of local photos for ground truthing when evaluating satellite images. Teaching/learning materials are examined jointly to ensure that they can be used in different cultural contexts. In addition to the subject-related program, two excursion days to the Black Forest and Heidelberg provide an opportunity to get to know each other and exchange ideas.

The Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM supports the international exchange of students and vocationally qualified people. Since 2001, it has made it possible for more than 28,000 young people from Baden-Württemberg to gain international experience, and allowed scholarship holders from other countries to spend time in Baden-Württemberg. Approximately 1,500 young people receive a Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM each year.

Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus With the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung supports innovative joint projects between universities from Baden-Württemberg and their international partners. The programme, which is endowed with approximately 1.2 million euros annually, has been announced since 2011. Since 2011, more than 110 BWS plus projects have been supported at universities in Baden-Württemberg.

Baden-Württemberg Stiftung
The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung was established in 2000 and is one of the largest operating foundations in Germany. It is an independent and non-party foundation of the state of Baden-Württemberg which is particularly committed to its residents. With its well-defined mission and clear-cut position, it shapes change - in society and culture, in education and in cutting-edge research. For a shared future that is not based on the "I" but on the "we". The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is committed to an energetic civil society and promotes social and cultural participation. With ideas and investments in education, science and culture, it is committed to creating a sustainable Baden-Württemberg worth living in. Its motto: We create the future.


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