Geodata is often collected by volunteers and only used by specialists. The University of Duisburg-Essen is now developing automated methods for generally comprehensible representation.
Geodata is recorded in the form of traffic data, air measurements or animal counts - mostly by volunteers. The Software Technology Institute paluno at the University of Duisburg-Essen is now investigating how this publicly accessible data can be evaluated and returned to the general public in an understandable form. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with 271,700 euros over three years.
»The public availability of data is the first step towards the democratisation of data,« says Prof. Dr. Fabian Beck. But real democratisation can only be achieved if the data is comprehensible to everyone. Professor Beck's research group intends to develop methods that automatically generate interactive reports from the data. According to the project plan, they will contain intuitive visual representations and linguistic explanations of the data.
One example: For example, while a map shows current environmental data of a city, attached texts point out unusual measured values and explain the representation. Users should be able to extend and personalize the reports themselves.
The project is entitled »vgiReports: Accessible Reporting of Spatiotemporal Geographic Information Leveraging Generated Text and Visualization« and is part of a DFG priority programme on geodata collected by volunteers.