Open data for teaching and research in spatial study programs

There are currently a large number of geodata, whether from the field of open data, which can generally be used free of charge, or from the field of official or commercial data, the use of which is generally not free of charge or is subject to restrictions on use in some cases. Important commercial data offers can be found on the part of the public administration in the spatial data infrastructure federal and municipal, national (GDI-DE), Europe-wide (INSPIRE) as well as in corporate business areas. All of this data is of great interest and value to citizens, public administration, industry and science, but is subject to a wide variety of conditions of use, costs and business models. The handling of this extensive data offer has so far been practiced only little in teaching and research, although many, especially space-related courses of study with partly large numbers of students - such as the courses of study geography, spatial, urban or environmental planning, agriculture and forestry, geodesy and other earth or environmental sciences - could benefit enormously from this.


The project aims to illustrate the use of open geodata in spatial study programs by means of best practice examples and, building on this, to provide e-learning offerings for integration in a large number of such study programs. For this purpose, exemplary case studies with open data will be selected, thematically processed and made openly available as e-learning units (data, methods, research questions) for subsequent use in teaching and research. A massive open online course (MOOC) will anchor the topic of open geodata and its use in teaching and research in many study programs.

Research questions

How can the handling of open, spatial data, which are subject to a wide variety of conditions of use, cost and business models, be taught and strengthened in teaching and research (especially in spatial studies courses)?


Since this is a project with a substantial teaching component, the main focus is on knowledge transfer. For this purpose, modern e-learning methods are used, which comprise three method parts: Method part 1 - Fundamentals of Data Management, Method part 2 - Spatial Analysis, Method part 3 - Web Processing and Mobile Applications. Creation of the e-learning presentation materials for the three method parts according to the agreed didactic concept (constructivist versus discovery learning) and the platform used. The implementation is carried out by: a) Production of three video tutorials for the MOOC (each method part), b) Conception of a test at the end of each method block, c) Test phase: pre-tests, feedback to optimize the teaching materials, d) Topic design and supervision concepts for further qualification work (including bachelor's, master's theses, dissertations).

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.