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At the Spatial Intelligence Lab


GI in Education

At the Spatial Intelligence Lab


Sketch Maps

At the Spatial Intelligence Lab

Spatial Intelligence Lab

Institute for Geoinformatics

Who we are

The Spatial Intelligence Lab is part of the Institute for Geoinformatics at the University of Muenster and deals with research problems from the interdisciplinary field of geographic information science, computer science and cognitive science.

What we do

Our research brings together topics from a diverse array of subject areas under the unified theme „intelligent representation and processing of geospatial information“ . We are particularly interested in understanding the techniques that humans employ to structure spatial knowledge and use this understanding to provide better methods for interacting with GI systems.

We investigate how geoinformation technologies can best support human cognition and learning processes such that we can better understand and solve spatio-temporal problems.

We follow a use-inspired research approach: Gaining scientific knowledge serves to advance practical solutions which were applied in several successful products and spin-offs.

Research area

Our research includes analysis of sketch maps, exploration of GI technologies for education and development cognitive-motivated wayfinding support systems.

At a glance

research lab on spatial intelligence
@Uni Muenster since 2008

Our Goal: assist people with GI Technology to solve spatio-temporal problems

Our Approach: basic research driven by potential benefits of our findings for real world problems


Sketch Maps

Sketch maps are informal drawings that reflect a person’s perception of spatial areas. Because they are intuitive and easy to create, they are used in community mapping activities and in psychological experiments to capture individuals’ spatial knowledge. However, just like cognitive maps, sketch maps are incomplete, distorted, and schematized, which poses a challenge for the analysis.

We develop a computational approach to analyse hand-drawn sketch maps with respect to their completeness, correctness and degree of generalization, paying attention to the fact that human knowledge is qualitative in nature, thus sketch maps should be analysed qualitatively.



delivers fit-for-purpose land tenure recording tools
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3D Sketch Maps

extends our sketch map analysis method "SketchMapia to 3D
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software for analyzing freehand sketch maps for their correctness, completeness and degree of generalization
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