Digital Geography Lab contributing to Geoinformatics Research Days 2024

On May 20 and 21, the Geoinformatics Research Days 2024 were hosted at Aalto University. It is a yearly conference initiated by the Finnish University Network for Geoinformatics (Fiuginet). This year’s edition featured researchers from various Finnish institutions working on geospatial topics, but also from abroad. Digital Geography Lab was represented with several contributions.

On Monday, PhD researcher Robert Klein presented his ongoing research on access to travel greenery in major European Cities. He highlighted how temporal variation should not be overlooked when assessing greenery exposure and that there is a trade-off between accessibility and availability of travel greenery in European Cities.

Tuesday started of with a keynote as part of the GeoSPA talk series, organized by our lecturer Kamyar Hasanzadeh. Kamyar invited Franz-Benjamin Mocnick from Paris-Lodron-University of Salzburg to share his work. In his thought-provoking talk, Franz illustrated how simple objects can turn into geographical information by representing places such as tourist attractions, cities, etc. Also, he explained that the communication and representation of places are so subjective and selective, that GIScience is not yet equipped with tools to capture these.

We were also pleased to have our “senior affiliate” Christoph Fink with us for a couple of days. He engaged in the panel discussion on the role of Geo-AI and possible future developments. He pointed out how AI has transformed the work with data in a way that enables researchers to handle immense amounts of data in an increasingly convenient and quick fashion.

Christoph participating in the panel discussion on Geo-AI

In the final session, PhD researcher Tatu Leppämäki presented his geoparsing-tool “Finger”. The tool enables geoparsing from texts in the Finnish language, which can play a crucial role in deriving geographical information from social-media posts. He described how his tool delivers reasonable results despite the grammatical challenges that the Finnish language implies for geoparsing.

Tatu illustrating his geoparsing-tool by extracting all palce names from a Song
Tatu illustrating his geoparsing-tool by extracting all place names from song lyrics


We enjoyed very much also other talks and presentations at Geoinformatics Research Days and value the event as a platform to communicate our research in a relaxed setting. We would like to thank once more the organizers from Aalto University! Looking forward to next year’s edition!

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The Digital Geography Lab is an interdisciplinary research team focusing on spatial Big Data analytics for fair and sustainable societies at the University of Helsinki.