Thinking Spatially

Working with spatial data has never been so exciting. Manifold software solutions and data sets have emerged. These are increasingly available through open source initiatives.

However, spatial data analysis requires more than handy software functunality and data formalization. It also requires the knowledge of various spatial concepts and the awareness of methodological pitfalls. Thus, dealing with geospatial datasets requires what we want to foster, namely critical spatial thinking.

Therefore we provide blogposts, tutorials and literature in both English and German - often inspired by great GIS experts and data scientists - introducing a large variety of tools for spatial data analysis using free and open source software, such as R or QGIS. In doing so, we would like to constantly point out what it means to think spatially.

Blended Learning

Angewandte Geodatenverarbeitung

Die hier angebotenen Tutorials, Skripte und Übungsdatensätze dienen der Einübung zum Umgang mit wichtigen R-Paketen für die Verarbeitung von Geodaten. Sie sollen Studierenden und Interessierten den Einstieg in die Welt der skriptbasierten Geodatenverarbeitung erleichtern.

Geodaten kommunizieren

Die hier angebotenen Tutorials, Skripte und Übungsdatensätze dienen der Visualisierung von Geodaten mittel Leaflet und Blogdown. Sie sollen Studierenden und Interessierten den Einstieg in effektive und reproduzierbare Verfahren zur Kommunikation von Geoinformationen erleichtern.

Recent Posts

Punktinformationen aggregieren

Bei der Verarbeitung von Geodaten werden oftmals Informationen, die auf der Individualebene in Form von Punktgeometrien vorliegen, für …

Automating map-making with tmap

Speed up repetitive map making with the tmap-package by iterating through multiple files with for-loops Climate Models Future climatic …

Crowdsourcing von Volunteered Geographic Information

In vielen Citizen Science Projekten wird das enorme Potential von durch Laien erfasster Geoinformationen eindrucksvoll aufgezeigt. Auch …

Student works


In this section we present supervised student works. They highlight some outputs of our blended learning courses. In an exemplary way, the contributions are meant to underline the potential and possibilities of analysis and visualization in R.

Nils Riach

Research associate

University of Freiburg

Nils is a research assistant and PhD candidate at the chair of physical geography of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. His research focuses on climate change and climate vulnerability in the regional and local context, especially the Trinational Metropolitan Region Upper Rhine (TMRUR) and (Southwest) Germany. He uses indicator and GIS based methods for the quantitative evaluation of climatic vulnerability.

His teaching focuses on applied geospatial processing, analysis and visualisation as well as statistical methods with open source software such as QGIS and R(Studio).


  • Climate change and climate change adaption
  • Climate vulnerability assessments on the regional and local scale
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Processing geodata with R(-Studio)
  • Free and open source GIS software


  • M.Sc. Geography of Global Change, 2018

    University of Freiburg

  • Geography & International Forestry, 2015

    University of Freiburg


Rafael Hologa

Research associate

University of Freiburg

Already as a student, Rafael has carried out research in Thailand and Ghana in the field of development research. Thereafter as research assistant at the chair of physical geography of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg his regional and content focus has shifted, but his methodical approaches to the GIS-based analysis of spatial phenomena have remained constant.

Currently, he is teaching a series of lectures and seminars in field of GIScience. In his Phd work he asks about the added value of a complementary use of ambient geospatial information or volunteered geographic information and official weather data in the context of Citizen Science. To retrieve climatic related content he uses methods of crowdharvesting, crowdsourcing and geocoding.


  • GIScience
  • R(-Studio)
  • Citizen Science
  • Crowdsourcing of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)
  • Crowdharvesting of Ambient Geospatial Information (AGI)
  • Collaborative Research Environments (CRE)


  • M.Sc. Geography of Global Change, 2015

    University of Freiburg

  • B.Sc. Geography & Landscape management and nature conservation, 2012

    University of Freiburg