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Mrs. Svenja Schulze, North-Rhine Westphalia's Minister of Innovation, Science und Research and Dr. Albert Remke, 52°North GmbH presented Tobias Kohr and Marcell Roth with their awards at the GEOINFORMATIK 2011 - "Geochange". In addition to the certificates, the winners received prize money up to 3,000 Euros.

Tobias Kohr’s first prize paper - "Development of a service-based Geoportal enableing the Mapping of Whale Watching" - proposes the implementation of a system for entering and retrieving whale observations by animal-rights activists or volunteers having a general interested in nature. The concept supports multilingualism while implementing well established open technological standards to address the particular requirements and interests of these user groups. The innovative aspect of this system is not so much the development of new technologies, but rather the use of existing technologies to solve a socially relevant problem. Various technological building blocks and open source software components come together to an overall system which enables the collection, organization, retrieval and dissemination of volunteered geographic information. In this case, the focus of the information is the observations of whales, which - like no other animal species – stand for an endangered species’ fight for survival. Not only can this system provide valuable data to whale watchers, researchers and animal activists, but it can also help to broaden public awareness and discussion of endangered species protection. By awarding first prize to this concept, 52°North acknowledges that technological innovation, in the end, is needed to support society to manage the earth’s resources in a more sustainable way.

Second prize winner Marcell Roth proposes in his paper "Geographic Feature Pipes" Linked Data as a trendsetting way to solve the problem of linking and aggregating data coming from different web services. OGC standards are combined with subject-specific ontologies to analyze complex spatial or spatio-temporal questions. The Geographic Feature Pipes portray a process for translating data from OGC Web Services in to the Linked Data Model. This process can also be used to continually update spatially dynamic Linked Data data sets. Thus, Geographic Feature Pipes help to build up the Geospatial Semantic Web. 52°North considers this technologically oriented proposal important for future development of spatial data infrastructures.

 

Student Innovation Prize


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