Announcing the Winner of the Geospatial EDU Contest for HxGN LIVE 2018

Hexagon Geospatial and academia continue to work together to study, visualize, and model the dynamically changing Earth through a number of Education programs. As one of these initiatives, we were excited to host the Hexagon Geospatial EDU Contest for HxGN LIVE 2018. We started this contest with the goal of engaging some of the brightest geospatial minds to discover how they are using our software to shape smart change in the world.

This exciting opportunity offered students and professors utilizing Hexagon Geospatial technology a chance to win a free registration to HxGN LIVE 2018 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, June 12-15, a session to present their research, and money towards travel expenses. Although there were a lot of great submissions to choose from, we could only have one winner.

The Winning Project is…

We would like to congratulate Marisa Kraft from Technische Universität Darmstadt. Read her winning submission to learn more about how she is using Hexagon Geospatial technology in her research.

Marisa Kraft
Marisa’s Abstract:

I am currently writing my master thesis about spatial data and its dynamic analysis to support humanitarian aid organizations in monitoring and managing refugee camps. I am using M.App Studio to create a dynamic map for buffer analysis and the Incident Analyzer app for epidemiological monitoring within refugee camps.

Within a fast and discontinuously changing environment like a refugee camp, tools which allow dynamic geospatial analysis of real time data are needed to identify undersupplied areas and therefore to prevent riots, diseases and death. Since mobile devices with GPS receivers became affordable for private usage, the interest and therefore the demand for maps from helpers in the field increases. Currently maps are mostly produced on demand by some organizations. Most of the organizations in the field do not use GIS as a standard tool for data analysis due to a lack of financial and time resources. Therefore, there is a need for tools which can be easily used by non-GIS professionals.

To improve the accountability of the humanitarian agencies towards their stakeholders and towards the affected people there are frameworks such as the “Sphere Humanitarian Charter and minimum Standards in Disaster Response”. They define minimum standards for different sectors such as shelter, water and sanitation and health. An example is the maximum distance between each household and the closest functional latrine. These standards should be met to create humane conditions within a refugee camp. To measure the fulfillment of the standards, many humanitarian actors of different sectors need different information derived from the same dataset. The results of their analysis are e.g. used for prompt decision making and appeals for funds.

Thus the Smart M.App is designed to meet three criteria: semi-automated analysis for non-GIS professionals, flexible filtering of data for intersectoral usage and real time geospatial data supply for prompt decision making.

The study area of my thesis is the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. The final application will represent a tool for checking the ratio of population supplied with certain infrastructures. In a first step the user can filter infrastructures displayed on the map (so far, a static test dataset containing latrines) by different attributes. In a second step a buffer radius that meets sector specific standards, can be defined. By clicking a button, a spatial recipe is executed. It calculates the buffers around the selected features, which are then used in a second step to extract households from an underlying dataset. As a result, the buffers are added to the map for further visual interpretation and the percentage of people living within the buffers will be displayed.

In future development steps, the data should be provided by a web feature service. The database underlying the service could be updated by a collector app in the camp to enable real time analysis. Furthermore, additional infrastructure types, e.g. schools, hospitals, water points, etc. can be added to the map. As a result, the variety of filter functionalities is increased and more intersectoral questions can be answered using the application.

Watch the webcast to learn more about how Marisa is using Hexagon Geospatial technology in her research.