Steffen Fritz

Dr. Steffen Fritz studied physics and geography at the University of Tübingen and received a Master of Science degree from the University of Durham in 1996 in Geographical Information for Development. Subsequently, he was then awarded a studentship from the School of Geography at the University of Leeds where he finished his PhD in 2001. Dr. Fritz was already at that time interested in the interface between humans and their environment where he researched the topic of how the wild land perception of people could be mapped. Dr. Fritz undertook a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Joint Research Centre (in Italy) from 2002. During this time, he learned image classification techniques for land cover, where his primary task was to mosaic, harmonize, and produce the Global Land Cover 2000 database. Based on his work on land cover, Dr. Fritz investigated the uncertainties in global land cover, which has resulted in many subsequent publications. However, in the joint effort search for a solution to this big global data problem, Dr. Fritz had initial thoughts to develop an open transparent land cover visualisation and validation tool. The opportunity to do so came along in 2009 at IIASA, where Dr. Fritz became the initiator and driving force behind Geo-Wiki.org and Geo-Wiki mobile, a global land cover validation tool based on Web 2.0 and crowdsourcing. The initial paper published on Geo-Wiki.org was awarded the 2nd best paper in the Journal Remote Sensing. Currently, Dr. Fritz is Deputy Program Director of the Ecosystem Services and Management (ESM) Program, and Centre Head of the Earth Observation and Citizen Science (EOCS) Research Group. Furthermore Dr. Fritz is the Principal Investigator of the ERC funded »CrowdLand» and H2020 funded »LandSense» and »WeObserve» projects, as well as many others. The research interests of Dr. Fritz include Earth observation, citizen science, crowdsourcing, volunteered geographical information, food security, land-use science, global and regional vegetation monitoring, crop yield and crop acreage estimations of agricultural crops, serious gaming, gamification, and in-situ data collection of land-use and land cover via mobile technologies, as well as citizen science for SDG monitoring and implementation.

Supported by Neogeography Group