Heidelberg University is the oldest (625 years) university in Germany and constantly ranked among the three best universities in Germany according to several international rankings. Just last summer it was for the second time in a row among the winners of the recent German Initiative of Excellence. The GIScience research group at Heidelberg University's Department of Geography belongs to the most dynamically-growing research groups throughout Europe with now over eight experienced Postdocs and senior researchers specializing in different aspects of Crowdsourcing GI, VGI, Urban Sensing, data quality, Web-based GIS and Spatial Data Infrastructures, Routing and Navigation, 3D and Spatial Analysis in different domains where geographic information can be used. Further up to 20 additional scientist and PhD students address those areas. The group works with Open Street Map since 2007 and introduced early 2008 the first European-wide route planning service for pedestrian and bicycle routing including stairs, passways, etc. that used crowd-sourced data from Open Street Map and other free sources such as the SRTM elevation model. This routing service is online since that time and accessed by thousands of users throughout Europe on a daily basis. To enhance interoperability and integration with other systems, the service uses only open standards by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC).
Within the WeGovNow consortium, GIScience at the University of Heidelberg will focus on the identification of metrics that are important for different user groups in the role of data quality analysis. As well as the identification of this information, they will conduct research into approaches for portraying this information to a user in the most appropriate manner for them to make informed decisions. In addition, tools such as OSMatrix will be used in a first instance to identify underlying completeness and quality information for the base OpenStreetMap dataset.