Frequently Asked Questions

The project and course offers

The OpenGeoEdu project aims to illustrate the use of open data offerings in spatially oriented study programs using best-practice examples and, based on these, to provide e-learning offerings for integration in such study programs. In terms of data-driven science, a wide variety of data sources will be merged and processed using GIS analysis and visualization methods. Thus, the project serves to raise the open data treasure for science and to identify manifold application and networking possibilities for research and teaching. In addition to various products such as the data portal for open data, an essential component of OpenGeoEdu is the open online course. This is aimed at students, young scientists, teachers and practitioners who want to familiarize themselves with open geodata for spatially related questions.

Open online courses are extensive learning opportunities that are provided for free use. Usually, such courses are supervised by specialist lecturers for a defined period of time - we call this the active course period. Afterwards, the contents are available for individual self-study - there is no longer any professional supervision. The courses serve to discuss scientific and socially relevant topics for a broad target group. The learning content is prepared in the form of video lectures, scripts and multimedia content. During the active course period, we offer discussion forums and online consultation hours with the teachers for professional exchange. Learners can track their progress via learning tests and have their participation certified during the active course period. The OpenGeoEdu course can be attended by beginners as well as advanced learners as it offers different levels of processing. All parts of the course are offered completely open. Registration is only required in order to be able to track the results achieved and issue appropriate certificates (from the certificate of attendance to the graded proof of a certain amount of credit points). Students can have these certificates recognised by their universities as proof of academic achievement for their courses of study. You can find the specific course offer under the menu item "Overview".

The contents of the online course are released with the CreativeCommons license cc-by-sa and must be cited as follows: OpenGeoEdu, Geo-Informationssysteme, CC BY-SA 4.0. Here is an example:

Topological methods are based on neighborhood relationships; they essentially use graph theory as the mathematical basis. OpenGeoEdu, Geo-Informationssysteme, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Please note:

  • Name the author (OpenGeoEdu is a link to
  • Link to content (Geo-Information systems refers as link to the content
  • License (CC BY-SA 4.0 as a link to the generally understandable summary

For learners

You can find the open learning contents on These serve as an introduction to the respective case studies and prepare you for the corresponding test and exercise. For our exercises and test please register on

A common web browser is required to process the open parts of the lectures. We recommend Firefox and Chrome; Edge and InternetExplorer may display differently. For answering tests and acquiring cerificates independently with open geodata the user has to register. For the tests again only a web browser is necessary. The actual editing can then be processed with the user's common GIS, e.g. installed in the computer pool of the respective university. With our examples we want to show the variety of available GIS software and therefore work sometimes with ArcGIS, sometimes with QGIS or even ArcGIS online. However, the transferability of the approaches to the system you are familiar with should be easy for you. In addition, you need a common office package, whether commercial or open source is up to you. For the modeling of objects and processes we use a modeling tool like Rational Rose or MS Visio as a proprietary solution or open software like StarUML,

OpenGeoEdu is responsive, so it adapts to your device. In this respect, you can work on learning units from smartphones to tablets to the desktop. The exercises are completed on the desktop PC using the GIS software you are familiar with.

OpenGeoEdu requires relatively little previous knowledge. You can get started with a basic GIS introduction, in which you have learned the essential terms and concepts. For novices, we offer click-by-click instructions for each task, which you simply have to follow. We have also included a small crash course on geo-information systems and provide numerous tips and tricks as well as additional material. So you should be able to acquire missing knowledge and necessary skills on your own.

OpenGeoEdu calculates with workloads analogous to the Bologna approaches. Your completed, proven and evaluated results in the form of maps and written papers are checked and evaluated by experts. You will receive a certificate for this, which you submit to your university for recognition. In the course of time, we are striving to reach agreements with lecturers from other universities to simplify recognition.

For each course unit there is a data sheet in which a short characterization of the respective course is given. It also contains an estimate of the time and effort required. The effort required to process the lectures and the self-study required for this naturally depends on your requirements. The complete processing of the basics and a case study is calculated with an effort of about 180 hours and leads to 6 credit points. You can get an overview of the creditable time expenditure per course unit in our workload calculator.

For teachers

OpenGeoEdu is designed for spatially oriented courses of study in German-speaking countries, i.e. courses of study such as geography, geodesy, geoinformatics, spatial, urban, environmental or landscape planning, agriculture and forestry, or geosciences or environmental sciences. If in doubt, ask whether it is suitable for the degree programme in which you are teaching.

In addition to your expertise, you can integrate the know-how of other teachers from an interdisciplinary environment. In addition, you can integrate innovative multimedia teaching and modern examination methods into your courses and give students greater freedom in terms of space, time and content when working on their courses.

As a teacher, you can offer your students the option of working through an OpenGeoEdu teaching unit instead of, for example, a practice unit. You will receive your students' results with workload, grade and certificate and take these into account when billing your course unit.

Teachers in spatial study programmes are very welcome to participate in the OpenGeoEdu platform,

  • by integrating our course into your teaching and motivating students to participate in it or
  • create your own case studies and make them available to the OpenGeoEdu team and thus to everyone.

Here you have all possibilities, from the transfer of ideas to us to the complete development of a case study suitable for your course of study. Here, too, you are best advised to contact us.