Learning objectives and structure of the learning unit

Author of the course unit

M.Sc. Matthias Hinz is a research associate for the OpenGeoEdu project at the University of Rostock.
Mr. Hinz completed his Master's degree in Geoinformatics at the University of Münster in September 2016. During and after his studies he gained professional experience as an assistant at the Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi) of the University of Münster, the 52° North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software GmbH, and as a guest student at the Geospatial Research Group (GEOTEC) of the University Jaume I, Spain. Within these activities he participated in projects in the fields of geoprocessing, geosoftware, remote sensing, data science and reproducible science.

Learning objectives

The aim of the course unit is to provide learners with basic and in-depth knowledge of Open Data in various areas of society on the one hand and with the skills to independently locate open data, assess it (data criticism), process it with GIS tools and interpret it on the other hand. In the context of OpenGeoEdu, learners should be prepared to work with the case studies.


Important topics related to Open Data are discussed in detail here. These include, but are not limited to

  • the origins and background of the Open Data movement
  • quality features of Open Data
  • licenses and Terms of Use
  • Open Data and Open Government Data
    • in German-speaking countries
    • in different parts of society (science, economy, non-profit and honorary projects)

The sub-chapters are provided with open questions and literature references, which encourage the learners to further deal with the topics and to discuss them.

Contents of the exercises

In the exercises, you will learn the basic steps for searching for open data and for preparing and linking them. You will practice judging, visualizing and interpreting the data based on their terms of use (licenses), quality and metadata. This includes:

  • Searching and comparing data offers with our portal of the Open Data Portals
  • The intersection and aggregation of administrative areas with technical data using the official municipality key (AGS) and the regional key (ARS).
  • Working with data from OpenStreetMap