Mapping Zebras – University course

Visualizing spatial contrasts with open data and web maps

This is an intro level university course I taught together with Marian Dörk and Till Nagel in the winter term 2015/16 at FH Potsdam. It was a two-weeks introduction to the world of web mapping and geospatial data visualization. Together with our students we explored different urban and social phenomena by mapping highly contrasting datasets (“zebra”-style), which can tell interesting stories about our world.

A main objective of the course was to give an introduction to a couple of different modern mapping tools, i.e. CartoDB, Data Lens (Thanks HERE for granting access and giving tutorial!) and Unfolding maps, which can be used to create interactive maps on different devices.

These tools are easy to handle, even if you have little or no background in programming, but can also be used for more advanced projects by expanding the functionalities with code. The course also introduced open sources of geodata (i.e. OpenStreetMap) and how to use it in conjunction with these tools.



  • FH Potsdam


  • 2015


  • Course development
  • Teaching