Person Profile

Ralph Straumann has earned his PhD in Geography from the University of Zurich with foci in geographic information science and cartography. He specialises in research about geographies of the Internet and user-generated content.

Ralph Straumann is a geographic information scientist with Ernst Basler + Partners in Zurich, Switzerland. He has a background in geography, cartography and political science, with a PhD in geographic information science from the University of Zurich. In his PhD he investigated geomorphological landform terms and their ontological structure. Using fuzzy set approaches he devised algorithms to characterise the extent and nature of such fiat entities using quantitative approaches and digital elevation data.

After his PhD, he moved into the research field of Internet geographies. He is particularly interested in user-generated content, knowledge-sharing, social media and mapping platforms and, particularly, in the developmental, political and societal questions that arise from these. He has worked on platforms and services such as Twitter, Flickr and Wikipedia. In his approach he likes to combine the fields of spatial analysis, statistical modelling, network analysis and information visualization. He maintains a blog and an online presence at http://www.ralphstraumann.ch.

Research interests

user-generated content, social networks, open data, information science, visualization, geography

Positions held at the OII

  • Visitor, April 2015 –

Current projects

Past projects