My name is Franz-Benjamin Mocnik. I work in the GIScience Research Group at Heidelberg University.

My research focusses on investigating what makes geographical information geographical in the most general sense. These investigations will lead to more informed ways of how to conceptualize and represent individual and thus highly idiosyncratic geographies. Understanding how to integrate subjectivity into formal representations and reasoning processes will ultimatively enable the development of ‘platial information systems’, which will allow us to handle individual conceptualizationso of places instead of mere geometric simplifications as it is the case with contemporary geographic information systems.

I have finished my PhD studies at the Research Group Geoinformation of the Vienna University of Technology under the supervision of Andrew U Frank. (You are welcome to read my thesis.) Before I moved to Vienna in 2012, I was part of the Münster Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) in the Institute for Geoinformatics (ifgi) at the University of Münster, where I was supervised by Werner Kuhn.

Research

My scientific interests include topics from different fields, among them geography, information and geographical information science, mathematics and physics, data visualization, cognitive science, and philosophy of science. This plurality has highly influenced my way of thinking and allows me to carry over methods between different fields of science. I am interested in finding answers to the following questions:

How to include fuzzy and individual aspects into geographical representations?
Formal concepts of space are so far limited by their unavoidable rigorousness. Fuzzy and vague information can in their most general sense so far not be included into more complex reasoning processes. This is why representations of individual and thus idiosyncratic geographies, if yet existent, cannot be fully included in a more general framework.

How do people conceptualize place?
The rather narrow notion used in GIS does not leave any place for individual and more complex representations of place. How can the existing notions of space, time, and theme be unified for obtaining a handy and expressive notion of place? How to even include novel representations of space that are used in human thinking? Answers will guide the way to ‘platial information systems’.

How to bridge representations of social and physical processes in the geographical domain?
Social processes intermesh with physical ones. The representations we use for social processes differ though in many ways from their physical counterparts, rendering these concepts, at least in parts, incommensurable. A common understanding of the underlying concepts of both the social and the physical domain will allow for a better understanding of how they are intermeshed.

Which universal laws exist for geographical information?
Tobler's first law of geography is one of very few and well-known examples of universal laws within the domain of geographical information science. Which additional laws and notions describe geographical information universally? What is the structural essence of what guides extensive geospatial datasets? An answer will help establishing novel concepts that are applicable to geographical information in a wide range of applications.

How can we handle the increasing amount and heterogeneity of information?
Big data, i.e., extensive and highly heterogenous data, confronts us with many issues regarding their meaning, their processing, and their visualization. Structural knowledge will enable the better interpretation of the data and, in consequence, their searchability and usability.

Which mathematical and physical concepts can be carried over to geographical information?
Theories discussing structures (i.e., relations between entities) rather than the entities themselves have turned out to be more stable under the evolutionary process of building and modifying theories, as is discussed in structural realism. Formal approaches including category theory and calculus of varations have enormously contributed to the success of mathematics and physics, because their descriptions are based on strong structures. Can such concepts be carried over to geographical information despite its often vague and less rigorous character? Being able to do so would help establishing a more stable and universal theory of geographical information science.

My toolbox to tackle these questions includes, besides methods from geography, also more formal methods, among them algebra and category theory, networks and graphs, methods from data science, spatial reasoning, ontologies, linked (open) data technologies, cartographic methods, and methods from information visualisation.

Publications

The Polynomial Volume Law of Complex Networks in the Context of Local and Global Optimization Journal Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Scientific Reports 8(11274), 2018
A Grounding-Based Ontology of Data Quality Measures Journal Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Amin Mobasheri, Luisa Griesbaum, Melanie Eckle, Clemens Jacobs, Carolin Klonner
Journal of Spatial Information Science 16, 2018, 1–25
Dimension as an Invariant of Street Networks Conference Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Complex Networks and Their Applications, 2018
On the Way to Platial Analysis: Can Geosocial Media Provide the Necessary Impetus? Editorial
Rene Westerholt, Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Alexander Zipf (eds)
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Platial Analysis (PLATIAL'18), 2018
Introduction to the PLATIAL'18 Workshop on Platial Analysis Editor
Rene Westerholt, Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Alexander Zipf
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Platial Analysis (PLATIAL'18), 2018, 1–5
A Novel Identifier Scheme for the ISEA Aperture 3 Hexagon Discrete Global Grid System Journal Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 2018
Linked Open Data Vocabularies for Semantically Annotated Repositories of Data Quality Measures Conference Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience), 2018
Capturing Flood Risk Perception via Sketch Maps Journal Paper
Carolin Klonner, Tomás Usón, Sabrina Marx, Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Bernhard Höfle
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 7(9), 2018, 359
Tradition as a Spatiotemporal Process – The Case of Swedish Folk Music Conference Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Proceedings of the 21st AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, 2018
The Effect of Tectonic Plate Motion on OpenStreetMap Data Conference Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Martin Raifer
Proceedings of the 21st AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, 2018
Geographie. Physische Geographie und Humangeographie Book Section
Hans Gebhardt, Rüdiger Glaser, Ulrich Radtke, Paul Reubner (eds)
Heidelberg: Springer Spektrum, 3rd edition, 2018, to appear
one section and three excurses authored
Open Source Data Mining Infrastructure for Exploring and Analysing OpenStreetMap Journal Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Amin Mobasheri, Alexander Zipf
Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards 3(7), 2018
Maps Telling Stories? Journal Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, David Fairbairn
The Cartographic Journal 55(1), 2018, 36–57
A Statistical Test on the Local Effects of Spatially Structured Variance Journal Paper
Rene Westerholt, Bernd Resch, Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Dirk Hoffmeister
International Journal of Geographical Information Science 32(3), 2018, 571–600
The OpenStreetMap Folksonomy and Its Evolution Journal Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Alexander Zipf, Martin Raifer
Geo-spatial Information Science 20(3), 2017, 219–230
Data Quality and Fitness for Purpose Poster
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Alexander Zipf, Hongchao Fan
Poster at the 20th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, 2017
The Inevitability of Calibration in VGI Quality Assessment Workshop Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Alexander Zipf, Hongchao Fan
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Volunteered Geographic Information: Integration, Analysis, and Applications (VGI-Analytics), 2017
A Scale-Invariant Spatial Graph Model PhD Thesis
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Vienna University of Technology, 2015
Modelling Spatial Structures Conference Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik, Andrew U. Frank
Proceedings of the 12th Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT), 2015, 44–64
Observatories, Laboratories and Experiments in Geographical Information Science Workshop Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
2nd Workshop on Geographic Information Observatories (GIO), 2015
A Literary Map of Turkey Workshop Paper
Lisa Maria Teichmann, Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Proceedings of the Workshop on Data-driven Research in the History of Southeast Europe and Turkey, 2015
Modelling Spatial Information Conference Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Proceedings of the 1st Vienna Young Scientists Symposium (VSS), 2015, 46–47
MapReduce Principle for Spatial Data Conference Short Paper
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
Extended Abstract Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Geographic Information Science (GIScience), 2014, 100–103
Bogomolovs Zerlegungssatz für Calabi-Yau-Mannigfaltigkeiten Diploma Thesis
Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
University of Bonn, 2010

Education

2016
2013
Continuation of Doctoral studies in Geoinformation – final grade: sehr gut, passed with distinction
Thesis: A Scale-Invariant Spatial Graph Model
Advisor: Andrew U Frank
Research Group Geoinformation at the Vienna University of Technology
2012
2011
2011
Diploma in Mathematics (minor subject: Physics) – final grade: sehr gut
Thesis: Bogomolovs Zerlegungssatz für Calabi-Yau-Mannigfaltigkeiten
Advisor: Daniel Huybrechts
Mathematical Institute at the University of Bonn
2004
Pre-diploma in Physics (minor subject: Astronomy) – final grade: sehr gut
Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Bonn

Affiliations

Teaching

Cartography I lecturer; fall 2018
Cartography II lecturer; spring 2018
Cartography I lecturer; fall 2017
GIS Theory assistant, lecture by Andrew U Frank; fall 2014
Mobile GIS-Applications assistant, lecture by Andrew U Frank; fall 2013
Teaching activities for school students and for teachersGI@Schoool; fall 2012, spring 2012, fall 2011
Analysis IV tutor, lecture by Werner Müller; spring 2010
Analysis III tutor, lecture by Werner Müller; fall 2009
Linear Algebra II tutor, lecture by Werner Ballmann; spring 2009
Linear Algebra I tutor, lecture by Werner Ballmann; fall 2008
Algebra I tutor, lecture by Daniel Huybrechts; spring 2008
Groups, Rings, Moduls tutor, lecture by Michael Rapoport; fall 2007
Linear Algebra II tutor, lecture by Daniel Huybrechts; spring 2007
Linear Algebra I tutor, lecture by Daniel Huybrechts; fall 2006
Analysis IV tutor, lecture by Jens Franke; spring 2006
Analysis III tutor, lecture by Jens Franke; fall 2005
Analysis II tutor, lecture by Jens Franke; spring 2005

Contact

Dipl.-Math. Dr.rer.nat. Franz-Benjamin Mocnik
GIScience Research Group
Institute of Geography

Heidelberg University
Im Neuenheimer Feld 348
69120 Heidelberg, Germany
office room 012a
phone +49 6221 54-4479
fax +49 6221 54-4529