Head of Geo-social Analytics Lab

Associate Professor | Head Geo-social Analytics Lab

Bernd Resch is an Associate Professor at University of Salzburg’s Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University (USA). Bernd Resch did his PhD in the area of “Live Geography” (real-time monitoring of environmental geo-processes) together with University of Salzburg and MIT. His research interest revolves around understanding cities as complex systems through analysing a variety of digital data sources, focusing on developing machine learning algorithms to analyse human-generated data like social media posts and physiological measurements from wearable sensors. The findings are relevant to a number of fields including urban research, disaster management, epidemiology, and others. Bernd received the Theodor Körner Award for his work on “Urban Emotions”. Amongst a variety of other functions, he is an Editorial Board Member of IJHG, IJGI and PLOS ONE, a scientific committee member of various international conferences (having chaired several conferences), an Associated Faculty Member of the doctoral college “GIScience”, and an Executive Board member of Spatial Services GmbH.

Scientific staff

Researcher / PhD candidate

Dorian Arifi is a PhD student and holds a M.Sc. in Data Science from the University of Salzburg with a particular focus on Deep Learning and Database Management. Prior to that, he earned a B.Sc. in Economics from the LMU Munich, where he specialized in statistical analysis and behavioral economics. His research interests include the development of Artificial Intelligence models for geospatial data analysis and Natural Language Processing for social media analysis.

Mona Bartling 


Mona Bartling received a MSc in Applied Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg, Austria and is a PhD candidate since October 2017. Since April 2015 she is a researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia where she is part of the developer team of the participatory tool GeoCitizen. In her PhD she focused on improving user experience of participatory tools and has a particular interest in intelligent user interfaces and gamification elements.

Diana Dähn

Research associate / Study assistant

Diana Sophie Dähn is a BSc student of ‘Digitization, Innovation and Society’ at the University of Salzburg. Her area of focus is mainly in implementation of the research results, particularly through Python and QGIS. She is currently working on workflow automation for MOS hotspot analysis.

Max Erhart

Study assistant

Maximilian Ehrhart is currently enrolled in the bachelor program ‘Digitalization, Innovation and Society’ at the University of Salzburg because he sees interdisciplinary approaches as promising for the future. His main interests are in the field of Machine Learning and Data Science, which he wants to apply to solve Problems in daily life.

Shaily Gandhi
Principal Researcher / Postdoc
Shaily is a Principal Researcher at Geo-Social Analytics Lab, Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS, University of Salzburg. She is a GIS expert with more than 12 years of experience. She has a PhD from CEPT University, India in Geospatial Technology and has expertise in bridging the gap between GIS & governance. Shaily has been awarded the Geospatial World 50 Rising Star for the year 2023 by Geospatial World and ISC Fellow for 2024. She has been Deputy Center Head for Center for Applied Geomatics, CRDF, India till March 2024. She has also served as the Program Chair for the M.Tech program in Geomatics at the Faculty of Technology from March 2022 till October 2023. She has contributed to important research projects as a Data scientist and GIS expert with different centers at CRDF. She works closely on projects with IGSTC, DST, GIDB, ISRO, GIZ, CODATA, MHT and Nagoya. Shaily is keen on exploring the implementation of GIS and data science in the domain of Urban Analytics. Her core interest lies in exploring spatial technology for better decision-making along with defining spatial data standards for data interoperability for building future cities.
David Hanny is an MSc student in Data Science at the University of Salzburg. Coming from a BA in journalism where he specialized in data journalism, his research interests lie in the vicinity of data science in an interdisciplinary context, machine learning and classic computer science. His current work for the Geo-social Analytics Lab focuses on the sourcing and analysis of geo-referenced social media data.
Klara Honzak is currently enrolled in the master program Data Science at the University of Salzburg. Prior to that, she earned a BSc. in Mathematics at the University of Vienna. In the Geo-social Analytics Lab, she is part of the MUSIG project and works on geo-social media and cell phone data fusion.

Researcher / PhD candidate

Nefta is a researcher and PhD candidate. Her research focuses on the spatio-temporal analysis of user networks based on social media data. Before coming to Salzburg, she worked as a software engineer on scalable big data processing for machine learning applications. She holds a MSc with a specialization in theoretical condesed matter physics.


Merve Keskin (DSc); a geomatics engineer and cartographer who recently joined the Geo-social Analytics Lab as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research interests include human sensing, spatial cognition (visual attention, cognitive load, memorability), mixed-methods user research (eye tracking and EEG), geoAI, and recently sustainable mobility. Passionate about interdisciplinary research, she is experienced in collaborating with researchers from different scientific backgrounds (e.g., urban planning, hydrology, marketing, experimental psychology, computer science, and HCI). She is a vice chair of the International Cartographic Association’s Commission on User Experience (UX) (2023-2027). For more info: drmervekeskin.com

Researcher / PhD candidate

Sruthi is a PhD student with a Bachelors degree in computer science and a Masters degree in geoinformatics from the University of Münster. Her research interests lie in the fields of machine artificial intelligence, spatial reasoning and spatial interaction.

Researcher / PhD candidate

Martin Moser is a PhD student with a Data Science background, holding a Master’s degree from the University of Salzburg. After completing his undergraduate degree in the United States, he wrote his Master’s thesis on a recommendation system for U.S. universities offering collegiate athletics. In the Geo-social Analytics Lab, Martin is working on Human Sensing projects, aiming to derive insights from physiological data collected through various sensors. His main interests are time series data analysis and (spatial) data visualization.

iDEAS:lab staff

Ulrich is currently enrolled in the Masters program Applied Geoinformatics at Z_GIS and received his Bachelors in Geography at the University of Salzburg, Austria. His research interests lie in the fields of Object- based image analysis and the development of applications for analyzing natural disasters and humanitarian issues. Furthermore Ulrich is involved in creating learning module content and administration tasks fort the iDEAS:lab.

Sophia Ress is currently enrolled in the B.Sc. Program ‘Digitalization, Innovation and Society’ at the University of Salzburg.
Sophia’s main interest lies in visual analytics of big data and is currently involved in the conceptual design and development of methods to analyse geo-social media.

Felix is currently studying Applied Geoinformatics at the master’s level at the University of Salzburg. Before this, he achieved his BSc in Geography from the same institution. His main interests are Machine Learning and Data Science, focusing on combining data and utilizing different data sources to address geographical issues.

Sebastian Schmidt

Researcher / PhD candidate

Sebastian Schmidt studied Geography at Heidelberg University, with an additional Bachelor in Romance Studies (Spanish). His main research interests include data combination, the incorporation of web data for geographical questions, perception research and the analysis of natural disasters.

Helen Serere

Researcher / PhD candidate

Helen graduated from Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) with a BSc. in Surveying and Geomatics. She then pursued her MSc in Spatial Engineering at the University of Twente (Netherlands). During her MSc, Helen developed strong interests in spatiotemporal data analysis and visualisation, particularly for applications in risk analysis and reduction.

Eva Steinbacher


Eva is currently enrolled in the Masters Program “Applied Geoinformatics” at Z_GIS and received her Mag.phil. in “Applied Cultural Studies” at the University of Klagenfurt and Dipl. Ing. in “Spatial Planning” at the TU Vienna. She is particularly interested in science communication and new formats of EO*GI education and training. Eva is involved in creating content and graphic design tasks for the iDEAS:lab and training material development for the EO4GEO project.

iDEAS:lab staff

Isabella Tkalec is currently enrolled in the Masters program Applied Geoinformatics at the University of Salzburg. She has a background in developing and holding STEM-workshops for kids and is keen to stimultate interest in science. Furthermore, she is looking forward to gaining more knowldege in GIS-related aspects and working with spatial data.

iDEAS:lab staff

Florian Winkler is currently enrolled in the bachelor program Geography at the University of Salzburg. He is seeking to enhance his knowledge and skills in the field of Geoinformatics. With a strong interest in the intersection of technology and geography, he is eager to develop expertise in utilizing spatial data and tools to address real-world challenges.

Christina is a MSc Applied Geoinformatics student at the University of Salzburg. She has previously worked as a GIS officer in humanitarian contexts. Some of her primary interests lie in workflow automation, spatial data infrastructures, and cloud computing. Currently she is working on methods for sentiment analyses of geolocated social media data for her MSc thesis.

Associated members

Jan Kinne

Researcher / PostDoc

Jan Kinne studied geography with minors in computer science and economics at Heidelberg University, Germany. He is a researcher at the Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim, Germany (Research Department “Economics of Innovation and Industrial Dynamics”) since June 2016 and an external student in the Applied Geoinformatics PhD programme at the University of Salzburg. His research interests focus on innovation research using big spatial data and spatial data mining.

Kristyna Mechurova

Research associate

Kristýna Měchurová received her MSc in Applied Geoinformatics and Cartography at Charles University in Prague, Czechia. During her studies, she mainly focused on network analysis and the generalization of 3D spatial data models. Currently, she is involved in physiological measurements from wearable sensors projects.

Steffen Reichel

Research associate

Steffen Reichel studied computer science in Berlin and worked in the Software Industry. He’s currently involved in the wearable sensor projects.

Former Members

Alessandro Crivellari

Stefan Hangler

Clemens Havas

Rania Kounadi

Kalliopi Kyriakou

Bernd Lackner

Nina McPartland

Jakob Miksch

Jakob Neumayer

Mark Padgham

Andreas Petutschnig

Veronika Krieger

Günther Sagl

Edah Sahinovic

Edhem Salihagic

Marius Servais

Martin Sudmanns

Martin Treiblmayr

Christian Werner

Oliver Zichert

Stefan Zimmer

Azmat Arif | Attila Balind | Eike Blomeier | Milena Kocher | Christian Pleschberger | Petra Scherer | Florian Usländer

University of Salzburg | Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics – Z_GIS
Techno-Z | Schillerstraße 30 | 5020 Salzburg, Austria

https://geosocial.zgis.at see individuals below