I lead the GISLab, which is one of three labs that constitute the Language and Space Lab, which in turn is an essential part of the URPP Language and Space. The aim of the URPP is to contribute to interdisciplinary research in the intersection of linguistics and geography. Major research questions of the GISLab are “How can linguistic diversity be explained through geographic characteristics?” and “How can geographic information in language be used to contribute to geographic research questions?”
I studied Geography from autumn 2002 until winter 2008 and finished my studies with a master degree. The foci of my studies were Geographic Information Systems and Science (GIS) and Atmospheric Sciences. I did my master thesis in GIS on the topic “What is a mountain? Where is a mountain?”. In 2010, after working for two years in the public and private sector, I decided to conduct a PhD at the University of Zurich. My thesis was associated with the domains of spatial data mining and geographic information retrieval. In particular I investigated how places are described in (historic) text documents and how such descriptions can then be retrieved and analyse automatically. I thus worked with large compilations text, in the form of digitized books, social media contents, blogs or homepages. My thesis is therefore a combination of theories and techniques from ethnographic research, (computational) linguistics, data science and GIScience.