Curdin Derungs, Dr.
- Former Head of the GIS (now SDS) Group (until 6/2018)
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 two years in the public and private sector, I decided to do a PhD at the University of Zurich. The thesis was financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation. In my PhD thesis, I investigated how people describe their local environment in everyday encounters and, in particular, how such descriptions can then be used in a GIS. Local information is an important building block for linking expert knowledge to the everyday concepts of lay people. I thus worked with large compilations of landscape descriptions, in the form of digitized books, social media contents, datasheets from databases and gazetters, always with the aim of creating a link between the individual descriptions and geographic space and, secondly, to gather structured information from these data sources. My thesis is therefore a combination of theories and techniques from ethnographic research, (computational) linguistics and GIS. In autumn 2013 I successfully defended my thesis.
I conducted my PhD thesis in GIS at the University of Zurich. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Ross Purves and co-supervized by Dr. Bettina Waldvogel and Martin Hägeli.