Manuel Baer

PhD Candidate in GIScience

I am a PhD candidate in the Geocomputation Group at the University of Zurich exploring novel methods of gamification in landscape perception and preference research. Besides being psyched about space im also mad about mapping, devious with drones and wild about windsurfing!

The story behind StarBorn

The landscapes we interact with on a daily basis influence not only our behaviour but also our physical and mental well-being [1]. For example, providing access to “green lungs” in the form of urban parks, was already considered important in

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Baer, MF, Wartmann, FM, Purves, RS. StarBorn: Towards making in‐situ land cover data generation fun with a location‐based game. Transaction in GIS. 2019; 00: 1– 21.

  • Presentation
  • Workshop
  • Research Visit
  • Publication


Zurich, Switzerland

Citizen Science Winter School

An interesting and intense week of learning about public participation in research and discussing the future of “Citizen Science” in Academia.


Zurich, Switzerland

StarBorn: Towards making in‐situ land cover data generation fun with a location‐based game.

Accepted and published paper exploring the advantages and limitations of using a location based game as a means of collecting land cover data

Zurich, Switzerland

URPP Language and Space Funding Evaluation

Presentation of the planned future of the Spatial References Focus Group in the University Research Priority Programm Language and Space

Zurich, Switzerland

PhD Concept Talk

Presentation of my PhD concept to the department and guests


Zurich, Switzerland

Mapathon – Polygons Against Poverty

Scientific input presentation

Melbourne, Australia


Presentation of my accepted extended abstract at the GIScience 2018 conference in Melbourne

Berlin, Germany

Coding Geographic

Participation in the workshop Coding’Geographic

Edinburgh, Scotland​

Collaboration for publication

Research visit to the Institute of Geography at the University of Edinburgh to work on a publication

Zurich, Switzerland

Who is behind your data? A conversation across geographic disciplines

Presentation of my work in crowdsourcing

Zurich, Switzerland

Citizen Science in Linguistics

Presentation of my experiences in Citizen Science relevant for linguists.


2018 - Present

PhD Candidate

I am currently a PhD Candidate in the Geocomputation Group at the University of Zurich. My main focus is gamification of crowdsourcing in landscape perception and preference research. 

2017 - 2018

Research Assistant

I worked as a research assistant in the Geocomputation Unit of the University of Zurich. Tasks involved administrative work, aid in research and writing papers.

2015 - 2017

Freelance GIS Specialist

I completed various contract work projects as a self employed freelancer specialising in web-design and geographic information systems

2013 - 2015

GeoplanTeam AG

At GeoplanTeam AG I was employed as a part time geographic information system specialist and worked on a variety of projects.  I used a multitude of tools including AutoCAD 3D, Spatial Databases, Leaflet, d3.js



MSc in GIScience University of Zurich

with distinction


BSc Geography University of Bern

magna cum laude


Swiss German
Novice Native
Standard German
Novice Native
Novice Native
Novice Native