The UNIGIS International Association (UIA) would like to announce the winners of its Academic Excellence Prize. The Prize, initiated in 2008, is presented to the student, or students, who submits the best MSc thesis (or paper) during the academic year and are nominated by their UNIGIS sites. The Review Panel would like to commend these individuals and the four other theses for the high quality of the work.
As usually, this year’s competition was again very tight with seven excellent high quality MSc theses being considered by the Review Panel. In the end, the panel decided to make three awards, including two winners of the Academic Excellence Prize for 2017 – both researching the topic of Volunteered Geographic Information:
- Luke Thomas Clasper (UNIGIS UK), who attempted to delimit vague, informal neighbourhoods in Central London based on social media (Twitter) data and R software, contributing to the research field of vernacular geography.
- Ingo Rickmeyer (UNIGIS Salzburg), who studied spatial point patterns resulting from social media feeds and how they may be used in the context of raising the awareness of the impact of crisis events on humans.
- Marijke Elisabeth Bekkema (UNIGIS Amsterdam) was awarded the third place. In her thesis she presented an elaborated methodology of using the Sentinel-2 satellite data to map land use intensity of grasslands in the Netherlands, and showed how it influences meadow bird populations.