Ralph Straumann



A measure for valleyness in the Tessin/Ticino in Switzerland

Change of position
Friday 30 July 2010 was my last day of work at the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich. My e-mail addresses should continue to work for some time. However, best already switch to contacting me under ralph.straumann##REMOVE_THIS##@gmail.com. In order to get all my contact details, please visit my private website.
Thanks to all my friends and colleagues at the Department for a great time!
PhD project: Extraction and characterisation of landforms from DEMs
My PhD project (defended in April 2010) was centred around the extraction of landform semantics out of digital elevation models. I primarily focused on topographic depressions such as valleys and their parts. While the features that were extracted from relatively coarse DEMs (SRTM data at 100 metres resolution) can demonstrably be employed in quantitative geomorphological analyses, the main contribution of my PhD thesis is in the qualitative characterisation of land surface topography aimed at human end-users.

Post-PhD work
In the weeks before my PhD defense I began working for the Zurich Graduate School in Geography. My main tasks were updating the Graduate School website, investigating PhD students' demands regarding certain courses and topics, looking into potential future additions to the curriculum and organising a course in scientific writing with an external lecturer.
After that, my work for the Graduate School was done and I worked for an undergraduate course in geographic information science, GEO315. The topic of the course used to be the modelling of soil erosion in a place in Ethiopia. I revised the course contents, all associated exercise material and the course website for the coming semester with two new, exciting topics.



Education

04.2010 PhD thesis "Extraction and Characterisation of Landforms from Digital Elevation Models: Fiat Parsing the Elevation Field" (high-quality pdf, University repository)
07.2006–04.2010 PhD studies within the GIS division, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2005 MSc thesis "Sensitivität von Prozessmodellen in Bezug auf die Auflösung LIDAR-basierter Höhendaten" (Sensitivity of process models to the resolution of LiDAR-based elevation data)
2001–2006 MSc studies in Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland (minors in Cartography, Political Science, Mathematics and Geology)
1995–1999 Matura (high-school diploma / A levels) at the Kantonsschule am Burggraben, St. Gallen, Switzerland


Working Experience

03–06.2008 Occasional GIS consulting for ASE, Zurich
06.2006 Part-time employment as GIS coach at Spectraseis, Zurich
10–11.2005 Internship as GIS and RS specialist in the GeoAviation Solutions unit of Swissphoto Group, Regensdorf (now part of ARIS Geoservices)
10.2004–02.2006 Part-time employment as GIS and RS specialist at Ernst Basler + Partner, Zollikon
07–10.2004 Internship as GIS and RS specialist in the Informatics unit of Ernst Basler + Partner, Zollikon


Teaching Experience

02.2010 ongoing
02.2009–04.2009
Tutor in "Object-Oriented Programming of Spatial Algorithms"
10.2008–01.2009
10.2007–01.2008
Graduate teaching assistant and webmaster in "Advanced Geographic Information Science"
04–06.2004 Tutor in "Geographic Information Science"
04–06.2006 Tutor in "Mathematics for Natural Scientists"


Publications

Except where noted otherwise all publications were peer-reviewed.

Straumann RK (2010): Extraction and Characterisation of Landforms from Digital Elevation Models: Fiat Parsing the Elevation Field. PhD Thesis, University of Zurich, Department of Geography. lo-res pdf (22mb) lo-res zipped pdf (19mb) high-res pdf (66mb) University repository
Straumann RK & Purves RS (2011): Computation and elicitation of valleyness. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 11(2), 178–204. doi pre-print version
Straumann RK & Korup O (2009): Quantifying postglacial sediment storage at the mountain-belt scale. Geology, 37(12), 1079–1082. doi subscription-free access (will expire) pdf
Straumann RK (2009): Experiences in developing landform ontologies (extended abstract). Purves RS, Gruber S, Hengl T & Straumann RK (eds): Proceedings of Geomorphometry 2009, 17–21. pdf University repository
Purves RS, Gruber S, Hengl T & Straumann RK (eds., 2009): Proceedings of Geomorphometry 2009, 31 August – 2 September 2009, Zurich, Switzerland. pdf
Straumann RK & Korup O (2009): Quantifying postglacial sediment storage at the mountain-belt scale (abstract). Geophysical Research Abstracts, 11, 2009 EGU General Assembly. (not peer-reviewed) pdf
Straumann RK & Purves RS (2008): Delineation of valleys and valley floors. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 5266. Cova TJ, Miller HJ, Beard K, Frank AU & Goodchild MF (eds): Geographic Information Science, Proceedings of GIScience 2008, 320–336. doi pdf
Straumann RK & Purves RS (2007): Resolution sensitivity of a compound terrain derivative as computed from LiDAR-based elevation data. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation & Cartography. Fabrikant SI & Wachowicz M (eds): The European Information Society – Leading the Way with Geo-Information, Proceedings of AGILE 2007, 87–109. doi pdf
Straumann RK (2006): Sensitivität von Prozessmodellen in bezug auf die Auflösung LiDAR-basierter Höhendaten (Sensitivity of process models to the resolution of LiDAR-based elevation data). Diploma thesis at the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich (in German). pdf


Presentations

Extraction and characterisation of landforms from digital elevation models: Fiat parsing the elevation field. PhD thesis defence, 20 April 2010, University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Digital Landscapes: Uncertainty and morphological characterisation. Internal presentation at the Zurich Graduate School in Geography retreat, 5 December 2009, Herzberg, Switzerland.
Digitale Landschaften: Unschärfe und Charakterisierung. Invited presentation at the ESRI/Geocom GIS Day 2009, 18 November 2009, Zurich, Switzerland.
Investigating ontologies of landforms. Presentation at Geomorphometry 2009 International Conference, 31 August 2009, Zurich, Switzerland.
Extraction of valley floors and characterisation of valleyness from a DEM. Presentation at the General Meeting of IPEG (Inter-university Partnership for Earth Observation and Geoinformatics). Department of Geography, University of Zurich, 12 June 2009.
Delineation of valleys and valley floors from textual sources and using geomorphometry. Internal presentation at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich, 14 November 2008.
Delineation of valleys and valley floors from textual sources and using geomorphometry. Presentation at GIScience, 5th International Conference on Geographic Information Science, 24 September 2008, Park City, Utah. Supported by a 1000 $ Travel Scholarship from ESRI.
Landscape characterisation using digital elevation data. Internal presentation of the PhD project at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich, 22 May 2007.
Resolution sensitivity of a compound terrain derivative as computed from LiDAR-based elevation data. Presentation at AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science, 10 May 2007, Aalborg, Denmark.
Effekte verschiedener Auflösungen von LiDAR-basierten Höhendaten auf Prozessmodelle (Effects of varying resolutions of LiDAR-based elevation data on process models). Defence of the results of the MSc thesis at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich, 23 June 2005.


Other Activities, Commitments and Training

External examiner in Masters theses and external referee in PhD project presentations of the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich.
Reviewer for Hydrology and Earth System Sciences and The Visual Computer.
Member of programme committee of and reviewer for GeoProcessing 2010 (International Conference on Advanced Geographic Information Systems, Applications, and Services)
Participation in the 2009 Zurich Graduate School in Geography Retreat, 4–5 December 2009.
Member of the organising and programme committee of and reviewer for Geomorphometry 2009, 31 August – 2 September 2009 (workshops: 29–30 August), Zurich, Switzerland.
Participation in the course (Geo)Statistics with R by the Zurich Graduate School in Geography (Werner Stahel, Conny Schwierz, Andreas Papritz (ETHZ), Arzu Çöltekin (GIUZ)), 13 and 20 November 2009.
Participation in the course Effective Presentations by the Zurich Graduate School in Geography (Pamela Alean-Kirkpatrick (alean-academics)), 4 and 23 September 2009.
Member of programme committee of and reviewer for GEOWS 2009 (International Conference on Advanced Geographic Information Systems & Web Services)
Participation in the course Writing English for Science (level B2) by the University of Zurich Language Center, October–December 2007.
Participation in the didactics course Début – Introduction into Teaching by the University of Zurich Teaching and Learning Center, 3–4 September 2007.
Participation in the 2007 Vespucci Summer School on Geospatial Ontology, 11–15 June 2007, Fiesole, Italy.
Participation in the course Scientific Writing by the University of Zurich Teaching and Learning Center (Tom Armstrong), 16–17 January 2007.
Co-organiser (with Frank Ostermann) of the University of Zurich Geographic Information Science Reading Group during three terms (October 2006 – January 2007, April – June 2007, October – December 2007).


Ralph Straumann

Dr. Ralph Straumann

Research Assistant in the
Digital Terrain Modelling Group of the Geographic Information Systems Division

Address

Department of Geography
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zurich
Switzerland

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My private website




View on Irchel Campus approaching from the tram stops and parking decks (by R. Straumann)







View of the mensa of the campus (by R. Straumann)







An excerpt out of Lenz by Georg Büchner (by R. Straumann)