Nina Polous - Visiting researcher from Munich, Germany

Nina Polous is a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant at the Cartography Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Germany. She visited the LBJ School in summer 2013 to work with the RGK Center's Sarah Jane Rehnborg and study the infrastructure of volunteerism.

Nina’s research focus is Volunteered Geographic information (VGI).  In VGI projects, lay people (rather than professional cartographers) provide information about events and places that can be used to create maps. You can think of this concept as mapping - Wikipedia style.  One existing model is called Open Street Mapping (OSM).  In OSM, people volunteer all kinds of geographic information that is then used for mapping purposes. While at the RGK Center, Ms. Polous designed an infrastructure tool to help recruit and motivate volunteers to provide information to create and update local calendar maps.

Ms. Polous holds degrees in Environmental Engineering from universities in Iran. She obtained her second master's degree in 2010 in the field of Information Science and Earth Observation from Twente University in the Netherlands. Her dissertation is entitled “Event Detection and Visualization from VGI.” She anticipates completion in October 2014.