From space, you can see everything - for example, animals traveling en masse around the world. But also parking spaces in your own city. Satellite data can be the basis for exciting analyses. Martin Wikelski, head of the Icarus program, and data journalist Hans Hack explain how this works.
Aerial photographs - which the city of Berlin makes available as open data approximately once a year - show the city from above; streets and buildings, parks and pavements. But also: cars. Around which an increasing discussion has arisen in recent years. Most are private vehicles that take up a lot of space in the city, both parked and on the road. Exactly how much space is not yet known. Hans Hack has started a crowd project to count the number of cars that appear in the most recent aerial photos of Berlin. To do this, he has built a tool that can be used to mark cars: the Car-Tagger. This is how an ever-growing data set is created. About 60 volunteers have already counted almost half of Berlin's area since September 2020. In Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, for example, 38,351 cars were parked on the day of the aerial survey. The data set is made freely available so that it can be used by others for journalistic, political or artistic projects. Currently, the project is also using the data to train machine learning to recognise cars. In his talk, Hans talks about working with aerial imagery, the challenges of crowd tagging and why sometimes, simply creating a data foundation can be an important data project in its own right.