Jens Ortmann

Institute for Geoinformatics
University of Muenster
Weseler Str. 253
D-48151 Muenster, Germany
Tel: +49 (251) 83-31961
Fax: +49 (251) 83-3976
Email: jens.ortmann(at)

IRTG Research Initiative : Semantic Mediation Across Communities and Sensors
Research Title : Affordance-Based Integration of Sensory Information Sources in Agent-Environment Systems
Supervisor : Prof. Dr. Werner Kuhn
UB Buffalo Semester with Prof. Dr. Thomas Bittner
Funding : Scholarship for the International Research Training Group on Semantic Integration of Geospatial Information by the DFG (German Research Foundation), GRK 1498.
Timeframe : March 2009 – February 2012
My research profile in the University of Münster Research Database can be found here.

Research Interests

In my PhD research I investigate how agents (individuals and groups) perceive and interact with their environments. Using the theory of affordances from ecological psychology, I am developing a method to overcome the foundational challenges that underly the semantic integration of human observations with technical sensor observation. In the course of my PhD studies I have also launched my research into resilience as well as agent-based modeling. My research is strongly interdisciplinary and encompasses fields such as Biology, Cognitive Science and Geographic Cognition, Communication Science, Computer Science, Cybernetics, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geoscience and Geographic Information Science, Logics, Philosophy and Psychology.  I frequently apply cutting edge technologies from semantic web research and ontology engineering to find novel solutions for Geographic Information Science.   download PhD Proposal PDF


Journal Articles

  • Patrick Maué, Jens Ortmann. ”Getting across information communities: Embedding semantics in the SDI for the Amazon”. Earth Science Informatics 2(4), pp. 217 – 233, December 2009. download PDF

Book Chapters

  • Simon Scheider, Carsten Kessler, Jens Ortmann, Anusuriya Devaraju, Johannes Trame, Tomi Kauppinen and Werner Kuhn: ”Semantic Referencing of Geosensor Data and Volunteered Geographic Information”. In: Geospatial Semantics and the Semantic Web. Foundations, Algorithms, and Applications. Springer (2011).
  • Jens Ortmann (2012). “Ecological Approaches for the Semantic Web”.  In Dedre Gentner, Frank van Harmelen, Pascal Hitzler, Krzystof Janowicz, Kai-Uwe Kühnberger (Eds.): Cognitive Approaches for the Semantic Web (Dagstuhl Seminar 12221), pp 105-106. Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Zentrum für Informatik.

Conference Papers

  • Jens Ortmann and Werner Kuhn. ”Affordances as Qualities”, In Antony Galton and Riichiro Mizoguchi (Eds.) Formal Ontology in Information Systems Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference (FOIS 2010). Volume 209, pp. 117-130, Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, IOS Press, 2010. download PDF
  • Jens Ortmann and Henry Michels. ”Modelling Umwelten”. In Stan Geertmann, Wolfgang Reinhardt, Fred Toppen (Eds.) Advancing Geoinformation for a Changing World. Pp. 293-316, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, Springer, 2011. (Best Paper Award) download PDF
  • Desiree Daniel and Jens Ortmann. ”Disambiguating Resilience”. In: Angela Schwering, Edzer Pebesma, Kai Behnke. (Eds.) Geoinformatik 2011 – Geochange. ifgiprints, vol. 41, pp. 117–125. AKA Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, June 2011. download PDF
  • Jens Ortmann and Desiree Daniel. “An Ontology Design Pattern for Referential Qualities”, In L. Aroyo et al. (Eds): The Semantic Web – ISWC 2011, LNCS 7031, pp. 537-552, 2011 (c) Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011 download PDF
  • Axel Schulz, Jens Ortmann and Florian Probst. “Getting user-generated content structured: Overcoming information overload in emergency management”, in Special Session on Information Systems for Crisis Response & Management to be held at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference 2012, Seattle.

Workshop Papers, Conference Posters and Short Papers

  • Jens Ortmann, Minu Limbu, Dong Wang and Tomi Kauppinen: “Crowdsourcing Linked Open Data for Disaster Management”. In R. Grütter et al. (Eds), Proceedings of the Terra Cognita Workshop on Foundations, Technologies and Applications of the Geospatial Web in conjunction with the the ISWC 2011. CEUR-WS 798, pp. 11-22. Download PDF
  • Jens Ortmann. ”An Affordance-Based Account of Environmental Perception and Interaction”. In Clare Davis (Ed.) COSIT ’09 Doctoral Colloquium – Agenda and Proceedings, pp. 17-22, Aber Wrac’h, France, 21-25 September 2009.
  • Jens Ortmann. ”An Affordance-Based Integration of Sensory Information Sources in Agent-Environment Systems”. In Poster Session at the 6th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2010), Toronto, Canada, May 11-14, 2010.
  • Jens Ortmann. “Ecological Approaches for the Semantic Web”. Abstract in D. Gentner, F. van Harmelen, P. Hitzler, K. Janowicz, and K.-U. Kühnberger (Eds.) Cognitive Approaches for the Semantic Web (Dagstuhl Seminar 12221), Dagstuhl Reports 2(5), pp. 105-106, 2012.


  • Full Scholarship by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to pursue my PhD in the IRTG SIGI. The grant comprises a full stipend, travel allowances and support for a six month exchange to Buffalo.
  • Best Paper Award at The 14th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science, 18-21 April 2011 – Utrecht, The Netherlands: Jens Ortmann and Henry Michels. ”Modelling Umwelten”. In Stan Geertmann, Wolfgang Reinhardt, Fred Toppen (Eds.) Advancing Geoinformation for a Changing World. Pp. 293-316, Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography, Springer, 2011. download PDF
  • Travel Award at the 10th International Semantic Web Conference, October 23rd – 27th 2011, Bonn, Germany.

Program Committee


  • Jens Ortmann. ”Describing Geospatial Information Sources with Ontologies”. Unpublished Diploma Thesis. University of Muenster (December 2008). download PDF (12MB)