Bachelor Thesis
Student Project
Master Thesis




Digital elevation models (DEMs) are getting increasingly more detailed. For instance, the entire land surface of Austria is available with a resolution of 1x1 meters (and sometimes even more). This resolution is a number of magnitude higher than DEMs used by commercial 3D map applications, for example Google Earth. We can render these highly detailed models in real-time to let users interactively fly through Austria's mountainscape and inspect the terrain in great detail. This opens up ample opportunities for interesting applications, such as tour planning on a level of detail that has not been possible with lower resolution and therefore highly smoothed elevation models.

Student projects

This is a larger project with several possible theses / student project options: 

  • (BA/PR/DA) 3D Visualization of Hiking Routes: In this work, a student should design and implement an effective and aesthetic visualization of hiking routes, given as GPX-track, on a 3D map. A special focus will lie on occlusion management, e.g., when parts of a hike are on the backside of a mountain or lead through a dense forest. 
  • (BA/PR) 3D Labels: For a good orientation in 3D outdoor maps, expressive labels of mountain peaks, mountain ranges, villages, rivers, and other landmarks are necessary. This work should explore how to best select, place, and scale labels for interactive 3D maps. 
  • (BA/PR/DA): Terrain Relighting: 3D maps textured with satellite or orthophoto images show the environment with a fixed light setting. In this work, the student should recover the light situation of the textures and allow to adjust the scene illumination interactively. 
  • (DA/PR): Visual Terrain Abstraction: Visual abstraction is a powerful method to focus a visualization to the most important elements of a scene. In this work, students shall find to detect important terrain features, like precipices, faults, or other landforms, and to use and compare different visual abstraction methods to make them visually stand out. 
  • (DA/PR/BA): Geomorphological Feature Detection and Visualization: Outdoor planning often includes textual descriptions of potential danger areas, like a snippet of the following avalanche report (Tyrol, 20/01/2023): "The avalanche prone locations are to be found in all aspects above approximately 2200 m, in particular adjacent to ridgelines and in pass areas, as well as in gullies and bowls, and behind abrupt changes in the terrain." In this work, the student should analyze the detailed digital elevation model to detect such potential danger areas and visualize them.

Most of the topics can be scaled to different levels (bachelor thesis, project, or diploma thesis). 


  • Strong interest in web-based visualization and rendering
  • Very good programming skills
  • Experience with web technologies (JavaScript, WebGL, WebAssembly...) advantageous


We currently have two alpine terrain rendering prototypes: one is based on MapLibre3D, which uses JavaScript and WebGL. A second one is built from scratch based on WebAssembly with Qt (C++ and OpenGL ES). 

Outdoor enthusiasts are very welcome and in good company!


For more information please contact Manuela Waldner.