Personal profile

Personal profile

I hold an MSc in Geography, specialising in Cartography, from Utrecht University in The Netherlands. I worked for 9 years as a Lecturer in cartography at that university and then moved to the International Institute for Geo-information Sciences and Earth Observation (ITC) in 1997. The ITC is an international school providing courses on GIS and Remote Sensing to students from all around the world, ranging from short courses, through 12 months Professional Master and 18 months MSc degree courses, as well as PhD programmes.

Since 1 January 2010, ITC is a Faculty of the University of Twente. Here I am at present Senior Lecturer in GIS and cartographic visualisation in the Department of Geo-Information Processing (GIP).


My teaching subjects include Cartographic Theory, WebCartography and WebGIS, Geo-webservices, web application building and 3D visualisation. Furthermore, I supervise the PM Case Study and Final Assignments and MSc theses. 

I also teach in ATLAS, the Honours BSc programme of the University College Twente. 

Outside The university, I am involved in teaching short courses and workshops in Open Source GIS & WebMapping, promoting the use of the Open Source geospatial applications and data.

Research interests

I participate in the research activities of the departemental Research Theme STAMP (Spatio–Temporal Analytics, Maps and Processing). My main research interests are:

  • Automated mapping in a services environment, with middleware services and Open Web clients (using the D3 library).
  • Animated vector map services, using the RIMapper WMS Open Source platform I developed.
  • The SDIlightconcept. The term SDI for Spatial Data Infrastructure may be usually connected with (very) large regional or national spatial data warehouses, but the principles of SDI can also be applied in more simple and cost-effective ways. The down-to-earth approach of SDIlight provides students and researchers with a platform for relatively simple, low-cost, yet powerful ways of sharing data amongst various distributed offices and institutions as well as the general public. To achieve this, we use open standards whenever available and open source solutions where possible.


Activities in capacity development

I have been involved in various consultancy projects in The Netherlands, India, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Namibia, South Africa, Thailand and Zambia. For a full list see this page.

Personal profile

I am Map Editor and member of the Editorial Board of Geografie (Journal of KNAG - Koninklijk Nederlands Aardrijkskundig Genootschap, ISSN 0926-3837); Charter Member of OSGEO, the Open Source Geospatial Foundation; Within the International Cartographic Assiociation, I am member and Publications Chair of the Commission on Open Source Geospatial Technologies, member of the Commission on SDI and Standards and the Commission on Maps and the Internet.

Maps & Infographics

Apart from papers, in the last few years I have published over 250 maps & infographics, mainly in the Dutch journal "Geografie". I have published a database to turn this into a searchable list with PNG previews...

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 1993 2017

Alumni party at the International Cartographic Conference

Köbben, B. J. 2017 In : ITC news. 2, p. 27 1 p.

Research output: ScientificArticle

human being
spatial data

ILWIS : een oude (on)bekende : powerpoint.

Köbben, B. J. & Lemmens, R. L. G. 2017 p. 1s-14s 14 p.

Research output: Other research outputOther

The Academic SDI : Towards Understanding Spatial Data Infrastructures for Research and Education.

Coetzee, S., Steiniger, S., Köbben, B. J., Iwaniak, A., Kaczmarek, I., Rapant, P., Cooper, A., Behr, F. J., Schoof, G., Katumba, S., Vatseva, R., Sinvula, K. & Moellering, H. 2017 Advances in Cartography and GIScience: Selections from the International Cartographic Conference 2017. Peterson, M. P. (ed.). Cham: Springer, p. 99-113 15 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewChapter

spatial data