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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, to 2 year MSc degree courses, as well as a PhD graduate school.

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


My teaching subjects include Cartographic Theory and Data Visualisation in general, specialising in, WebCartography, WebGIS, Geo-webservices, and web application building. Furthermore, I supervise MSc theses and coordinate modules in various degree programmes.

Research interests

I participate in the research activities of the departemental Research Theme STAMP (Spatio–Temporal Analytics, Maps and Processing). My main research interest is “automated mapping in a services environment”, combining cartographic visualisation knowledge (with a large visual perception and a design component) with a keen interest in computer science, especially web application development. I specifically design and build visualisation pipelines with middleware services and Open Web clients (using tools such as the D3 library and the Vega/Vega-lite framework).


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 500 maps & infographics, mainly in the Dutch journal "Geografie". I have published a database to turn this into a searchable list with PNG previews... 

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Research Output

Web Mapping

Köbben, B. J. & Kraak, M. J., 2020, International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Kobayashi, A. (ed.). 2 ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier, Vol. 8. p. 333-337 5 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryAcademic

  • Cartograaf in de wijde web wereld

    Köbben, B., 2019, In : Agora. 35, 4, p. 12-15 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

    Open Access

    Verslag van de 29e Internationale Kartografische Conferentie in Tokio

    Translated title of the contribution: account of the 29th international Cartografische Conferentie in TokioKöbben, B., 2019, In : Geo-info. 5, p. 46-47 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

    Open Access

    Open educational resources for cartography: the Thematic Mapping Tutor

    Köbben, B. J., 2018. 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Open Access
  • Towards a Dynamic Isochrone Map: Adding Spatiotemporal Traffic and Population Data

    Berg van den, J., Köbben, B. J., Drift van der, S. & Wismans, L. J. J., 2018, Progress in Location Based Services 2018. Kiefer, P., Huang, H., Van de Weghe, N. & Raubal, M. (eds.). Springer, p. 195-209 16 p. ( Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

  • 4 Citations (Scopus)


    • 1 Oral presentation

    An Open Educational Resource using Vega-Lite

    Barend Köbben (Speaker)
    19 Sep 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation