PhD position – Interaction with 3D Sketch Maps in Extended Reality

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Oct 2021

PhD position – Interaction with 3D Sketch Maps in Extended Reality

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. It is renowned for its excellent education, its cutting-edge fundamental research and its efforts to put new knowledge and innovations directly into practice. The Institute of Cartography and Geoinformation is looking for a highly motivated doctoral candidate at the Chair of Geoinformation Engineering , starting at the earliest November 2021.

Project background

The 3D Sketch Maps project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation in the scope of the Sinergia funding program, investigates 3D sketch maps from a theoretical, empirical, cognitive, as well as tool-related perspective, with a particular focus on Extended Reality (XR) technologies. Sketch mapping is an established research method in fields that study human spatial decision-making and information processing, such as navigation and wayfinding. Although space is naturally three-dimensional (3D), contemporary research has focused on assessing individuals’ spatial knowledge with two-dimensional (2D) sketches. For many domains though, such as aviation or the cognition of complex multilevel buildings, it is essential to study people’s 3D understanding of space, which is not possible with the current 2D methods.

The 4-year project will be carried out jointly by the Chair of Geoinformation Engineering (Prof. Dr. Martin Raubal), the Chair of Cognitive Science (Prof. Dr. Christoph Hölscher), and the Spatial Intelligence Lab at University of Münster, Germany (Prof. Dr. Angela Schwering).

Job description

The main objective of this PhD position is the investigation of interaction methods for 3D sketch mapping with different types of XR technology. Prototypes will be developed and evaluated experimentally together with domain experts and collaborators.

The research will be linked to current topics and projects within the geoGAZElab and supervised by Prof. Dr. Martin Raubal (Chair of Geoinformation Engineering) and Dr. Peter Kiefer. The position also includes teaching responsibilities (20%) in courses offered by the Chair of Geoinformation Engineering.

Your profile

You must have an academic degree in Geoinformatics, Computer Science, or related fields, as well as a strong research interest in Human-Computer Interaction. Strong programming skills are required, preferably for XR or related technologies. We expect the candidate to either have a background in, or be eager to acquaint herself with Spatial Cognition and user studies. You must have good communication skills in English (oral and writing), be team-oriented and willing to work in an interdisciplinary and international environment. Knowledge of GIS, 3D visualization, and German language skills are a significant plus.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.


We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents:

  • letter of motivation
  • CV
  • short statement of research interests
  • full academic records (such as Bachelor’s and Master’s degree transcripts)
  • names and contact information of at least two references

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Review of applications will begin on 1 October, 2021, and continue until the position is filled.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dr. Martin Raubal, (no applications).

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website  to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

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