People & contact

Professor of Geoinformatics, PhD

Tuuli is a professor of geoinformatics and leads the multidisciplinary Digital Geography Lab at the Department of Geosciences and Geography. Her research explores the possibilities of using novel (big/open) data sources and spatial analyses to support environmental and sustainable land use planning and decision-making. Tuuli has studied both urban systems and more natural environments on various scales from the global to the local. Together with the team, she has developed and applied a wide range of methods for analysing spatial patterns and processes related to accessibility and mobility, as well as biodiversity conservation, utilising data from social media and mobile phone data in addition to more traditional data sources. Her research benefits from methods from a variety of fields and often involves interdisciplinary collaboration.

Tuuli has taught geoinformatics at the university level for more than 20 years and participates actively in the societal processes in the field. She is a great fan of open data and open science and interested in the implications of openness for education, research and society.



Assistant Professor of English Language and Digital Humanities (tenure track), PhD

Tuomo holds a PhD in English philology (2014) from the University of Helsinki. His research focuses on the multimodality of human communication, that is, how natural language and various forms of visual communication interact and cooperate with each other in different communicative situations. In addition to authoring several journal articles and book chapters, he has published two monographs on multimodality, entitled The Structure of Multimodal Documents (Routledge, 2015) and Multimodality: Foundations, Research and Analysis (De Gruyter, 2017, with John A. Bateman and Janina Wildfeuer).

At the Digital Geography Lab, Tuomo develops approaches that draw on recent advances in natural language processing, computer vision and machine learning, whose application is informed by theories of multimodal communication. He is also pursuing research on the linguistic landscape of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, that is, which languages are spoken and where, in order to better understand the distribution of languages in space and time, and the potential for language contact.

Before joining the Digital Geography Lab in 2017 on a personal grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Tuomo worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Applied Language Studies at the University of Jyväskylä. As of 2018, Tuomo is Assistant Professor of English Language and Digital Humanities at the Department of Languages.


University lecturer, PhD

Petteri is a university lecturer in geoinformatics and an adjunct professor (title of docent) in biogeography. He is also the director of the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning (USP). In addition to research, Petteri has also a teaching qualification as a subject teacher of geography and biology. Due to his background as a teacher, he has recently expanded his research topics to also cover the pedagogy of geography and educational sciences. In addition, Petteri is a member of the Teachers’ Academy

Petteri supervises PhD theses, MSc theses and BSc theses in the fields of geoinformatics and the pedagogy of geography. He also teaches geoinformatics and GIS in various master’s and bachelor’s level courses.


Academy Research Fellow, PhD

Olle holds a joint PhD in human geography and regional planning (2013) from the University of Tartu and Ghent University. As a human geographer, his broad interdisciplinary research interests focus on human mobilities in spatial, temporal and social contexts. He is particularly interested in how big data such as mobile phone and social media data can be used to examine individual spatial mobilities and behaviour, understand social processes and phenomena, and how this can be implemented in planning and policy. In recent years, he has examined ways to use big data in studying cross-border interactions, transnationalism, segregation, socio-spatial inequality and urban accessibility. Olle is currently working on his new Academy Research Fellow project "Tracing Interactions and Mobilities Beyond State Borders: Towards New Transnational Spaces (BORDERSPACE)".



Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Charlotte is a postdoctoral researcher in the YLLI-project (Equality in suburban physical activity environments / Yhdenvertainen liikunnallinen lähiö) researching equal accessibility to places of physical activity centres. She started in the beginning of December 2020. She has completed her university courses in the UK — her undergraduate degree was in BA Human Geography with a year abroad in Oulu at the University of Leicester 2012–2016, followed by an MSc in Applied Geographic Information Systems at the University of Sheffield 2016–2017. Her PhD was in Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield 2017–2020. She researched online housing search in the UK with Rightmove data using novel GIS methods to identify the spatial extent of housing market areas. Her research interests are quantitative geography, applied spatial analysis and GIS, social inequality, housing economics, and behavioural economics.



Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Christoph is researching people’s activities in cities. He is especially interested in active mobility, urban transformation and the relation between digital, social, and physical spaces. Christoph is a cartographer and social geographer graduated from the University of Vienna, Austria, and received his PhD at the University of Helsinki. At the Digital Geography Lab, he is involved in the URBANAGE project that investigates how and to which degree digital twins of cities can help planners to better take into consideration older people and improve accessibility for the ‘non-average’ citizen to urban participation and enable their rights to the city.


Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Janika is a postdoctoral researcher in the MOPA-project (The rhythms, places and customer groups of multi-local dwelling) focusing on the spatial and temporal use patterns of second homes based on new big data sources, such as electricity data and social media data. Janika received her BSc and MSc degree in geography from the University of Tartu. During her master studies, she spent a semester in the Netherlands at Twente University. Janika holds a PhD degree in human geography and regional planning (2020) from the University of Tartu. Her PhD thesis focused on the use of mobile positioning data for tourism destination studies and statistics. Before joining Digital Geography Lab in 2021, she was an active member of the Mobility Lab at the University of Tartu. Janika has also been teaching courses on human geography and tourism geography.



Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Johanna works as a postdoctoral researcher in the group and is broadly interested in questions related to evaluating the effectiveness of conservation actions. Currently she is working on projects attempting to disentangle the many links between funding, governance and ecological outcomes of protected areas (see project description). She is also interested in developing new tools and methods for the evaluation of protected area effectiveness.

Johanna´s background is very interdisciplinary. She did her PhD with the Global Change and Conservation Lab at the Metapopulation Research Centre, University of Helsinki, and has since worked both at Development Studies and as a postdoctoral fellow at HELSUS (University of Helsinki). She has experience of working with both protected area managers and local communities on the ground (Tanzania, Madagascar) and with a diverse set of methods (both quantitative and qualitative).



Postdoctoral researcher, PhD

Oleksandr is a postdoctoral researcher in the Academy of Finland project "Tracing Interactions and Mobilities Beyond State Borders: Towards New Transnational Spaces (BORDERSPACE)". His main role in the project is to develop methodologies for using social media data to enhance research on people's cross-border activity spaces, and capture their activities and sentiments in the context of transnationalism.

Oleksandr holds a PhD in Environmental Protection from Estonian University of Life Sciences (2020). His other research interests include a spatially explicit assessment of people's activities and values focusing on landscape experience, cultural ecosystem services, and nature's non-material contributions to people captured via the lenses of social media and remote sensing. He aims at deconstructing and assessing the quality of people's personal time to address the sustainability challenges.



PhD candidate, MSc

Elias is a PhD candidate working on sustainable and active urban mobility and accessibility. He studies citizens’ opportunities to use active travel modes and access health-promoting travel environments as part of their daily mobility. Elias integrates in his research novel and big data such as mobile phone data and bike-sharing data with more traditional data sources like registries and individual surveys. He works in the Urban Exerciser and HOPE projects.

Elias specialises in geoinformatics and his master’s thesis focused on mobility patters of the bike-sharing system users in Helsinki and how equally the system has served citizens. Elias was the head of the conference secretariat for the international NECTAR 2019 conference: Transport in Human Scale Cities - Open and Happy held in Helsinki in June 2019. Elias is also active in teaching: as a co-creater, he teaches an inter-departmental course entitled Open GIS & Spatial Data Infrastructures while also assisting on several other courses.



PhD candidate, MSc

Håvard is a PhD candidate studying cross-border mobility within the Academy of Finland project "Tracing Interactions and Mobilities Beyond State Borders: Towards New Transnational Spaces (BORDERSPACE)". He focuses on examining individual spatial mobilities, transnational spaces and cross-border interactions using big data sources like social media data. Håvard holds a BSc in Human Geography from the University of Oslo and an MSc in Geoinformatics from the University of Helsinki. In his Master’s thesis, he studied cross-border regions in the Nordics based on Twitter data. Håvard teaches two MSc level courses at the Department of Geosciences and Geography: Geo-Python and Automating GIS-processes.




PhD candidate, MSc

Kerli is a PhD candidate studying urban segregation, spatial inequalities, integration and transnationalism from the perspective of people's mobility and activity spaces. She seeks how mobile Big Data sources such as social media data and mobile phone data can provide more nuanced understanding about socio-spatial interactions of individuals across their activity spaces, and consequently provide new insights for integration research and practice. Kerli's PhD is part of the project “Socio-Spatial Dialogues in the City: Tracing Spatial Mobilities, Social Engagement and Integration Using Big Data”.

Kerli holds an MSc in human geography and regional planning from the University of Tartu. Prior to joining the Digital Geography Lab in 2017, she worked in public sector consultancy in the field of policy analysis and evaluation. With experience in both academic and applied research, she aims to advance cooperation between academia and public policy institutions for applying state-of-the-art theoretical and empirical knowledge in the process of policy-making.



PhD candidate, MSc

Tuomas is a PhD candidate interested in understanding urban areas and people through big data sources like social media and mobile phone data. He focuses on analyzing people’s spatio-temporal language use and activities across urban space using AI-based content analysis techniques (namely computer vision and natural language processing) and spatial analysis. He aims to help cities become more equal and socially sustainable by expanding knowledge of people's language and activity diversity across urban space.

Tuomas' PhD is a part of a research project focusing on Mapping the Linguistic Landscape of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. He also contributes to other research projects in the group related to big data analysis of Cross-border Mobilities and Social Media Data for Conservation Science. Tuomas is an active teacher of masters-level GIS courses.


Current visitors

  • Bryan Vallejo
    • Trainee and MSc student from the University of Tartu

      Former visitors

      • Sławomir Goliszek
        • PhD candidate from the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences
      • Daniel Lopatnikov Rojo
        • PhD candidate from the Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA)
      • Jeison Lon­doño Es­pinosa
        • Trainee and MSc student from the University of Münster
        • MSc thesis: Comparative spatial data analysis method of urban accessibility realities for public transport and private car: Helsinki and Tallinn as a case study
      • Ludovic Chastenet
      • Laura Centore
        • Research assistant

      Visitor/collaborator/new member of the team

      Are you interested in our work and would like to join us as a guest researcher or a visiting PhD student? Please email digital-geography[at] and let us know about your background and interests! We also encourage MSc students to contact us for potential thesis topics or internship related to our research themes.