Category Archives: fieldtrip

Gentrification in Hamburg : training teacher to ESD

In the course of global change, urban development transforms the buildings, livability and atmosphere within districts and for their residents. The city of Hamburg in Northern Germany is exemplary to notice and learn about continuous urban transformation of districts noticeable at a local scale. Taking a walk through the districts around the city center is particularly characteristic to learn about urban transformation, however in order to make the visible forms and trends of districts in Hamburg accessible to a wide range of German students, a virtual field trip “Gentrification in Hamburg” was created with ArcGIS Story Maps. This virtual field trip aims at educating about the theoretical background of gentrification and its complex impacts based on two exemplary districts of Hamburg called Sternschanze and St. Pauli. Different elements within the virtual field trips enable students to learn about the stages of gentrification within the respective districts and test their knowledge through interactive tasks. An interactive map with a route through the districts including concrete pinned pictures of locations provide students the possibility to have a more profound spatial orientation and connect their priorly acquired knowledge with spatial representation. Finally, the virtual field trip provides students the possibility to engage in a role discussion and take on the perspective of different stakeholders (e.g., political activist, long-term tenant, real estate investor, etc.) affected by gentrification in the districts. Following this problem-based approach to learning about gentrification within the districts, enables students to reflect on advantages and disadvantages of urban transformation in Hamburg and supports students to take on a critical stance. There are many more tasks and elements to explore in this virtual field trip on “Gentrification in Hamburg”, feel free to explore them yourself at your own pace, based on your own interests.

Image 1 Virtual field trip of Hamburg (authors : Jonna Lipsow, Lynn Witter, Miriam Elfgen & Inka Siemens)

Degree: Pre-service Geography teachers in their master’s degree

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe characteristics of real and virtual field trips
  2. Generate spatial data
  3. Form a narrative (e.g., problem-based approach)
  4. Create a virtual field trip with ArcGIS Story Maps to implement in primary and secondary geography education
  5. Evaluate Virtual Field Trips

Short description of the experiment:

In the course of the master’s seminar students learned about the theoretical importance of real and virtual field trips as well as quality criteria characterizing them. In addition, a presentation of different tools and applications to create virtual field trips was theoretically acquired. In a second step, students were instructed to plan real field trips in small groups of three to five. The predefined route served as basis to generate spatial data. This generated data was used to create virtual field trips mainly with ArcGIS Story Maps. A problem-based approach or experiential learning was at the center of the created virtual field trips. Students also learned how to embed interactive tasks and to increase students’ activity. Finally, students evaluated virtual field trips of other groups based on the existing criteria. Above that, the course of the seminar war evaluated based on relevance for their future teaching profession as well as educational innovation.

Image 2 Using virtual field trim in teacher training

Water points in our city. Discover the presence of the water element in the urban fabric of Athens, through a Virtual Field Trip.

The metropolitan area of Athens is an extensive and densely populated area that brings together most of the country’s inhabitants and the main economic and administrative activities. The capital’s urban landscape has been defined for decades by a building pattern dominated by buildings and hard surfaces (mainly asphalt). Open and green spaces and even more so water surfaces (excluding the sea) cover a very small percentage of the city.

Yet water points in our city exist!

There are places we can visit and discover the water element either visible or hidden. These places with symbolic, historical, mythological or even physical presence influence and give context to the urban environment and the relationship of citizens with it. Streams and their estuaries, natural wetlands (they exist even within the city center!), lakes and other natural or artificial elements with a constant or seasonal flow of water exist, often even within the city’s densely populated neighborhoods.

Image 1. The National Garden. Sketch created for the Atlas of Mediterranean Liquidity. Source: commonspace

As part of the call for the Atlas of Mediterranean Liquidity, commonspace in collaboration with the Goethe Institute participated in a collective research around the identification of water points in Athens with symbolic, natural, cultural, environmental or historical value for everyday life in the city. In the context of the project, sketches were created, an extensive research on the biodiversity, history and collective memory was carried out by experts. Finally, all the points were placed on an interactive map open to the public. In addition, walks with interested members of the public around water routes in the city were organized as part of the project.

This Virtual Fieldtrip is based on the Mediterranean Liquidity Atlas and provides an educational aspect including a brief historical overview of the water element in the city and guidelines for researchers that want to detect and map water spots in other cities. It encourages students, educators or everyone interested in studying the relationship between urban environment and water element to walk around, sketch and map scenes of water in their daily life. The VFT gives guidelines on how to search and map the water spots in a neighborhood/district/city.

The Storymap is developed in the following parts:

  1. Water in Athens: A brief historical review
  2. Categories of the liquid element in the Athenian urban context
  3. Map tours regarding the different typologies of water in the city:
  • Places in the city with artificial water features
  • Places in the city with natural water features
  • Places in the city with historical water features
  1. Concluding thoughts and online form that can be used by students or researchers for water scenes and spots mapping.

Check the Virtual Field Trip here:

Image 2. Well of the Hadrian Aqueduct in El Alamein Street, Halandri. Source: commonspace

Image 3. The fountain of Chaseki, at the Agricultural University. Source: commonspace

Discover a virtual field trip about the noise in Metsovo (Greece)

NTUA students create a virtual Field trip about the noise in the village of Metsovo. Please discover it here.

Description of  virtual fieldtrip: The problem of noise in the traditional settlement of Metsovo. This virtual field trip is based on a participatory learning methods enable students to acquire the skills and values that allow them to enhance awareness and play a role in Global Change. These methods are based on a holistic learning approach that helps in understanding real problems, co-creating, and developing transferable competences (technical, creativity, teamwork, critical thinking, etc.) among students. Each of the methods can be used to focus on various subjects related to Global Change issues

  1. Objective: investigate the hyper-tourism impact
  2. Understanding the problem
  3. Collect primary noise data
  4. Propose scenarios

Learning objectives : the process implies not only engaging students’ interest in lessons to encourage group discussions and critical reflections but also enhancing their involvement in more practical activities, such as connecting academic achievement with everyday life issues. It aims not only to comprehend the impact of individual actions on the community but also to foster a deeper understanding of such effects.

Short description of the experiment :

The team’s task is to design, build, and assess itineraries that aim to familiarize students with various representations, fostering a deeper understanding of diverse concepts. As part of the project, we need to develop instruments to assess communication performance, ensuring that students can effectively convey their ideas and understanding. The next step involves running scenarios that provide conceptual frameworks, helping students grasp and apply key concepts in practical situations.

The skills required:

  1. a) Improve problem-solving , decision-making and communication skills .
  2. b) increase interpersonal interactions.
  3. c) positively change student’s
  4. d) Increase motivation and participation in the learning process.


Image 1 Map of the noises in Metsova





Creating Virtual field trip with V-Global in ArcGis

The  goal of this event is to explore ways to use virtual journeys to raise awareness among university professors regarding global change and sustainability education. Digital storytelling maps (DSM) are employed as one of the most powerful tools to create virtual journeys.

The workshop was organised in a theoretical and practical way with a participatory field trip in the city with Geotechnologies. At the theoretical part, it has been explained the project results one (PR1. State of the art on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)) and two (PR2. Design a didactic and pedagogical approach to use virtual field trips in a ESD perspective).

Additionally, it has been done an invitation to the participants to join the MOOC as both PR have a module each about them available on a MOOC, which are now being translated to several languages on the edX UNED Abierta platform (make a search inside: looking for the image of the Athens acrópolis).

Geotechnologies and participatory field trips for sustainability education enhanced the workshop to explore, through direct observation on a stroll through the city of Albacete, the imprints that global change leaves on the urban landscape. Inside a previous story map was created an interactive city map : using coworking and collecting points in a Survey123 questionnaire.

During the workshop, other initiatives of the project were explained (The University City of Madrid as a sustainability laboratory in a virtual fieldwork) and other considerations and perspectives on the use of ICT in educational field trips.

Attendees unanimously stated that the event venue and the presented content have contributed to a greater understanding of the V-Global project. 80% affirm that the content helped to improve their teaching perspective regarding sustainability education, although 20% are unsure. It was noted that the session was agile and educational, with speakers demonstrating mastery of the tools showcased. Attendees found it interesting for potential application in secondary education. They would have liked to see more examples. There is a request to minimize the use of acronyms and instead repeat full names.

 Multiplier event in UNED, November 2023 ( Credits : Maria Luisa De Lazaro Torres, 2024)

Teaching Global change at university

V-Global is an innovative initiative aimed at introducing university teacher to the dynamic world of virtual field trips as a powerful pedagogical tool for addressing critical topics like sustainability and Global Change. At a time of climate change, teaching environmental and sustainability issues in higher education is a major challenge. How are these subjects addressed in higher education curricula? How can ESD be developed at university? These questions will be the focus of this forthcoming seminar event, which will present the analysis carried out on this subject as part of the Erasmus Plus V-Global project.

To learn more about this, please sign up by registering for our first multiplier event on Monday 23th October 9:00AM to 11:00AM (ECT).

Develop your teaching skills for environmental issues by registering for the MOOC Virtual Field Trip and Global Change: A Blended Learning Approach. The MOOC will open on 18 October 2024. Link to register for this course .

General Objectives:

  • Promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at the university level by guiding university educators in adopting digital and innovative teaching practices, such as virtual field trips.
  • Ensuring the provision of high-quality higher education, striving for excellence, and contributing to the development of a knowledge society by integrating teaching methods that address the challenge of enhancing students’ digital skills
  • Cultivating collaborative blended teaching concept within the framework of ESD.

Photo by David Tip on Unsplash

Athens’ Virtual field trip

As part of the V-global project, we realized a field in Athens in May 2022.

The data collected allowed us to collaboratively create 5 virtual terrains on global change. These virtual fields are based on a common methodology.

Methodology to create VFT

  1. Identify keywords and choose a problem
  2. Identify 5 relevant datas
  3. Geolocate them
  4. Build the scenario of the virtual field trip
  5. Elaboration of the virtual field trip

The virtual fields were then created using different tools: Storymap and Genially. The renderings are varied and present the different ways of exploring the space virtually.


Virtual Field Trip created

The Université Paris Cité’s field trip is based on a sensitive approach to the field. It is enhanced by artistic representations of the space.

The virtual field trip of Universität Hamburg is participative and includes tools like limesurvey or filling the blanck.

The virtual field trip developed by Eurogéo is based on a more conceptual (with a heuristic map) and visual approach with visual panoramas of the area.

Commonspace has developed a virtual field trip  on the scenes of everyday life with both an interpretation of spatial practices and an illustrated road trip.

Finally, NTUA’s virtual field trip  proposes a historical approach of Athens put in perspective with a spatial reading of the city.

Photo credits : David Tip on Unsplash

V-Global field trip in Athens

The first V-Global project field trip took place on the 3rd and 4th of May 2022 in Athens. 25 participants from all over Europe visited the city following 4 itineraries presented here.

The fieldwork allowed participants to collect geolocalized data (photos, sounds, videos, feelings) with the geolocalization applications: SW Maps and GeoTag. The participants engaged in a collaborative work with Miro. They shared their experiences, recorded their ideas, and selected the most relevant data. The discussions helped build the narrative of the virtual field trips that are now being developed.

Credits : Caroline Leininger-Frézal, May 3 2022, Athens town centre


Exploring sustainable development in Hamburg virtually

picture CO2 meterExploring sustainable development in Hamburg virtually – through the lens of virtual field trips

The team of Universität Hamburg works in the Faculty of Education in the Department of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Natural Sciences education.

How will we contribute to V-Global?

Our main expertise lies in developing real and virtual field trips with a particular perspective on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as this is also a cross-cutting theme in teacher training at the Universität Hamburg.

To achieve our goal to further promote ESD for future teachers, we have already created a list of tools that are suitable to create virtual field lane image

An interesting way of working in this context is with 360-degree cameras. We have also digitized the first field trips in Hamburg on different topics, for example mobility, housing and energy with ArcGIS StoryMaps.

These examples of virtual field trips will be made freely available through the VGlobal website and thus further contribute to learning about theoretical concepts in real and virtual environments on ESD.

This combination is a first step to show didactical and methodological implementation of innovative and participative approaches to learning (and teaching) at university level.

Find out more about the VGlobal Project

Photos i) CO2 meter ii) bike lanes and mobility

vfe banner image

Virtual Fieldwork Experiences

The move to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced higher education institutions and schools to find new and innovative ways to teach their students. Using virtual field trips has increasingly become a pedagogical strategy for connecting students to important educational experiences. virtual field image

According to Granshaw & Duggan-Haas (2012), a Virtual Fieldwork Experience (VFE) is an enquiry-based teaching tool that allows a field site to be brought into the classroom. The VFE originates from Geography and Earth Sciences education,. It’s purpose is to simulate the experiences of doing research outside of a class or laboratory so that skills can be developed and knowledge gained.

VFEs can offer opportunities to explore sites that are not practical to travel to in person. They are useful as they allow immersive experiential learning opportunities to be undertaken so that students can practice and develop their skills in simulated situations and circumstances. This makes the fieldwork more accessible, inclusive and equitable. Fragile environments that may be under pressure from visitors can be visited without concerns over conservation and sustainability.

technology allows students to travel and experience the world in time and space

VFE imageA range of interactive digital learning tools, like drones, virtual reality headsets and the use of remote sensors, can be offered during Virtual Fieldwork Experiences to provide opportunities for students to develop their fieldwork skills. There may also be some situations in which specific fieldwork locations cannot be visited or when field visits take place at all.

The VGlobal project will explore and promote the use of virtual fieldwork experiences in higher education institutions and encourage teachers and lecturers to develop their own VFEs for their students.

Find out more about the aims and objectives of the VGlobal Project 

Reference: Granshaw, F.D. and Duggan-Haas, D., 2012. Virtual fieldwork in geoscience teacher education: Issues, techniques, and models. Geological Society of America Special Papers, 492, pp.285-303.