Steffen Fritz profile picture

Steffen Fritz

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar

Strategic Initiatives Program

Principal Research Scholar

Novel Data Ecosystems for Sustainability Research Group

Advancing Systems Analysis Program


Steffen Fritz is the IIASA Strategic Initiatives Program Director and a researcher in the Novel Data Ecosystems Research Group of the Advancing Systems Analysis Program.

He holds a Master of Science degree in Geographical Information for Development from the University of Durham, UK, and a PhD from the University of Leeds, UK. After spending time as a researcher at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, Fritz joined IIASA as a research scholar, where he has since become the initiator and driving force behind and several other projects.

He was the principal investigator of the European Research Council (ERC) funded CrowdLand Consolidator Grant and the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation funded LandSense and WeObserve projects. He is currently leading the development of the new Picture Pile Platform, which is funded by an ERC Proof of Concept Grant. In the various capacities he acted in since 2009, including coordinator, principal investigator, work package, or task leader, Fritz has been responsible for a diverse range of tasks and an overall budget of approximately EUR 4.2 million. He has more than 160 peer-reviewed publications and has widely published in high-level journals.

Fritz's research interests include transformative societal and policy solutions, machine learning and artificial intelligence, earth observation, citizen science, crowdsourcing, volunteered geographical information, and citizen generated data. He also has a keen interest in applications of Earth Observation to food security, land-use science, global and regional vegetation monitoring, crop yield and crop acreage estimations of agricultural crops, serious gaming, gamification, in-situ data collection of land use and land cover data via mobile technologies, and the role of citizen science for the monitoring and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Last update: 09 DEC 2021


Mast, A., Fraisl, D. , Grey, F., Pérez Guzmán, K. , Muniafu, M., Varese, M., Brocklehurst, M., Grace, M., Wong, M., Mondardini, R., Fritz, S. , & MacFeely, S. (2024). Achieving change through global citizen science. In: ECSA 2024, 3-6 April 2024, Vienna.

Kłopotek, G., Pan, Y., Sturn, T., Weinacker, R., See, L. , Crocetti, L., Awadaljeed, M., Rothacher, M., McCallum, I. , Fritz, S. , Navarro, V., & Soja, B. (2024). A Cloud-native Approach for Processing of Crowdsourced GNSS Observations and Machine Learning at Scale: A Case Study from the CAMALIOT Project. Advances in Space Research 10.1016/j.asr.2024.02.055. (In Press)

Van Tricht, K., Degerickx, J., Gilliams, S., Zanaga, D., Battude, M., Grosu, A., Brombacher, J., Lesiv, M. , Laso Bayas, J.C. , Karanam, S., Fritz, S. , Becker-Reshef, I., Franch, B., Mollà-Bononad, B., Boogaard, H., Pratihast, A.K., & Szantoi, Z. (2023). WorldCereal: a dynamic open-source system for global-scale, seasonal, and reproducible crop and irrigation mapping. Earth System Science Data 15 (12) 5491-5515. 10.5194/essd-2023-184.

McCallum, I. , Walker, J., Fritz, S. , Grau, M., Hannan, C., Hsieh, I-S., Lape, D., Mahone, J., McLester, C., Mellgren, S., Piland, N., See, L. , Svolba, G., & de Villiers, M. (2023). Crowd-Driven Deep Learning Tracks Amazon Deforestation. Remote Sensing 15 (21) e5204. 10.3390/rs15215204.

Moorthy, I., Castella, N., Peters-Anders, J., Hager, G. , & Fritz, S. (2023). Citizen Science in Urban Studies. In: EuroGEO workshop, 2-4 October 2023, Bolzano, Italy.