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


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


Fraisl, D. , See, L. , Bowers, R., Seidu, Omar, Fredua, K.B., Bowser, A., Meloche, M., Weller, S., Amaglo-Kobla, T., Ghafari, D., Laso Bayas, J.C. , Campbell, J., Cameron, G., Fritz, S. , & McCallum, I. (2023). The contributions of citizen science to SDG monitoring and reporting on marine plastics. Sustainability Science 10.1007/s11625-023-01402-4. (In Press)

See, L. , Soja, B., Kłopotek, G., Sturn, T., Weinacker, R., Karanam, S., Georgieva, I., Pan, Y., Crocetti, L., Rothacher, M., Navarro, V., Fritz, S. , & McCallum, I. (2023). Collecting volunteered geographic information from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS): experiences from the CAMALIOT project. International Journal of Digital Earth 16 (1) 2818-2841. 10.1080/17538947.2023.2239761.

Boogaard, H., Pratihast, A.K., Laso Bayas, J.. , Karanam, S., Fritz, S. , Van Tricht, K., Degerickx, J., & Gilliams, S. (2023). Building a community-based open harmonised reference data repository for global crop mapping. PLoS ONE 18 (7) e0287731. 10.1371/journal.pone.0287731.