Smartphone-supported mapping of landforms – A new tool in teaching geomorphology


  • Georg Stauch



3D models, smartphones, LiDAR, geomorphology, teaching


Understanding 3D properties of objects is an integral part of geomorphological teaching. This can best be achieved during field trips. However, there are numerous reasons why teaching outdoor might not be possible, either for a group of students or just individuals. 3D models of landforms, either static or interactive, are a great method to improve students learning success, e.g. in a blended learning environment. Preparation of 3D models of individual geomorphological landforms has been so far time-consuming. But since 2020, LiDAR sensors have been integrated into some new smartphones. These systems offer great potential for geomorphological teaching, as they enable simple and cost-effective recording of geomorphological landforms and objects in three dimensions. The smartphone LiDAR systems are suitable for the documentation and 3D reconstruction of objects in the range of several decimetres to metres. By means of three examples, the possible applications of smartphone-based LiDAR systems in the field of geomorphological teaching will be demonstrated. All in all, these smartphone LiDAR systems offer great potential, as they support the understanding of the three-dimensional structure of geomorphological landforms and objects in teaching in schools and universities and thus increase the success of teaching among pupils and students. Furthermore, 3D models make geomorphology more inclusive, e.g. for people not able to conduct field work. At the same time, in research, they offer new opportunities for scientific observation projects, e.g. through the continuous monitoring of geomorphological changes in the context of Citizen Science projects.




How to Cite

Stauch, G. (2022). Smartphone-supported mapping of landforms – A new tool in teaching geomorphology. ERDKUNDE, 76(3), 227–234.



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