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Germany: Web mapping/WebGIS internship

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: United Nations University
Country: Germany
Closing date: 31 Jul 2017

United Nations University’s Mission: The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. For more information, please visit

UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, addresses the risk and vulnerability aspects of human security and the consequences of complex environmental hazards for sustainable development. The work of UNU‐EHS helps to improve the in‐depth understanding of the cause effect relationships to find ways to reduce risks and vulnerabilities. The Institute supports policymakers and decision makers with evidence‐based research and information.

EVES section explores environmental deterioration processes such as water and land degradation. Particularly, the section looks at remedial measures, resources availability and robustness of ecosystem services, all within the context of socio ecological systems affected by environmental hazards.

Context: Interactive visualization of a set of global case studies on ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (EcoDRR) and/or adaptation (EbA) in an open-source web map tool
The successful candidate will develop an open-source web map tool for the interactive visualization and querying of a set of global EcoDRR (ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction) and EbA (ecosystem-based adaptation) case studies using OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) web mapping standards. The final solution shall be browser-based and will potentially be embedded into the UNU-EHS website.


  • Develop an open-source web map tool for the interactive visualization and querying of EcoDRR/EbA case studies with following tasks:
  • Create vector geo-data (e.g. shapefiles) representing the location and geometry (e.g. point/polygon) of each case study and develop attribute tables for each case study;
  • Conduct a short review on existing open-source solutions for the interactive visualization and querying of geo-data in a web map tool;
  • Develop a spatial database where data for each case study (incl. attributes) is stored
  • Develop (or adapt) an open-source WebGIS/Map solution (e.g. using Leaflet, Open Layers or similar) that fulfills the following requirements: (1) interactive visualization of the case studies (incl. querying functions where queries can be run based on the attributes in the attribute tables), (2) can be integrated into a website (browser-based solution), (3) OpenStreetMap or similar global base maps as a background map.
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned or required.

Qualifications and Requirements:

Field of Study: Geoinformatics, GIScience, Informatics, Geography, or a related field.

Essential Skills and attributes:

  • Excellent command of English
  • Advanced knowledge in web application development, using HTML and JavaScript web mapping libraries like Leaflet
  • Experience in the development of more advanced WebGIS solutions is an asset
  • Advanced experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Proven record of computer proficiency,
  • Willingness to learn new skills and methods

Desired Skills:

  • Ability to work independently
  • Demonstrates problem-solving skills
  • An interest in scientific research and science-policy-interaction
  • Willingness to work in a culturally diverse environment

Teaching/learning objectives:

  • Work with the concepts of vulnerability, disaster risk reduction and ecosystem services;
  • Develop an open-source WebGIS/web mapping solution for the interactive visualization and (attribute-based) querying of global EcoDRR/EbA case studies;
  • Acquire knowledge and gain hands-on experience related to international governmental organization processes;
  • Understanding of the project work and related activities of UNU and the UN System;
  • Gain work experience within UN international working environment.

The successful candidate will be based at UNU-EHS in Bonn on a full-time basis (40 hours per week) for a contractual period ranging between 3-6 months. The internship is not remunerated.

Starting Date:
As soon as possible

Application Procedure: By email to: internship-applications(a)

How to apply:
  1. STAGE 1 (Application Submission)
    Interested Applicants must submit by email to internship-applications(a) :

    • A completed internship application form
    • Résumé/CV in English
    • Motivation/Cover letter: outlining your experience with WebGIS, your motivations, and future career goals
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • If applying to a specific internship posting, please quote the reference number in the email subject line

    Only digital versions sent via email will be accepted. We do not accept applications sent via post.
    If applying to a specific internship posting with a clearly stated deadline, application packets must be received by the date of deadline at 23:59 CET (Central European Time).

    STAGE 2 (Interviews)
    If your background matches the needs of the section, you will be shortlisted for the position. Shortlisted candidates will receive an email notification from UNU-EHS/ViE to schedule a date and time for the interview, which will be conducted via Skype or telephone. In some cases, when a specific skill is required for a position, shortlisted candidates may be asked to provide additional materials so that this skill may be assessed. For example, testing translation skills.

    STAGE 3 (Acceptance)
    After interviews have been conducted, all those candidates who were interviewed will receive an email notification regarding their application status. Successful candidates will be offered an internship position and contract for the duration of 3 to 6 months.