Business Case and Return on Investment – Scoilnet Maps
Kindly sponsored by GeoDirectory
Scoilnet Maps is a web mapping initiative that provides all schools with access to digital OSi and world maps to support the Irish school curriculum. It contains tools and data suitable for use in both primary and post-primary schools.
The Scoilnet Maps initiative set out to investigate a low-cost model for digital mapping provision in schools. That was achieved through the customisation of an open source map viewer (ArcGIS Viewer for Flex) and the sourcing of tools that offered functionality that was appropriate for and supportive of curriculum objectives.
Uniquely, the rollout of Scoilnet Maps has involved the leveraging of specific elements of existing public sector GIS initiatives, the sharing of publicly available data, and the cooperation and commitment of 8 different organisations. The project’s viability and successful implementation was ultimately determined by both cost and the model of collaboration, as the latter is vital with regard to ongoing service provision.
The Scoilnet Maps project came to fruition in a time of intense budgetary restrictions within the public sector. During such times it can be difficult to see something like digital mapping as a priority. But this project is much more than digital mapping and to view it as such may be short-sighted. It has delivered a tool/service to teachers that offers enormous possibilities to engage children in their own learning. From Geography to History to Mathematics, Scoilnet Maps covers a range of curriculum areas and it also allows literacy and numeracy (priority areas for the Dept of Education and Skills) to be intrinsically integrated into the teaching of post-primary Geography. It is a highly visual tool that has the potential to transform educational experiences and to mainstream GIS activities in every classroom.
To see Scoilnet Maps in action, click here
IRLOGI Research Award – The Down Survey of Ireland
Kindly sponsored by Ordnance Survey Ireland
Taken in the years 1656-1658, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world. The survey sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish in order to facilitate its redistribution to Merchant Adventurers and English soldiers. Copies of these maps have survived in dozens of libraries and archives throughout Ireland and Britain, as well as in the National Library of France.
This research project has brought together for the first time in over 300 years all the surviving maps, digitised them and made them available as a public online resource.
There are two main components to this website. The Down Survey Maps section comprises digital images of all the surviving Down Survey maps at parish, barony and county level. The written descriptions (terrier) of each barony and parish that accompanied the original maps have also been included. The second section, Historical GIS, brings together the maps and related contemporaneous sources – Books of Survey and Distribution, the 1641 Depositions, the 1659 Census – in a Geographical Information System (GIS). All these sources have been georeferenced with 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps, Google Maps and satellite imagery. The project database includes ownership records for 13,000 owners of 55,000 townlands.
The Down Survey represents the single biggest forced transfer of land in Europe during the early modern period and the largest such event to take place in Ireland. Thousands of families never recovered their estates and a Catholic landowning elite only survived west of the Shannon in the province of Connacht, although this gradually disappeared over the following decades.
The Down Survey of Ireland is the first national historical GIS to integrate seamlessly the entire corpus of archaic and modern place names through a layered interface of maps spanning 350 years. The GIS is now capable of incorporating any historical material. The project was highlighted at the 2013 Irish Research Council symposium as an exemplar of best practice and seminars delivered in Oxford and Chicago underlined that historical GIS in Ireland is now significantly ahead of similar research projects in other countries.
To see the project in action, click here
Innovation and Best Practice – MapRoad Mobile from Compass Informatics
Kindly sponsored by 1Spatial
MapRoad Mobile is an innovative android tablet app that allows Local Authorities to capture a road surface condition along 91,000 km of local and regional Irish roads. This information is captured by driving the road at normal traffic speed and the surveyor (not the driver!) assessing the road using indicators such as edge breakup, shine on the surface, depressions, cracking and other road surface stress indicators to put a value of 1 to 10 against a stretch of road where 10 is the best condition. This data is used to create a baseline situation, while also allowing more strategic planning of road maintenance schedules.
The app is simple to use for the surveyor, however this custom built app by the Compass Informatics development team hides complex geoprocessing logic that is continuously happening in the background of the device. These tasks include logic such that a point is dropped every 3 seconds or every 30 meters along the road, not allowing duplicate ratings on the same section of the road, the GPS point from the tablet app is buffered to find the closest road segment and is then snapped to this chainage point along the road. Upon upload of the data the captured chainage points are further processed to create a linear referenced dataset. All uploaded data is available to roads staff through an online open source web viewer.
Every local authority is now using MapRoad Mobile to capture road condition data, with in excess of 25,000 km of data captured to date. The ease of use of the app has been widely commented on, it is intended to expand the remit of the app to also capture the drainage situation at the side of the road network, capture health and safety issues and to capture speed limit signs.
See MapRoad Mobile and other Compass products here
Special Conference Award – LAMP
Kindly sponsored by the ICON Group
The Local Asset Mapping Project (LAMP) is the first initiative as part of Connected Health – a joint access programme between The Digital Hub, St. James’s Hospital and subsequently Esri Ireland.
The vision for LAMP is to provide a customised support for patients to enable them to better manage their health condition and to assist the general wellbeing of citizens through localised information. The project had a requirement for a mobile data collection platform and backend database for use in community asset mapping; it was decided that ArcGIS Online was suitable for their needs. LAMP will use local data which may be customised as a resource for patients and their clinicians, based on their health condition, their geographical location and the resources locally available to them.
A really exciting part of this project is the fact that the transition year students from
Warrenmount Secondary School in Dublin 8 are performing the role of data collectors. In teams of 4 they are walking the streets of the Dublin 8 area engaging with local business and using tablets and the ArcGIS online Native app for Android they are capturing the location and type of service they offer.
At GIS Ireland 2013, Dr. David Robinson and a number of the students from Warrenmount gave a unique and very insightful presentation and demonstration on their experiences and workflows used in this project, and described how the final product has helped better management of the health of the local population.
Best Presentation at GIS Ireland 2013 – Fingal County Council
Kindly sponsored by IMGS
In February of 2013 Fingal County Council sent a delegation of one GIS officer and two planners to Maseru, Lesotho. The purpose of the trip was to work with members of the Physical Planning Department in the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftainship and Parliamentary Affairs and also with members of the planning sections of Maseru City Council. The primary objective was to carry out an assessment of needs and also build capacity with planning staff in Lesotho. For three weeks, the team worked on GIS, Local Area Plans, Planning Enforcement, Casual environmental planning, Lesotho Settlement Policy and Trading and Strategic Infrastructure areas of spatial planning.
At GIS Ireland 2013 Claire McIntyre and Joe Corr presented on the details of their experiences, challenges and the future for this project, and their presentation was voted the best presentation on the day by the conference delegates.