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GIS Monthly Maps 2023

The Teagasc spatial analysis unit use data from a number of sources to assist farming. The sources used include the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, the Central Statistics Office, and Earth observation satellites, and remote sensing technologies. 

In creating the 'Map of the Month' the unit takes the most interesting map produced in each month to present it to a wider audience to promote discussion and debate  on the contribution of spatial analysis to Irish agriculture and food and on the specific maps produced. Maps can be viewed in interactive and pdf format. Read more about map of the month here.

February - Forests and Woodlands in our townland names

Cartographers:  Dr Jesko Zimmermann

View interctive map here: Forests and woodlands in our townland names

Ireland was once covered in vast forests. It is said that a squirrel could travel all the way from east to west without once touching the ground. While millenia of human activity have reduced the cover to approximately 11%, the memory of these forests continues to exist in our townland names. 

In this month's map we are looking at references to forests, woodlands, and trees in the Irish names of townlands. 

January - Laser Scanning on the Signpost Farms

Cartographers:  Dr Stuart Green & Dr Jesko Zimmermann

View map here: Map of the Month - January 2023 LIDAR

The Signpost programme is a multi-annual campaign to lead climate action by all Irish farmers. The programme aims to achieve early progress in reducing gaseous emissions from Irish agriculture and also improve water quality, maintain and in some cases improving biodiversity, reduce costs, and create more profitable and sustainable farming enterprises.

There is a network of 110 farmers acting as demonstration farms for best practice in these areas. To see how the farms perform following implementation of measures, we need a benchmark of how the farms are today. The farms are being extensively surveyed for all aspects of the enterprise, habitats, economics, farm performance and more. One of the tools being used on the farms is Light Distance and Ranging (LIDAR) surveys. LIDAR is a laser scanning technology that gives an accurate 3D picture of each farm. We can use this 3D data to estimate the carbon stored in hedgerows and trees, and we use it to show overland flow of water on the farm - highlighting very precisely points on the farms that might be potential hotspots for pollution.

About Map of the Month

In addition to undertaking geographical analyses and producing maps for research projects, the spatial analysis lab responds to ad hoc requests for contributions.  The latter may be for in-house purposes or to inform policy submissions. While dissemination is a key objective of research projects, maps produced in response to such requests rarely get a wider audience. We’ve decided that we’ll take the most interesting map we have produced in each month and to present it here to hopefully find a wider audience and promote discussion and debate on both the contribution of spatial analysis to Irish agriculture and food and on the specific maps produced.

Whilst this map can be shared please check with us before reproducing it in a publication. Many of the data sets we use are under licence with conditions attached.

For general enquiries contact Stuart Green or the author above for information on this month’s map.