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GIS Monthly Maps

Map of the Month - February 2018

View map: GIS Map of the Month February 2018 (PDF)

Title: Grass cover for Moorepark 20th February 2018

Cartographer: Richa Marwaha, Walsh Fellow

February’s Map of the Month is an output from our national grass mapping projects. This project “National farm scale estimates of grass yield using remote sensing” is developing a national model to estimate current biomass, at field scale for all grasslands in Ireland. It follows on from an earlier project that used satellite images to accurately measure grass biomass at a number of trial sites using machine learning methods.

This map of Moorepark from the 20th of February uses vegetation indices to show the relative range of grass covers between paddocks. Vegetation indices are derived from measurements of red and near infra-red light reflected from the grass in the paddocks and captured by the satellite. A value close to zero indicates no grass (bare soil), while higher values, up to 1, indicate increasing grass covers/biomass.

This map shows how new satellite data from ESA allows us to look at grass cover at paddock scale up to every 5 days. It’s this data (temporal images from Sentinel-2 and Landsat-8) that allows for mapping of biomass and observations of management.

Data sets used: ESA Sentinel 2

Map of the Month - January 2018

View map: GIS Map of the Month January 2018 (PDF)

Title: Average field sizes in Ireland, calculated per townland.

Cartographer: Dr. Jesko Zimmermann

This map uses OSI field boundary data and townland data. We calculated the average field size in townlands but we excluded those townlands that are not dominated by enclosed farm lands. These include uplands and commonage areas, raised bogs, forested areas, lakes and of course built up areas.

The map, at first glance, seems to tell a familiar story, with larger fields in the south and east, where farms are bigger and more intensive and smaller fields (in shades of green) in the north, where farms are smaller and less productive. But a closer look reveals many local details and we can see the effects of landscape, history and soil on the range of field sizes across the country and within and between neighbouring counties.

Data sets used: OSI Prime 2, EEA CORINE Land-cover 2012

© Ordnance Survey Ireland. All rights reserved. Licence number DOF 11/1

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.