The second full meeting of the GeoLand consortium took place in Ghent, Belgium on 7-8 March 2022. Due to Covid restrictions a hybrid meeting was arranged as not all partners were able to travel.
The two main goals of the GEOLAND project are to develop:
1. an Educational Handbook for monitoring European Landscape
2. a Web based GIS platform where numerous geospatial data may be uploaded and analysed and students’ opinion about landscape will be obtained through questionnaires and crowdsourcing.
In the context of the Handbook, the meeting addressed, in a context related to higher education courses, the challenges in identifying and gathering landscape data, analysing the information and relating the results and areas surveyed to policy arrangements in different partner countries.
Landscape assessments were presented and discussed, for example Landscape Character Assessment used in the United Kingdom. The types of existing data were reviewed, like Corrine land cover data as an inventory of land cover in 44 classes. Citizen Science research and methodologies were introduced and some general principles of citizen science discussed.
There are four common features of citizen science practice:
1) anyone can participate,
2) participants use the same protocol so data can be combined and be high quality,
3) data can help real scientists come to real conclusions and
4) a wide community of scientists and volunteers work together and share data to which the public, as well as scientists, have access.
Citizen Science can increasingly be enabled by web-based technologies, in which relatively large-scale data-collection tasks can be assigned to students. The purpose is to gather and collate useful scientific information from many individuals / groups.