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.
Members of the GEOLAND Project team met in the town of Rethymno, Crete 15-18th September 2021. Due to Covid restrictions the meeting was hybrid with some partners participating online and others able to visit the coordinating institution the research centre IMS Forth.
The project focused on administrative and practical actions to deliver the key outputs of GEOLAND and specifically:
1 an educational handbook for monitoring European Landscape
2 a training course via a Web-based GIS platform
3 policy outreach for higher education students related to the European Landscape Convention (ELC) and
4 an online gallery of student work, and
5 a Digital Readiness Tool, DERT, for the assessment of the digital readiness of higher education students and courses.
On the first day of the meeting the project partners focussed on the purpose and content of the GEOLAND handbook and its structure and approach. On the second day the GEOLAND platform purpose and its developments were discussed and the approach agreed and issues addressed. The role of open data from students and the activities related to survey gathering and citizen science were raised.
After the conclusion of the meeting a cultural visit took place, with a visit to the Monastery at Arkadi and a hike through a gorge identified as an area of outstanding landscape value.
The GEOLAND Project has started with a series of online meetings to establish the activities and working methods of the project.
The vision of GEOLAND is to establish a learning path for the Higher Education students and their professors so that they are able to apply their geospatial analysis knowledge in decision-making for landscape management, planning and protection of NATURA 2000 sites across Europe.
“Landscape means an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors” (Art.1 of European Landscape Convention (ELC)).
The main goals of the GEOLAND project are to specifically develop:
a) an Educational Handbook for monitoring European Landscape,
b) a Web based GIS platform where geospatial data may be uploaded and analysed and students’ opinion about landscape will be obtained through questionnaires and crowdsourcing.
More about the project