In October 2022 a two-day Transnational Partner Meeting was held in Zaragoza, Spain. Participants spent one day in meetings, discussing the progress of the project with special attention to testing a landscape survey app.
The aim of the landscape survey app is to enable the nature of the landscape to be evaluated in situ by students and by the general public. Its use proved to be very straightforward. By opening the app, GPS locations could be saved, together with responses to a short landscape survey and digital photographs of the location could be gathered and shared.
This app thus permits data gathering of landscape character assessment (LCA) results in the field, linked to a GIS platform where the data gathered is presented.
Landscape character assessment is the process of identifying and describing the variation in character of the landscape.
This helps identify and explain the unique combination of elements and features that make landscapes distinctive.
The character, types and areas can be described and mapped to show how the landscape is perceived, experienced and valued by people. It also allows changes in landscape to be monitored, for example due to climate change or human impact, and policies to protect distinctive areas to be put in place.
Either follow the link or scan the QR code to visit the Landscape Character Assessment online survey app to add your own data to the GIS platform..
On the second day, a field visit to a NATURA 2000 site close to Zaragossa was organised in order to beta test the app and platform. Find out more about Natura 2000 in Aragon
.During the visit five different important locations of landscape value were visited
The first location was a local landfill which serves almost 800.000 habitants of the Zaragoza region for waste deposits. On the other hand it offers a food source for numerous animals and birds, such as vultures, storks and seagulls. The landfill is located on the border of the NATURA 2000 protected area.
The visit continued to the Saltlake of Mediana (La Salada de Mediana) which has huge ecological, historical and scientific value because of the salt extraction activity during the past centuries.
Codo municipality was the next stop, in particular in ornithological reservation El Planerón, where the guide form SEO BirdLife organisation, responsible for the reservation, explained the project, the relationships with other agents in the landscape management and presented to the participants some results of the work done in the reservation.
Then the group stopped in Fuendetodos, birthplace of Francisco Goya, great Spanish painter, where windmill parks with massive energy potential have been installed. The purpose was to evaluate their impact on the landscape and compare it with the benefits that it can bring.
Finally, the viewpoint on Las Planas, next to Cadrete, was visited. From this spot, participants could appreciate the views over the Ebro river depression, the plateau, Zaragoza city, the dry steppe landscape, wind parks and the Moncayo massive in the background.
Explore the Storymap to see the location and results of the field visit
The field visit confirmed the survey app and GIS platform developed for landscape evaluation showed great functionality and produced very relevant results, so in following months it will be used in different European locations with students and the public.
Try out the GEOLAND survey app – Visit the GIS platform
Contact the project of you wish to be involved or find out more.