Category Archives: project

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GEOLAND at the United Nations

GEOLAND Project members participated and presented the project at the Twelfth Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) at t5he UN Headquarters in New York.policy graphic

The twelfth session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) was held from 3 – 5 August 2022.

UN-GGIM, comprises experts designated by the Governments of Member States. It seeks to promote international cooperation in global geospatial information management and provide a forum for coordination and dialogue among Member States, and between Member States and relevant international organisations.

As the relevant inter-governmental body on geospatial information in the United Nations, UN-GGIM reports on all matters relating to geography, geospatial information and related topics to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). unggim-photo

As an NGO with consultative status in the United Nations, GEOLAND project partner EUROGEO participates in debates and discussions related to topics such as environment, data, smart city developments and actions concerning  the Sustainable Development Goals.

The GEOLAND Project is relevant to the work of UN-GGIM as it deals with the concepts, data, tools and technologies concerning the monitoring of landscapes based on the rules of the European Landscape Convention (ELC). As a result the project aims to educate, inform and advise students and their professors concerning the policy implications of undertaking landscape monitoring and assessment. GEOLAND will help students and professors to comprehend the problems that arise from heterogeneous applications of ELC and suggest possible solutions to these issues.unggim-graphic

The GEOLAND project also seeks to reinforce European Policy in landscape conservation as well as national and local actions regarding the implementation of the European Landscape Convention.

GEOLAND will seek to provide essential recommendations for policy makers and maintain a dialogue with relevant stakeholders, open for future development. The GEOLAND methodology employed is eventually expected to constitute a road map for relevant studies not only in Europe but also worldwide.

Explore the EUROGEO presentation introducing international policy dimensions in landscape monitoring and geospatial technologies, from the UN to the Council of Europe.

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GEOLAND Handbook : Technical Annex available

method diagramThe GEOLAND Project recently published, in partner languages, an Educational Handbook for monitoring European Landscape.  To complement this document a Technical Annex has been produced to provide details of the five methodological stages important for Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) by using GIS and public participation.

The five stages are:

i) Purpose definition
ii) Desk-based data collection
iii) Field-based data collection
iv) Classification and
v) Overall evaluation

They are dealt with in detail, offering information, advised, resources and tools to carry out a Landscape Character Assessment on Natura 2000 or other sites of interest.

Examples of site selection, desk-based collected datasets, approaches for field study and landscape character recognition are provided.

Monitoring and protecting the Landscape is a crucial environmental goal. The handbook and technical annex will help to enable the uptake of novel ways to engage and empower students in environmental science and other disciplines and stimulate participatory decision-making. GEOLAND highlights the fact that students and, in general, citizens can in fact have a real impact in environmental monitoring and landscape management.

Download the GEOLAND Technical Annex

The Annex is also available in partner languages-  Bulgarian, Dutch, Greek, Spanish

Educational Handbook published

The vision of the GEOLAND project is to establish and promote the effective participation of Higher Education (HE) institutions in monitoring actions leading to influencing decision-making for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (ELC).handbook cover image

With this in mind the project has published an Educational Handbook with state-of-the-art information and materials on learning and teaching perspectives, methodologies including citizen science, and Landscape Character Assessment related to the European Landscape Convention.

The Educational Handbook can be downloaded in English, Bulgarian, Dutch, Greek and Spanish, from https://www.geolandproject.eu/outputs/

A Technical Annex to the Handbook will shortly follow with examples, advice and guidance on the teaching and learning of the five methodological stages for Landscape Character Assessment.

Download a leaflet about the project

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Ghent University students test a new landscape assessment observation sheet

As part of the GeoLand project students of Ghent University geography department went beginning May 2022 on a terrain study at the Damvallei, an area near Ghent with a variety of values and land uses, but also registered as Natura 2000 sites.

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The area is an old meander of the Scheldt river near Ghent, cut into four by two motorways and because of its proximity to the city with a multitude of space users.

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Nevertheless, a large part is still very valuable biologically (green to dark green), so that parts of it became a Natura 2000 area (orange areas on the map).

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The GeoLand project wants to involve higher education students in the study and appreciation of these landscapes. As a first step, the students did a reconnaissance by investigating different cells within the area grid.

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They used a research sheet developed by Prof. Van Eetvelde (UGent).
Download the Observation Sheet

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The next step will be to map all the collected information on a GIS platform.

Find out more about the GeoLand project 

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GEOLAND Handbook presented at EUROGEO 2022

GEOLAND was presented at EUROGEO 2022, a conference held on Lesvos island, Island, Greece on 5-6 May 2022 nd the first output – GEOLAND Handbook on Digital Educational Geoinformatic Methodologies for Monitoring Landscape was launched. output 1

The event attracted more than 120 educators and researchers from over 35 countries. Over 90 presentations, 5 workshops and 15 posters were presented.

EUROGEO conference Lesvos 2022 took the theme “RE-VISIONING GEOGRAPHY FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN THE POST-COVID ERA”. The following were the Conference Strands:
– How do geographers, universities, companies and education respond to Sustainable Development Goals and complex challenges in the context of the COVID pandemic?presentation image
– What is the role of Geography in the landscape of spatial technologies and open data and how can these assist in achieving SDGs?
– How new eco-social challenges are positioned in the face of a post-pandemic Global Change?
– How can we explore novel educational contexts and resources to transform towards sustainability of socio-ecological systems?
– What conceptual frameworks and strategies can contribute to the construction of societies based on human welfare and the care of nature?
– What are the interactions between Sustainable Development Goals, international migrations and refugees?

See the Full conference programme

Download the Handbook in English
Download the Handbook in Dutch

View the presentation below

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Second GeoLand meeting, Ghent Belgium

meeting pictureThe 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.Corine land maps

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.

 

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First GEOLAND Project Newsletter Published

Partners in the GEOLAND Project have published their first newsletter. GEOLAND focuses on Digital Educational Geoinformatic Methodologies for Monitoring Landscape. The newsletter contains stories about  the presentation of the GEOLAND project in the Technology Forum of Thessaloniki (Greece), the Manifesto on the future of European landscape, introducing the NATURA 2000 sites, the first project meeting in Crete and the use of GIS in schools in Bulgaria.

Read and subscribe to the newsletter

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GEOLAND Project meeting, Rethymno, Crete

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.rethymno meeting photo

 

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.

Arkadi Monastery

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GEOLAND Project Starts

The GEOLAND Project has started with a series of online meetings to establish the activities and working methods of the project.

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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