Geo-Bogs: Conserving Ireland’s Natural Heritage2014/15 Projects
The objective of this project is to publish geo-referenced maps of Ireland’s peatlands, document bog loss / degradation, and to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and source water protection.
The Commissioners Report on the Nature and Extent of Bogs in Ireland (1810-1814) surveyed over one million acres of bogs. To date there has never been a thorough re-analysis of the bogs in this report. This pilot project will resurrect these historical maps and begin geo-referencing them via Geographic Information System (GIS). Complementary field surveys will verify boundaries and categorize the extent of bog degradation. In conjunction with existing data from the Irish Peatland Conservation Council, this project will allow us, for the first time ever, to document 200 years of bog change, and form a critical baseline study from which scientists and the public can assess ecosystem alteration.
Project Team & Links
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Dr. Terry Morley
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Upon receiving notification of successful funding in December, we organized an ad-hoc blackboard module to establish working groups, share information and communicate with each other. Students established work clusters and spent the break looking for online sources of the Bog Reports. In January, we met again to formally kickoff the project. Our students were able to find original survey reports and maps though the National Library of Ireland and high quality e-books of the reports for our use. We are now in the process of determining the extent and coverage of the original maps at the NLI and have made several trips to the library in Dublin to look at them. We held a second meeting at the Hardiman Library to view the original reports and introduce them to the digitization process at Hardiman. We met Brendan Duffy who demonstrated the imaging equipment and digitized one of the bog maps. The library also offered to digitize maps not available from the NLI. Lastly, our geo-referencing crew are becoming proficient in using the software to georeference the images (QGIS) when they arrive from the NLI. These maps will be ordered in the first week of February. We have also scheduled a short GIS tutorial with Ronan Hennessey at the Ryan Institute on February 19th.