Ryan Institute GIS Centre showcases cutting-edge Geospatial Analytics Research & Innovation

The Ryan Institute GIS centre hosted its annual research seminar on Friday the 23rd of June 2017 in the Orbsen building on campus. The Ryan Institute GIS Centre’s promotes and supports research and scholarship in Geographic Information System (GIS) which is underway across many of the Ryan Institute research groups (spanning the university’s five colleges). GIS systems allow researchers to capture, store, manipulate, analyse and represent any form of spatial data. The evolution of GIS technology has led to a constant rise in spatial data analysis and the automatic (i.e. GPS tagged) recording of location from smartphones or other GPS-enabled devices on any number of activities such as cycling, biodiversity mapping, agriculture, housing development, marine, ambulance services, energy and transport management flooding events, etc. The Director of the Ryan Institute, Prof. Charles Spillane, highlights that “Geospatial mapping and analytics is a rapidly emerging research and innovation arena, with broad ranging applications emerging across multiple sectors, including environment, marine, energy and agriculture. The Ryan Institute GIS Centre’s key role is in supporting research and training researchers in the latest cutting-edge techniques in the area of GIS and geospatial analytics in general. Innovations in GIS and geospatial analytics are critical for development of the decision-support systems that are urgently needed to address many of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals over the decades ahead.”

The GIS Centre’s annual research seminar showcased the range of research projects using GIS currently and allowed the university’s researchers to learn and share ideas. The well-attended Seminar consisted of two morning sessions of short talks by early career scientists coming from fields such as Geography, Medicine, Engineering, etc… Two keynote speakers who are recognised innovators in GIS addressed the Seminar participants.

 Gavin Duffy from RealSIM Ltd presented the benefits of using 3D gaming technology in the land development planning process.

‌‌‌Gavin Duffy keynote GIS 2017

Marie Hogan from ESRI Ireland gave an overview of the rapid spread of available online and mobile tools from the ArcGIS software which is available to NUI Galway researchers.

Marie Hogan GIS keynote 2017

The short talks by Ryan Institute researchers presented a diverse range of GIS research, including on; reconstructing archaeological routes through the midlands; mapping of E.coli cases in the West of Ireland; the importance of the sea view to the price of a house; the influence of bottom trawling on the seabed; the creation and use of 3D seabed models for aquaculture’s management; and the use of recurring satellite data for monitoring coastal erosion. There was also a strong focus on the citizen science enabled GIS mapping, including where Transition Year students collect and present data on catchment management, perception of flooding risk and on cycling challenges in Galway city. “The spread of talks today highlights the importance of the GIS centre for a wide range of researchers in NUI Galway as a facility to access data, develop new methodologies and disseminate their research efficiently”, Dr Eve Daly, head of the GIS centre.

Marie Hogan GIS keynote 2017

Geography researchers Axel Leahy mapping the public perception of flooding in Salthill.

Tomas O'Brien GIS 2017

Civil Engineering researcher Tomás O'Brien displaying the use of STRAVA datasets for the mapping of cycling habits in Galway City.

The Ryan Institute GIS centre awarded the annual prize for the best presentation to Grainne Barron from the Discipline of Earth and Ocean Sciences for her talk entitled: Development of a focussed Integrated Catchment Management toolkit for use in secondary schools encompassing GIS mapping.

Grainne Barron awarded best talk at 2017 GIS research seminar

Grainne Barron and Dr Eve Daly, Head of the Ryan Institute GIS centre.

Mark Johnson, Eve Daly, Benjamin Thebaudeau and Marie Hogan at the GIS research seminar 2017

Dr. Mark Johnson, Deputy director of the Ryan Institute, Dr. Eve Daly, Head of the Ryan Institute GIS centre, Dr Benjamin Thébaudeau, Ryan Institute Senior GIS technical officer and Marie Hogan of ESRI Ireland.