News Items


William Smith Meeting 2015: The Future of Geological Mapping


William Smith Meeting 2015: The Future of Geological Mapping

Date: Thursday, 5 November 2015
Organiser: The Geological Society
Venue: The Geological Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BG

In 1815 William Smith published the first edition of his Geological Map of England and Wales. Smith’s map made a seminal contribution to the understanding of the ground beneath our feet and, by showing the location of coal, iron ore, clays and other raw materials, helped fuel the industrial revolution. Two hundred years on, the demands for spatial knowledge about the geological environment and its resources and hazards become ever more pressing.

The first William Smith Meeting in April 2015 chronicles the history and development of the geological map from its earliest beginnings to the digital maps of today. This second William Smith Conference will look to the future of geological mapping, and will open with a keynote by Professor Iain Stewart on the grand challenges for geoscience that will motivate the ‘William Smiths’ of tomorrow. It will showcase the new science, technologies and information systems that are changing and broadening the whole concept, purpose and impact of geological mapping. A concluding panel discussion will focus on the skills and roles of the field geologists of the future.

This meeting will be followed by a drinks reception and an evening lecture that takes geological mapping to the next frontier of planetary geology.

Key themes and topics

  • What is ‘geological mapping’ in the modern age of digital information and geological models?
  • What are the future demands for spatial geological data and knowledge? How will these vary across emerging and developing economies? What will the geological map of tomorrow look like?
  • How will the digital revolution shape how we present, visualise and communicate geological knowledge? What new technologies are emerging in digital mapping, geophysics, earth observation and modelling?
  • How do we integrate these with field-based geological observations and interpretation? What skills will be needed by the field geologists of the future? Do we still need to teach students how to map, and why?

Keynote speakers

Iain Stewart (Plymouth University)
Mike Stephenson (BGS)
Gerold Diepolder (Bavarian Environment Agency)
Conall Mac Niocaill (University of Oxford)
David Evans (Durham University)
David Rothery (Open University)


Please visit the website to see the draft programme and to complete the online conference registration form.

Registration Rates

Fellow: £85.00
Non-fellow: £125.00
Other Societies Member: £85.00
Corporate Affiliates: £85.00
Speaker: £85.00
Student: £50.00
Retired: £70.00

Funding of up to £350 (per application) is available to support two undergraduate students to attend, participate in and present posters at the conference.

To be considered for a William Smith Grant 2015, please complete the Grant Application form, including the following:

i) A 300 word abstract describing the scientific outcomes of your independent mapping research/dissertation.

ii) An answer to the following question in no more than 300 words:

How and why should we continue to teach geological mapping to geology students at first degree level?

Please return your completed grant application form to: Jess Aries ( email: Jess.Aries at geolsoc.org.uk ) no later than 5pm on Friday, 28 August 2015.

Date July 22, 2015

GISRUK 2015 Proceedings now available online

Free GIS

GISRUK 2015 Proceedings now available online

This volume contains the papers presented at GISRUK 2015 Conference held at the School of Geography, University of Leeds, on 15 to 17 April 2015.

Date July 22, 2015

GRASS GIS 6.4.5 released


GRASS GIS 6.4.5 released

Key improvements of the GRASS GIS 6.4.5 release include stability fixes (esp. vector library), some fixes for wxPython3 support, some module fixes, and more message translations.

Date July 20, 2015
More information

Advanced 'Data for Decisions' QGIS Workshop

Cost Open Source Learning Resource GIS


All-Island Research Observatory (AIRO) and Maynooth University are hosting this two-day workshop.

Date and Times: (Thursday 7 Friday) 20 to 21 August 2015; 9.30 to 17.00
Venue: Iontas Building, North Campus, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co.Kildare

The Advanced QGIS Workshop is aimed participants who have attended the 'Data for Decisions' workshop who wish to gain more experience and knowledge on the availability of spatial data and the potential of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to aid spatial analytical techniques.

The workshop includes:

  • Spatial analysis and processing skills.
  • Creating databases and working with Small Areas (SAs).
  • Case Studies.

On completion of the two day participants will have a much greater understanding of spatial analytical and processing skills such as buffering, geo-coding, spatial querying and joining. Participants will have an opportunity to create databases and utilise datasets from the AIRO Data Store in relation to case studies.

Duration: Two days 

Class size: Six

IT requirements: Own laptop with QGIS downloaded prior to the workshop and MS Office installed.

Price: €590

To register for this event please visit the website.

Date July 20, 2015

Entry to IRLOGI Space & Place Awards 2015


Entry to IRLOGI Space & Place Awards 2015

IRLOGI Space & Place Awards 2015 will be held on the day of the GIS Ireland conference 2015 (Friday, 2 October).

Entry to the Awards is FREE and we are now open for submissions for projects that have taken place over the last 12-18 months, whether it’s a new project or a major enhancement of an existing project. This year the IRLOGI Awards have been reduced down to five categories with a similar application form and sponsorship packages.

Who should enter?

Entry to the IRLOGI Space & Place Awards 2015 is open to all organisations and individuals who have worked in the area or on projects that have Geographic Information or Location- Based Data/Services in their makeup. Projects may relate to the environment, demographics, transport, history, education, media, retail etc. Whether it’s analysis, information gathering, displaying or simply making it all clearer, it should be entered.

Why should you enter?

This is a great chance for you and/or your organisation to get independent recognition of great work. This recognition will help you and your organisation stand out from the crowd and enhance your place internally within an organisation and externally in the GIS, Technology and wider business community.

How do you enter?

Please visit the website to complete the application, then return it via email to awards at irlogi.ie.

What are the categories?

  • Best use of Location Based Application for Mobile or Tablet.
  • Best use of Location Based information on the Web.
  • Most Innovative use of Geographic Information or Location Based Content.
  • Most Innovative use of Technical Infrastructure in a GI Solution.
  • Best GI Application in the Public Sector.

Who are the judges?

Barry Doyle: Roscommon County Council
Brendan Cunningham: Pin Point Alerts
Jon Hawkins: Waterford Council
Justin Gleeson: Maynooth University
Pauline Riordan: Dublinked
Robert Ovington: Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government

What do the winners receive?

The winners will be presented with a special trophy designed for these awards, and/or a framed certificate. The winning organisation can use the awards logo for web sites and other communications. Winners may also be invited to present at an IRLOGI event e.g. breakfast meetings or seminar.

The winners will be announced at the GIS Ireland conference 2015 in October. Winners will be notified in advance of the Awards Ceremony by the IRLOGI Executive Committee.

Deadline: Final date for submission is Friday, 21 August 2015.

Date July 20, 2015

Archaeological & Heritage Data/Product Consultant


Archaeological & Heritage Data/Product Consultant

Location: Talgarth, Brecon Beacons National Park
Salary: £33,000 to £40,000 pa
Status: Permanent, Full Time

Closing date: Monday, 24 August 2015.

The exeGesIS software consultancy is wishing to expand its team, so is looking for a consultant.

Nature of work

The position will be based within the small and busy HBSMR development and support team. HBSMR (Historic Buildings Sites & Monuments Record) is the UK leading database / GIS application for the management of Historic Environment Records. In addition to an ever-increasing client base, the application is being continually improved with annual maintenance releases and new modules.

Developed in partnership with English Heritage it is now used by around 75 organisations across the UK and also has a small number of overseas users. Increasingly we are being asked to build web and mobile applications around HBSMR and other cultural and heritage datasets and helping to specify, test and support such systems is an important part of the role. There is significant opportunity for the role to be developed according to the skills and interests of the appointed person.

The core activities are to:

  • undertake software installations and upgrades at client sites across the UK;
  • complete data migrations from a variety of client platforms for use within company software applications;
  • develop custom components and configurations for clients (e.g. custom tables/forms/report/macros/web pages)
  • deliver training courses;
  • provide remote technical support to clients;
  • contribute to technical developments through the production of development specifications, testing and production of manuals;
  • attend appropriate conferences and undertake sales-related activity as required, including the production of quotations and tender submissions;
  • ensure that administrative issues are quickly and efficiently dealt with; and
    play a part in the development of HBSMR and related development projects, depending on skills and experience.

The company aims to recruit talented and enthusiastic individuals and prefers to evolve positions around each person’s strengths and interests. All staff enjoy a high degree of autonomy and commitment and enthusiasm are highly valued

exeGesIS is looking for someone who has:

  • in-depth MS Access and/or Sql Server skills with understanding of database structures and principles (likely to have been acquired through at least two years of experience);
  • GIS user experience, preferably ArcGIS and/or MapInfo and/or QGIS;
  • heritage information management experience, or experience gained in another environmental management related discipline;
  • graduate qualifications in archaeology, another environmental discipline, and/or an IT discipline;
  • confident presentational and client-facing skills;
  • the maturity to be self-organised and motivated; and
  • a driving licence.

Any of the following would be a bonus but not essential:

  • familiarity with a variety of operating systems and networks;
  • SQL Server (or similar RDBMS) database administration experience;
  • GIS scripting experience;
  • programming experience;
  • web design experience;
  • knowledge/experience of html/css/xml/xsl;
  • post-graduate qualifications in an archaeological, environmental or IT discipline; and
  • experience of working on or managing a historic environment record information system or similar.

Please contact Crispin Flower or Jon Young for further information, or visit the exeGesIS for more information about the post.

Crispin: 0044 (0)1874 713072 / CrispinFlower at esdm.co.uk
Jon: 0044 (0)1874 713068 / JonYoung at esdm.co.uk

Date July 20, 2015

OldMapsOnline 2.0


OldMapsOnline 2.0

On Tuesday 21 July, a new version of OldMapsOnline.org is being launched, with a new interface, new partners, a new mobile application, and new search-engine optimisation. 

OldMapsOnline is the world's largest portal for freely available, high-resolution images of historic maps, available from the world's largest online map collections. It was originally launched in 2012, but has steadily grown in size and functionality since then.

OldMapsOnline now provides access to over 400,000 high-resolution images of maps – four times the number it had when launched in 2012.

  • The site provides free access to map images, acting as a one-stop portal to the world’s largest online map collections.
  • OldMapsOnline now has a new mobile application, making it possible to view on mobile devices with geolocation.
  • The new interface allows better Google search engine retrieval, with a hierarchy of place names using Schema.org microdata and landing pages.
  • There are new partners on board, including the United States Geological Survey and their historical topo quads for the United States.

Go to website: http://www.oldmapsonline.org/

Press release: http://www.oldmapsonline.org/press/ 

Date July 20, 2015

Mapathon at the BCS - SoC Conference in York


Mapathon at the  BCS - SoC Conference in York

This Mapathon will be held during the British Cartographic Soceiety (BCS) - Society of Cartography (SoC) 2015 Conference in York. This workshop is open to all and FREE to attend. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

The developer world has been utilising Hackathons for a number of years to rapidly create software for a common, often charitable purpose. The Mapathon adopts the same principles; however, rather than software, the output will result in high quality cartographic products that reveal previously unseen patterns in the data or maps the charity can use for marketing purposes.

The Exercise

Working with the Mammal Society's data, teams or individuals from the cartographic community are invited to gather together to share their ideas, skills and experience for the benefit of others. Each team will have an opportunity to present their work. A panel of judges will review the projects and award prizes.

Programme Date and Times

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

09.00: Registration
09.30 to 15.30: Mapathon
15.00 to 15.30: Presentations of work
15.30 to 16.00: Judging and announcement of winners


Park Inn
North Street
York YO1 6JF


Rob Sharpe Training and Education Services Manager, Esri UK
Paul Naylor Cartographic Design Consultant, Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey and Stear Davies Gleave are sponsors of this Mapathon.

Note: you are required to bring your own laptop with appropriate software for the exercise.

Please register for the Mapathon via the BCS - SoC Conference website.

Date July 17, 2015
More information

Second Call for Papers: GIS IRELAND 2015


Second Call for Papers: GIS IRELAND 2015

GIS IRELAND 2015 returns for the 20th year in a row!  Following the successful introduction of a two day programme in 2014 and also in 2013, IRLOGI will once again offer a two day programme in Dublin.  A half-day Workshop will take place on Thursday 1st October with the title ‘The Emerging GI/GT Environment; Global, European and Irish’.  An all-day conference will take place on Friday 2nd October.

You are invited to share your ideas and expertise at Ireland’s biggest annual GI event by submitting an abstract of a presentation which could be given at the all-day conference.

This year the topics which we are particularly interested in are:

  • Big Data
  • Linked Data
  • Internet of Things
  • SME Promotion
  • Remote Sensing (satellite, UAVs, ground based)
  • Inside/outside positioning
  • 3D/4D
  • Return on Investment in GI/Geo Technologies
  • Showcasing Irish best practice in the GI/GT fields

Whilst the above are particular areas of interest submissions which deal with other topics would also be considered. 

Your abstract should:

  • be not more than 350 words;
  • be submitted here;
  • include your name, organisation (if relevant), phone number and email address;
  • be submitted no later than 6pm on Wednesday 29th July; and
  • successful applicants will be required to produce a PowerPoint presentation (or similar) for the Conference.

Date July 15, 2015

Marine Protected Areas Support Officer's post with the JNCC


Marine Protected Areas Support Officer

Type of appointment: Permanent
Location: Aberdeen
Team: Marine Protected Sites

Closing date: 09:00 Tuesday, 28 July 2015 (The anticipated interview date is 06 August 2015).

Post background

Although offshore MPA designation work is largely complete, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee's (JNCC) Marine Protected Sites (MPS) team still has a critical role to play in further development of the conservation objectives for protected features, supporting the provision of advice on management of activities and developing site monitoring. JNCC’s MPS team are also providing scientific advice to Governments on how to best meet wider MPA network commitments, including developing guidelines on approaches to network evaluation.

Post Duties

The MPA Support Officer role is critical to the effective delivery of JNCC’s diverse work programme. In particular, the successful post holder will have a central role in supporting JNCC’s Marine Evidence team and the MPA feature data specialist in the management, processing and effective dissemination of marine datasets, supporting work to maintain Site Information Centres and handling related queries, and supporting wider MPA specialist areas of work as and when required such as improving our provision of offshore MPA conservation advice.

Key responsibilities

  • Marine Protected Sites data management – Working collaboratively with the MPA feature data specialist in Aberdeen and JNCC’s Marine Evidence Team to support the management, processing and dissemination of marine datasets. This will include implementation of quality assurance protocols and effective metadata cataloguing.
  • GIS and mapping support – Manipulation of geospatial data (ecological, physical and human activities) using ArcGIS to produce high quality and consistent GIS outputs. Mapping outputs will be tailored to meet the diverse needs of both JNCC’s internal and external customers.
  • Supporting MPA site leads – This will include work on the maintenance of our online Site Information Centres, maintaining master copies of individual site GIS files, and responding to queries from JNCC’s internal and external customers.
  • Further development of conservation advice - Help develop JNCC advice on the conservation of protected features by undertaking periodic reviews of the literature and collating relevant text.
  • Communications – Work with the MPA communications specialist to contribute to the communication and dissemination of work by the Marine Protected Sites team to the wider public through press releases, the web, reports and presentations at conferences.
  • Wider Marine Support Officer tasks – Which will include, but not limited to, the maintenance of an inventory of offshore survey equipment in Aberdeen and contributing to work of the JNCC Data Services Team.


Specialist and Technical

  • Degree or equivalent qualification in an environmental science (preferably marine) (essential).
  • Verifiable experience of using Geographic Information System (GIS) software packages, ideally ESRI ArcGIS (essential).
  • Verifiable experience in managing and ensuring the quality assurance of large-scale datasets (essential).
  • Knowledge of the UK's marine biodiversity and an understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of marine habitats (desirable).
  • A broad understanding of marine nature conservation in the UK – ideally in relation to work on MPAs (desirable).

£21,656 per annum

Hours of work
Normal hours of work for the post are 36 hours per week over a five-day period, Monday to Friday. Flexi time is available.

Annual Leave Entitlement
The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after five years service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Staff appointed on a part time basis will receive this pro rata.

More information about the post, further skills required for it, and access to the application form for the post, please visit the JNCC website.

Date July 14, 2015
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